Sunday, April 24, 2011

In Memoriam: Madelyn Pugh Davis

Over the years, I worked with hundreds of authors but the
news that Madelyn Pugh Davis has passed away brought me to tears.  I had the distinct privilege to work with her to promote her 2005 memoir, Laughing With Lucy: My Life With America's Leading Lady of Comedy.  A proper obituary can be read here:

She was one of the great television comedy writers, penning over 100 episodes of I Love Lucy and a genuine pioneer in her field.  Madelyn liked to say, when she started out, "you could have held a meeting of all the women television comedy writers in a booth at McDonalds".   All these years later, she marveled at the amount of fan mail she continued to receive and the unbridled enthusiasm people had for shows she'd written 50 years earlier.
We spoke often enough that she would ask after Mrs. Next.  Often enough that I knew she got her hair 'done' every Thursday morning and when I decided to leave publishing, she was among the first authors I called even though we hadn't been actively promoting the book for a few years and she and I were out of touch.   

Oddly, I never met her face-to-face but the photo above is how I like to think of her. She was a woman of class and gentility, of charm and kindness, of warmth and humor.  I will miss her.

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