The death and funeral of theatre producer Calvin Wynter in New York

Calvin Wynter: no hair, but a big Fringe

Calvin Wynter RIP (25 November 1959 – 30 October 2015)

On 16th September this year, I posted a blog headed:

PIT BULL DOG ATTACKS CALVIN WYNTER, THEATRE PRODUCER, IN NEW YORK CITY

That blog ended:

“I’m headed off right now,” Calvin told me, “to have my teeth cleaned and also they did a biopsy on my jawbone. They performed dental surgery, removed the lesion and put it in for biopsy research. They called me on Friday which means I think I may have cancer. I don’t know. So far, everything that’s thought to have been cancerous was not – like the polyps I got from my colonoscopy. I had three polyps. No cancer. So who knows? Maybe the third time isn’t so good but, y’know look – I’ve had a shaved head before. I can have a shaved head again. I’m still Episcopalian, which is like your Church of England, but my philosophy is Buddhist which is essentially: What do we seek? Happiness. What is pain and sorrow? The route to happiness.”

Calvin Wynter wearing a yellow rubber glove this morning

Calvin Wynter when he talked to me in September via Skype

The following day, 17th September, I blogged:

Calvin has now to come back to say: “My jawbone lesion is benign… Yay!”

On 24th October, ten days ago, knowing I was going to be talking in London to US performer Penny Arcade, I asked Calvin if he could give me any background.

His replied included this:

Went under oral surgery to remove the lesion on my jaw and the bone graft from my thigh on Wednesday. I will be able to speak on Monday. Thank God I have experience at being silent. Thank you John for giving sometime to leave experience. Best wishes with your interview. – Cal

He also e-mailed me this selfie of himself headed: ‘Post Oral Surgery’

CalvinWynter_PostOralSurgery_24october

I replied: Holy shit! You look like a cartoon Godfather with one of those very high 1940s formal collars! Blog currently not happening because WordPress are fuck-ups…

His response was: Hahaha… Best wishes with your blog app.

I replied: If you want to tell me about your experience (preferably on Skype – but you might not want to actually talk too much!) just let me know when.

Calvin Wynter in 1977

Calvin Wynter in 1977

He told me: Thanks for the offer, but I can’t speak until Monday. Slow healing process.

I replied: Oh, yes, I meant after that. I doubt if I will have sorted the blog out until Tuesday.

His response was: Perfect timing.

That was the last I heard from him.

Tonight, I received an e-mail from a mutual friend in New York City. It read:

Calvin as a child with his father

Calvin Wynter – happy as a child with his father

I’m sorry to have to tell you that Calvin died last Thursday night. I don’t know specifics, 

I was hoping you could announce Calvin’s passing and the arrangements to the community over there via your blog.

The funeral will be 5.00 pm on Friday the 6th November at Cobbs Funeral Home in East Elmhurst (Queens), NY. Interment Saturday morning at 10 am. He is being interred with his parents at Flushing Cemetery. 

So it goes.

The anniversary of his birth is in three weeks time.

Calvin Wynter (25 November 1959 – 30 October 2015)

11 Comments

Filed under Death

11 responses to “The death and funeral of theatre producer Calvin Wynter in New York

  1. 6devenayroad

    Very sad to hear of his passing we had chats about Comedy online may his soul rest in Peace

  2. I’m shocked and saddened by this news. My sincere condolences to all his family and friends – of which I’m sure he had many, Calvin was one of the good guys.

  3. Lach

    Gosh, this is such terrible news. I love Calvin and he was always supportive, funny and easy-going. We’ve just lost a big heart and wonderful force.

  4. Calvin took me and my show Britishness to New York for a seven night run back in 2009. Haven’t seen him much since but am saddened to hear of his passing. My condolences to his family & friends.
    Shelley Bridgman

  5. Very saddened to hear it. He was a truly helpful guy who really loved entertainment. RIP, mate.

  6. Calvin was a really genuine guy with such warmth and enthusiasm for theatre. He shall be sadly missed x

  7. Donald Mack

    Sad news

  8. Tony De Meur

    I enjoyed numerous meals and get togethers with Calvin in New York and Edinburgh. Always great company. Very sad.

  9. Jeff

    Cal gave me—a little 20 year from nowheresville Ohio—an internship in NYC and then at the Fringe. He taught me so much about how to carry myself in the entertainment business. And now, years later, I work full-time in the film industry and I’m not exaggerating when I say I still think about some of the lessons I learned from him.

  10. Alex

    Such a shock. My condolences to those who like me will miss him. He showed me such kindness his passing is mourned.

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