Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Obituaries of Note: Mimi Weddell

Mimi Weddell, an icon of style and personality, died at her home at age 94 on September 24th. Starting a career as a model and actress in her 60's, following the death of her second husband, Mimi reached her stride in her 90's. Through the force of her personality and style, Mimi broke barriers and changed our ideas about age and beauty. She is an inspiration to those of us who start over later in life. It is often said that people like Mimi are one of a kind, or that the mold was broken after they were made. I hope that the opposite is true, and that our world will find more and more Mimis coming forward to wake us and inspire us, lest we rest peacefully a little too soon.

Mimi Weddell death art

From the NY Times Obituary:

She built an idiosyncratic career, appearing in advertisements for Louis Vuitton and Nike; in numerous films, including “The Purple Rose of Cairo”; and in television series, including, almost inevitably, “Sex and the City.”

Mrs. Weddell excelled, above all, at striking glamorous attitudes, waving her cigarette holder and sporting one of the 150 or so hats she regarded less as a style statement than as a physical necessity, like oxygen.

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Mrs. Weddell’s film roles could perhaps be described as small, some even minute, but only by the literal-minded. For the few moments that the camera lingered on her, she radiated Norma Desmond-like star power. She did print ads for Burberry and Juicy Couture, appeared in photo spreads in Vogue and Vanity Fair and at 90, still going strong, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful New Yorkers by New York magazine. Then came the documentary, directed by Jyll Johnstone, which gave audiences the full flavor of her personality. The attention was gratifying. The income helped support the hats.

meaningful funeral obituary

“Hats give you a frame,” she told The Times in 2008. “However dreary you feel, if you put on a hat, by golly, you’ve changed everything. I keep telling my daughter, my granddaughter, everybody, ‘If you don’t wear a hat, you’re missing it.’ ”
for the full obit by William Grimes, visit NYTimes.com

death dying ritual ceremony

from Vogue Casa October 5 via

What is it that can make someone in their 90's so cool? The same things that make a 20 year old cool -attitude, a personal style and a belief in oneself. The hats and cheekbones don't hurt either. Here is a message from Jyll Johnstone, the producer of 'Hats Off', posted on the film's web site .

September 28, 2009

Dear Friend of Our Site,

I am so sad to let you know that our Mimi passed on Thursday, September 24th. She had been in the hospital for an infection in her throat, and she just got gradually weaker. So, Sarah, her daughter brought her home.

death ceremonyAt home, she was in good spirits, and met with some old friends. She sang songs, handed out advice and was witty as ever. I was fortunate enough to be there, and watch this amazing woman go through a deep transformation.

At one point she wasn’t speaking very much, and I was asking her if she was comfortable, if she was hungry, thirsty, and then I said, “Are you scared?” I heard a strong, ”NO”, and then silence.

Even at the end I learned so much from Mimi. She continued to care about others, and to ask what they were working on, what were they reading, and how they were doing. She just did not want to talk about herself, unless she was asked.

It was an honor to be there with Mimi’s family, and I want to thank them for allowing me to be at their home during such a precious time.


PS Sarah said when Mimi passed that her spirit did not even linger for a second. She was set free, and rose above it!

and finally, a clip from the film via youtube. God Speed, Mimi!

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