Saturday, January 22, 2011

Romulus Linney

Romulus Linney
Playwright, Director, Teacher

I made this portrait on October 29, 2010, in New York City. He turned 80 last spring. He talked about how age just slowed one down, but didn't stop one's creativity.

He chose a Noh mask, one of his prized possessions, which was used in many productions throughout his career, to be photographed with. It was bought from a mask shop in Japan while on leave from the army in the 1950s; a perfect thing. He showed me how the face could change from a hurt to a puzzled look as he varied his gestures.  

Mr. Linney was warm, welcoming, and gracious.
There was a kindness to him, a patience. 

He gave me a book of his plays, enchanting stories told with a singularly intelligent southern-tinged voice. I sent him some photos in November, but never heard back from him. I wondered if he liked them. 

I realize now how sad he looks, compared to the robust obituary photographs in the New York Times. He must have known. 

Mr. Linney passed away January 15, 2011.
Condolences to his family, his friends, his circles.

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