Monday, October 31, 2016

How Oddly Appropriate To Say Farewell To This Icon On Halloween!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             To kids like me, in the Sixties and Seventies,  horror meant "Zachereley."  On "Chiller Theatre," and other programs offering up trash horror, his wit and macabre appearance, almost replicating Lon Chaney's Erik in the 1925 "Phantom Of The Opera," but played for laughs, made him, among my generation, the "cool ghoul," we all wanted to be.  I can tell you, I did!

                              I never got to meet him, though he made personal appearances in the Metropolitan Area, during my childhood.  Upon his death, just a few days ago, I leaned more about him--as he seemed to vanish, after I grew up--than I ever had before.

                               He was born in September of 1918, which meant he died at 98!!!!!!!!!!!   He really WAS a "cool ghoul," to live that long.  I had had no idea he was still alive.  He was living, in Manhattan, and died in his own apartment, one of the New York's last rent-controlled residences.  That alone is an accomplishment.

                                His real name was not much different from his persona.  He was born John Zacherele in Philadelphia, graduated from the University Of Pennsylvania--yes!!!!!!!--and had a distinguished career of service in the Army, before launching himself on the road to horror fame.  He never married--hmmmmmm-- and lived contentedly alone.

                                So, on this Halloween, farewell Zacherely.  You were the coolest of the "cool ghouls," paving the way for the likes of Vampira, Elvira, and "Mystery Science Theatre." 

                                 Rest In Peace, you cool ghoul!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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