Del Close

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(March 9, 1934 – March 4, 1999)

Del Close, 1959.

Del Close, a teenager from Kansas, was active in science fiction fandom ca. 1950. He co-edited a hectographed fanzine, Cataclysm, and belonged to the International Science Fiction Correspondence Club. His profile from the “Kollektor’s Korner” in their clubzine, The Explorer (August 1950, p. 12):

Del Close, 1726 Poyntz, Manhattan, Kansas — #1 on his list is STF, but is one more member for the band, as he plays drums — practices Yoga and is trying to memorize HAMLET. Intends to make his profession Dramatics, either as a teacher or an actor. Just received a scholarship at Denver in Theatre Arts.

The Summer-Fall 1951 issue of Destiny reported that one of its editors had been to visit Del during an odd (and unexplained) event:

Jim Bradley, suddenly got the idea that he wanted to make the Nolacon so one day later he started to hitch-hike from Portland to New Orleans. By the time he arrived at Del Close’s home in Manhattan, Kansas, the Nolacon had just started; thus he concluded that to go on would be hopeless and stayed with Del over night. It seems that Del somehow got involved with his own murder and at the time, with all the reporters and such, it was quite exciting.

Unfortunately, Close gafiated soon afterward. He would indeed make his profession dramatics. He went on to become one of Chicago’s most iconic actors and comedians, a legend in improv circles and a notable teacher who coached many of the best-known comedians and comic actors of the late 20th century. He was a founder of The Second City comedy empire and a mainstay of ImprovOlympics. He also wrote comic books.

While no longer an actifan, he did retain his interest in sf collecting and was a regular at The Stars Our Destination bookstore.

He was as flamboyant in death as in life. A provision of his will read, “I give my skull to the Goodman Theatre, for a production of Hamlet in which to play Yorick, or for any other purposes the Goodman Theatre deems appropriate.”

Person 19341999
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