|Madeline Kahn Article #2 - Saturday, December 4, 1999|
Appearing online in MSN Worldwide, this article announces Madeline Kahns death just a month after her announcement that she was fighting the disease:
Madeline Kahn dead of cancer
DECEMBER 3 - Oscar-nominated actress Madeline Kahn, the leading film comedienne of the 1970s who lent her considerable talents to the Mel Brooks classics Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, died today in New York of ovarian cancer. She was 57.
It was just last month that Kahn went public with her medical battle, saying she was undergoing "aggressive treatment" for "this awful disease." The veteran funnywoman was diagnosed in 1998.
"Madeline was a performer of brilliance and a loyal and trusted friend to everyone she encountered," said her husband, John Hansbury Hansbury and Kahn, a couple for a decade, wed October 10.
A fixture on TV, stage and screen, Kahn left two of her most indelible performances in the films that brought her to the brink of the Academy Awards podium. Khan earned her first Oscar nomination for director Peter Bogdanovich's Paper Moon (1973), where she played exotic dancer Trixie Delight in the Depression-era comedy. Awards-wise, the fates were against Kahn that year. Pitted against two gimmick acts in the supporting-actress category (Paper Moon's 10-year-old Tatum O'Neal and The Exorcist's 15-year-old Linda Blair), Kahn, along with Candy Clark (American Graffiti) and Sylvia Sidney (Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams) were the odd adults out. They lost to O'Neal.
Her second-and-final-nomination came for 1974's Blazing Saddles. In Brooks' version of the Old West, Kahn was the German strumpet Lili Von Shtupp. (She lost at the 1975 ceremony to Ingrid Berman for Murder on the Orient Express.)
Kahn also collaborated with Brooks on Young Frankenstein (1974), High Anxiety (1977) and History of the World: Part 1 (1981).
Her initial string of hits was interrupted in 1975 by the infamous flop At Long Last Love - Bogdanovich's ill-fated attempt to make a musical with non-singing stars Cybill Shepherd and Burt Reynolds. Kahn's movie career seemed jinxed from that point forward as she went on to appear in some of Hollywood's most notorious failures - Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976), First Family (1980), Wholly Moses! (1980), City Heat (1984), Clue (1985), and Jerry Lewis - headlined calamity, Slapstick of Another Kind (1982), included Kahn's work inevitably drew the best notices in otherwise forgettable (or best-forgotten) projects.
Born September 29, 1942, in Boston Massachusetts, Kahn made her Broadway debut in the 1968 revue, New Faces of '68. Proving persistence pays, she went on to claim a Tony Award for best actress in a play for 1993's The Sisters Rosenweig. Kahn's trophy shelf also included a 1986-87 Daytime Emmy for the children's special Wanted: The Perfect Guy.
Her first feature film appearance came in 1972's What's Up, Doc? Also directed by Bogdanovich. Recent credits included voice-over work as Gypsy the moth in 1998's A Bug's Life.
Said Mel Brooks once of Kahn: "She is one of the most talented people that ever lived. I mean, either in stand-up comedy, or acting, or whatever you want, you can't beat Madeline Kahn."
In going public with her battle against cancer, Kahn said she wanted to raise awareness of the disease and "give women a fighting chance."