This month would have been Yma Sumac's 87th birthday. On her very last birthday, she was wearing a tiara and swathed in a long red scarf, and in full makeup.
She wasn't at all well, but she seemed to know it was her birthday. There were two cakes, her own music playing, flowers, food, champagne, a few dear friends, her favorite caregiver, and her assistant's beloved chihuahua's surrounding her bed. It was the most festive birthday she had had in a few decades...
...She used to look at gorgeous photos of herself and say, "Aye! I look beautiful there, no?"
These two fabulous photos (courtesy of the ever-fabulous Damon Devine) are separated by 50 years, but the latter-day shot betrays no diminishing of glamour or presence; and, of course, La Sumac understood the value of a cheeky monkey. We miss you, Yma! Heaven's choir must be reeling from your high notes.