Dewey’s Dead!

Errant obit — ‘Gray Lady’ red-faced

The NYT published an obituary for Katharine Sergava, a 94 year-old actor and acting teacher. She performed in the original “Oklahoma”, but I don’t think we should hold that against her.

There was only one problem with the obituary. When contacted about the piece, the writer, freelance dance writer Jack Anderson, had this to say:

“My bio about Katharine was accurate,” he said. “What (makes the obituary) not accurate is that she is presumably still alive in a nursing home on Riverside Drive.”

(Emphasis mine.) Apparently fans and former students (she taught until a few months ago – wow) of Sergava were flocking to her Greenwich Village home to mourn her passing.

The Times claims that

it had based its account of the passing of Katharine Sergava on an account in the Daily Telegraph of London that ran on Nov. 29, but had neglected to attribute the British paper as the source of the obituary or independently confirm that Sergava had died.

The NYT story ran on Thursday. So they were five days late, didn’t attribute the source, didn’t fact-check, and were wrong.

But, hey, the Bio is right. And it’s only a matter of time before the rest comes to pass, so to speak.

What idiots.

And did you notice that the writer said she’s “presumably” still alive? It doesn’t sound like he’s fact-checked that, either.


  1. As a former student of Sergava, I’m happy to report that I saw her last weekend (September 22/23, 2005)in Greenwich Village. She looked wonderful.