Irv Letofsky RIP
Irv, who died Sunday, was one of the first big guns I met at The Times. Here I was, a music critic from a 80,000-circ. daily and he was an editor with an office at The Times. I had fed him a small item on scouting of film locations prior to the production of "Poltergeist II" that I learned about on a trip to New Mexico and he rewarded me handsomely (and gave me a credit line), even though he didn't use a word of what I wrote.
He was funny, gruff guy who had a huge, antique movie poster that covered one wall of his office. He welcomed me in, asked me to sit down and offered me a freshly baked cookie out of the little bag from The Times cafeteria, which was then on the 10th floor. And he wanted to know about me.
I never worked directly for him again, but I enjoyed saying hi to him in the hallway. He seemed to have an insatiable appetite for stories on forgotten starlets and quirky, multi-part features on unlikely subjects such as what became of the different pairs of ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz."
Here is Irv's story on Leonard Nimoy from 1976.