Tom Poston died Monday night with his wife Suzanne Pleshette’s head on his chest.
“He was just hanging on to get me through this,” she told me. Suzanne had been recovering from tumor surgery, had undergone four separate chemotherapy sessions and was finally able to tell me, “I’m well. I’m healthy. He waited ’til my hair grew back!”
Both Suzanne and Tom endured their respective illnesses while putting on a happy face — personified by the “Medical update” which they sent to me, Oct. 11, 2006:
I lost all of my hair
I look like shit
Tom has a catheter in his dickie
We have round-the-clock nurses, a walker and a wheel chair
I’m saving a fortune on bikini waxes
Tom has lost all peripheral vision so he doesn’t know
At his age we’re just glad he
has a lump in his pants
We’re madly in love
And we feel lucky.
AIN’T LIFE GRAND!!!!!!!
She maintained this outwardly happy attitude constantly in his presence — and to the outside world during the months that followed — and up to the moment he died.
I last saw Tom when we had lunch together at Nate ‘n Al’s in Beverly Hills on May 24, 2005. It was the deli’s 60th birthday party. Our wise-cracking waitress was — Suzanne who berated the order he had made — corned beef on white bread with mayo.
It personified the joie de vivre they breathed as a couple wherever they went. She was putting on a brave act today as she described Tom’s closing act to come…