Earl Blackwell, founder of Celebrity Service, which has tracked the comings and goings of celebrities since 1939, died March 1 at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City of Parkinson’s disease. He was 85.
Celebrity Service publishes the Celebrity Bulletin, the daily log of celebrity whereabouts, and the annual Contact Book. He also published six editions of Celebrity Register, a reference book containing celeb bios. Celebrity Service has offices in New York, Hollywood, London, Paris and Rome.
Born May 3,1909, in Atlanta, Blackwell became interested in celebrities as a teenager when he caddied for golfer Bobby Jones. After a brief time in Hollywood, he moved to New York to stage his 1939 play, “Aries Is Rising,” at the John Golden Theater, starring Constance Collier, but it closed after seven performances.
Blackwell also wrote two novels – “Crystal Clear” and “Skyrocket” – in collaboration with his companion of many years, the late fashion photographer Eugenia Sheppard.
He is survived by his sister, Mary Blackwell Alexander.
Family suggests donations to the Earl Blackwell Scholarship Fund, Oglethorpe University, Atlanta.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. May 3 at the Apostle Church, 415 West 59th St., New York.