LONDON — Legendary British jazz singer and author George Melly died at home Thursday. He was 80.
The flamboyant showman performed on stage for more than 30 years with John Chilton’s Feetwarmers, with whom he was referred to as “the Dean of Decadence.”
His wife, Diana, recently revealed that Melly had lung cancer but was refusing all treatment. Indeed, in typical style, he continued to smoke. He also suffered from dementia and his final performance was just last month at an event in aid of a dementia charity.
In addition to being one of the U.K.’s most recognizable jazz aficionados, Melly was the author of a number of books on pop art and surrealism, as well as four volumes of memoirs.
He was a popular film and television critic and was the writer of Flook, the Daily Mail’s satirical cartoon strip, drawn by long-time friend Wally Fawkes. His work also included the script for the 1967 movie “Smashing Time.”
He is survived by his wife and children Pandora and Tom.