There were no police barricades. There were no souvenir sellers. There were no autograph-seekers. But it too was a funeral of the highest caliber showbiz. It took us a day to appreciate its emotion-punch after Tuesday’s Michael Jackson grand finale.
Toni Murray, widow of comedian Jan Murray was celebrated and buried at Hillside Memorial Park, Monday. She died June 28, following a tragic accident in which she was an innocent.Her death occurred exactly three years following the death of Jan Murray, her husband of 56 years.
They had both decided on the exact details of the services for each to follow. They included music “How Deep Is The Ocean” for Toni, ” My Funny Valentine” for Jan. No endless line for celebs — but 13 family members of all ages, including the newest great-grandchild, spoke of Toni.
Love filled the Jewish Cemetery Chapel as Rabbi Cutler invited each speaker to tell their inimitable version of their love for this remarkable woman of beauty and warmth.
Jan met Toni when she was a member of the drop-dead beautiful line of showgirls at New York’s famous Copa. They didn’t have to dance, wriggle or be anything but their own beautiful selves. The speakers finale’d with two — Jack Carter and Norm Crosby. They had known Toni and Jan all of their respective married life — on and off stage. Norm brought down the house when he said “Meryl Streep is not the greatest actress of all — Toni Murray was” because she could laugh at husband Murray’s wisecracks — over and over, no matter how many times she’d heard them made. Toni made him feel he was telling fresh, funny material every time. What a sacrifice for any one to make.
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Tuesday’s Michael Jackson extravaganza followed Toni’s simple farewell — but the emotion softly expressed for her could not be denied by the 250 who also bade her farewell — and thanks for her memories.