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CBS (ended 1967)

Phyllis Cerf Wagner, RIP

  • Avatar of Linneman

    Linneman

    [1]Nov 27, 2006
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    Phyllis Cerf Wagner died at age 90 on Friday.  She was married to Bennett Cerf 1940-71. After Bennett's death she married Robert Wagner, the ex-mayor of New York, who also pedeceased her. As well as the spousal connection Phyllis was a guest panelist on WML more than a few times, as well as a mystery guest (sometimes with other panelist's spouses) at least three times.

    Beyond who she married the former Phyllis Fraser was a very active and interesting woman. And, as we seemingly were reminded at least once a year on the show, she was Ginger Rogers cousin.

    There's a good obituary in the New York Times.

     

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  • Avatar of W-B

    W-B

    [2]Nov 27, 2006
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    Which reminds me:  Will there be a WML? episode featuring her next week at 3:30 after GSN's airing of EPISODE #757?  I suppose we'll have to see what's next . . .
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  • Avatar of TVGord

    TVGord

    [3]Nov 27, 2006
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    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/nyregion/26wagner.html

    Thanks for letting us know about this Linneman.  I've pasted the link to the obit above.  Another link to WML gone.  Sad to see so much history slipping away.  Nice to see she had a nice, long and happy life, though.

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  • Avatar of Twowaditty

    Twowaditty

    [4]Nov 28, 2006
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    Thanks for sharing the NY Times article on Phyllis Cerf Wagner. God bless her that she lived to 91. From the article, she appeared to be a very classy lady.
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    agent_0042

    [5]Nov 28, 2006
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    I guess that means also that if I'm not mistaken, Christopher Cerf has lost his mother. RIP, Phyllis Cerf. I hope GSN airs some kind of tribute episode.

    'K, I just read the article and saw the stuff about Christopher Cerf and Jonathan Cerf.
    Edited on 11/28/2006 7:27pm
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  • Avatar of BradHarris

    BradHarris

    [7]Nov 29, 2006
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    It was a shock to see that she was alive in 2006 since Bennett has been gone so long. Of course she was younger.

    She made a few films. Look for her in the "The Black Room" with Boris Karloff (1935) - she is one of the bridesmades. Arlene's appearance with Bela Lugosi comes to mind.
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  • Avatar of jimarnone

    jimarnone

    [9]Dec 1, 2006
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    A quick search on the "WorldCat" (inter Library Loan) revealed books by Phyllis Frasier/Cerf/Wagner back to the 1940's. Here a list of them:

    Book    Mother Goose /
    Author: Wagner, Phyllis Cerf,; Espenscheid, Gertrude E.
    Publication: New York : Simon and Schuster, 1942
    Document: English : Book : Juvenile audience

    Book    This little piggy : and other counting rhymes /
    Author: Cerf, Phyllis Fraser, 1915-2006; Paflin, Roberta,
    Publication: New York : Simon and Schuster, 1942
    Document: English : Book : Juvenile audience  41 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.

    Book    Great tales of terror and the supernatural /
    Author: Herbert Alvin Wise;  Phyllis Cerf Wagner
    Publication: New York, Modern Library 1944
    Document: English : Book : Fiction : Juvenile audience   1080 p. 21 cm.

    Book    ABC and counting book
    Author: Wagner, Phyllis Cerf, 1915-2006
    Publication: New York : Grosset & Dunlap, 1946
    Document: English : Book : Juvenile audience  36 p. : ill. col. ; 21 cm

    Book    A treasury of games, quizzes and puzzles /
    Author: Cerf, Phyllis Fraser, 1915-2006; Young, Edith,
    Publication: New York, Grosset & Dunlap 1947
    Document: English : Book  212 p. illus. 20 cm.

    Book    Great tales of terror and the supernatural,
    Author: Herbert A Wise;  Phyllis Cerf Wagner
    Publication: New York, Modern Library 1947
    Document: English : Book  1080 p. 21 cm.

    Book    The complete family fun book
    Author: Phyllis Fraser Cerf;  Edith Young
    Publication: New York, Random House 1957
    Document: English : Book  138 p. illus. 29 cm.

    Visual Material    Random House reading readiness skilstarters.
    Author: Cerf, Phyllis Fraser, Publication: New York : Random House, 1966
    Document: English : Visual Material : Kit
    Edited on 12/04/2006 9:57pm
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  • Avatar of BradHarris

    BradHarris

    [10]Dec 1, 2006
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    Amazing.  Simply amazing.  It is one of the more interesting unknown facts of her life - working with one of the greatest actors of our time in the early days of movies.  If you only want to concentrate on her involvement in books and have no interest in her personal achievements when she was young, that's fine.  But true fans of What's My Line and the Cerf family cherish one of the earliest known films of her as a young girl.  I'm sure you would have complained after seeing the long threads on this website concerning Arlene Francis' appearance in the classic Bela Lugosi film, Murders in the Rue Morgue.  These early appearances, long before anyone knew their names on What's My Line, are gems to true fans.

    Edited on 12/04/2006 10:02pm
    Edited 2 total times.
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  • Avatar of W-B

    W-B

    [12]Dec 1, 2006
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    Interesting, a few of her books were published by some of Random House's competitors.   

    One of which names Bennett made a pun on way back in '57 when someone in the fishing profession appeared as a contestant on WML?.

    Edited on 12/04/2006 10:06pm
    Edited 2 total times.
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  • Avatar of mehitable

    mehitable

    [16]Dec 2, 2006
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    My sympathy to any loved ones.
    Edited on 12/04/2006 10:13pm
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  • Avatar of TVGord

    TVGord

    [18]Dec 2, 2006
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    If you wanted a thread about Jayne Meadows, why didn't you start one?  In this day and age, you should be grateful that there are people who stop to mourn the passing of anyone who's reached the age of 90!  Too often they are forgotten.

    Edited on 12/04/2006 10:25pm
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  • Avatar of BradHarris

    BradHarris

    [19]Dec 2, 2006
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    Well said TVGord.  Now let's get back to honoring Phyllis Cerf and the members of WML both living and dead.
    Edited on 12/04/2006 10:26pm
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