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Star’s ‘disastrous’ death prompts new coronavirus warning

Lynn Kellogg, who starred in the original 1968 Broadway production of the musical Hair, died November 12, in St Louis, Missouri. She was 77.According to her publicist, the cause of death was COVID-19, The New York Times reported. Her husband, John Simpers, reportedly said she got infected recently at a large theatre gathering in Branson,…

Lynn Kellogg, who starred in the original 1968 Broadway production of the musical Hair, died November 12, in St Louis, Missouri. She was 77.

According to her publicist, the cause of death was COVID-19, The New York Times reported. Her husband, John Simpers, reportedly said she got infected recently at a large theatre gathering in Branson, Missouri, at which most attendees were maskless.

“She had a non-life-threatening leukaemia, so that was the big problem when she got COVID,” Simpers told KTVI Fox 2 in St Louis. “Coupled with that, leukaemia is disastrous.”

“She is probably one of the most modest people I’ve ever met,” Simpers said of his wife, who played the Hair character Sheila . “She knew a lot of people. I was five hours on the phone on Saturday. Five hours. People calling me, people upset, just all over the place, all over the country. It’s amazing and it’s still happening now.”

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Among those paying tribute on social media was Brady Bunch star Maureen McCormick, who played eldest daughter Marcia. McCormick tweeted, “Rest In Peace Sweet Lynn Kellogg,” including praying hands and heart emojis. “Love you so very much.” In a response to a commenter, McCormick added, “Hopefully the vaccine will be here soon.”

Actress Dana Delany also tweeted a succinct, “Wear your damn mask,” along with a broken-heart emoji.

“The Ghosts of Terrence McNally, Nick Cordero, Mark Blum, Adam Schlesinger and Lynn Kellogg have entered the chat,” wrote another commenter who retweeted a controversial November 15 post by Broadway actor Chad Kimball (Come From Away). In it, he said he would “respectfully disobey” governmental orders to limit indoor religious services and restrict how church choirs could perform. “I will never allow a Governor, or anyone, to stop me from SINGING, let alone sing in worship to my God,” he wrote, calling it an “overreach.”

“It’s hard to sit in the house when she’s not there,” Simpers said. “It’s a nasty disease we’re dealing with, this virus.”

Early in her career, Kellogg made television appearances in shows including The Beverly Hillbillies, It Takes A Thief and Mission: Impossible, as well as the daytime soap opera The Edge Of Night. On the big screen, she had a role in the 1969 film Charro! which starred Elvis Presley.

Kellogg won both a Daytime Emmy and a Peabody Award for her work on the series Animals, Animals, Animals, (1976 to 1980), co-starring Hal Linden.

In the 1960s and ’70s, she also made numerous appearances on talk shows including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Mike Douglas Show.

According to KTVI, later in her career, Kellogg was involved in the Christian music industry in the Ozarks. “She came out here and she enjoyed singing Christian music all the time,” her husband said.

Kellogg is survived by her husband, a sister, two brothers, a stepson and a grandchild.

This story originally appeared on Page Six and is republished here with permission

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