Crazy Joe Ties The Knot,
Sina and Joey Gallo celebrate
Joey and Sina, and David Steinberg
Mafia Foe Rubs Him Out
HIS year marks the 40th
anniversary of Brooklyn mobster Joey Gallo’s nuptials
in Chelsea and subsequent assassination in Little Italy.
As assistant to the
New York Post celebrity columnist Earl Wilson,
I was the only media person invited to chronicle and photograph
the Mafia mobster’s private wedding on March 16, 1972, at legendary
actor Jerry Orbach’s West Side townhouse.
The charismatic wiseguy
Joey Gallo married a classic Italian beauty, 30-year-old divorcee
Sina Essary, a dental assistant originally from Akron,
Ohio. The intimate wedding party included Sina’s 10-year-old
actress daughter Lisa; Jerry’s wife Marta Curro;
Viking Press president Tom Guinzberg; publicist David
Powers (who had alerted me to the event); comedian David
Steinberg as Joey’s best man; and the Reverend William
Glenesk of the Village Presbyterian Church who married
Tiny Tim on the Johnny Carson Show.
Jerry Orbach had
met Joey when Jerry played a character similar to Joey in the
movie, The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight. Marta was
writing a book for Viking Press about the gangland figure’s
My exclusive story and
images of the wedding ran in the next day’s New York
Three weeks later, on
April 7, Earl wished Joey a happy 43rd birthday at the Copacabana
(where Don Rickles was on stage) and left for his office
atop the Broadway Theater to finish his column for the next
edition. At 4 a.m. Joey and his bride and entourage, ravenous
for breakfast, piled into his Cadillac and made their way to
Umberto’s Clam House in Little Italy.
As the group settled
in captain’s chairs and joyously dug into their scungilli, shrimp
and pasta on the butcher block tables, the side door opened
to let in three triggermen—the widow later insisted five—who
immediately opened fire.
The fusillade struck
Joey in front of his shocked bride, horrified stepdaughter,
startled sister and surprised bodyguard. The mortally wounded
Joey lurched out the front door and collapsed in a pool of warm
blood on the chilly pavement, a block east of police headquarters.
The newspapers screamed
the sensational story, with my singular photos of Crazy Joe
and his bride splashed on the front page of all three major
dailies: New York Post, The New York Times and Daily
As a photographer, I
hit a grand slam! (But at what cost!)
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Yiddish Keeps Him Calm
declared, "Yiddish has been one of the great, great gifts in
my life." He delighted the annual gala of the National Jewish
Theatre/Folksbiene in June at Town Hall in New York. "I’m a
very nervous human being," he added. "I spend money on therapy
and medicine. Nothing helps. I run through the Yiddish theatre
in my mind and that calms me down."
The Tony and Emmy award
winning actor announced the creation of an international festival
of Jewish performing arts. This will be a biannual Kulturfest
to begin in 2015 to mark the 100th year of Folksbiene,
the longest continually producing Yiddish theatre company in
the world and one of only four international Yiddish theatre
companies in operation today.
Patinkin said Joseph
Papp, founder of the Public Theater and promoter of free
Shakespeare in the park, taught him Yiddish. He came to Mandy’s
apartment for a Shabbat meal and brought some Yiddish songs.
"You’ve got to learn these," Joe said, for a Yivo benefit. Since
then Mandy has included songs in mamaloshen [the mother
tongue, i.e., Yiddish] all over the world. "My most popular
concerts are the ones in mamaloshen," he said.
Folksbiene chairman, honored three individuals for their support
of Yiddish: Neil Sedaka, Chana Mlotek and Dr. H. Jay
Nobel laureate Elie
Wiesel thanked Chana Mlotek, who celebrated her 90th
birthday on April 9, for being such a dedicated Yiddish song
anthologist, noting that "gratitude is a Jewish value." The
planned Kulturfest will be named for Ms. Mlotek, whose sons
are Zalmen, artistic director of the Folksbiene, and
Mark, the president.
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IN ISRAEL Stars of the CBS series CSI booked
into the luxury beachfront Dan Tel Aviv hotel in May for a four-day
visit, part of the Ministry of Tourism’s initiative to promote
travel to Israel. From left are Omar Benson Miller and Jonathan Togo
of CSI: Miami, hotel general manager Etai Eliaz, Alan John Buckley and Carmine
Giovinazzo CSI: NY.
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Carmine Giovinazzo, A.J.
Buckley, Jonathan Togo, and Omar Benson Miller from CSI:
NY and CSI: Miami, together with Vanessa Marcil (left,
Carmine’s wife) and Abigail Marie Ochse (right, Buckley’s friend) toured
Yad Vashem, the Holocaust history museum in Jerusalem, for two
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HABA’IM Mitt Romney and wife Anne
arrive at the King David, the flagship of the Dan Hotels Israel,
during their July trip to Jerusalem. General manager Haim Shkedi
welcomed the couple as Mr. Romney mingled freely around the
hotel, greeting guests and shaking hands.
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FOR ALL SEASONS
Composer Marvin Hamlisch, who died on August
6, 2012, won 12 awards in his Broadway and Hollywood career.
He earned four Grammys for his achievements in 1974, which included
Best New Artist of the Year and Song of the Year (The
Way We Were). He told me of his love for his Vienna-born
mother, Lilly, describing her as “a killer cook.” Mike Douglas
asked him to bring her on his talk show to demonstrate her culinary
skills. Lilly went from her home in New York to the TV studio
in Philadelphia, schlepping her own pots and pans. “Tell me,”
the host asked, “who’s your favorite composer?” Without batting
an eyelash she said, “George Gershwin.”