Wednesday, January 07, 2009

In memoriam Eleanor

I knew Eleanor Tauber as a Central Park birdwatcher and photographer and posted many of her photos on this site, including the three below. Now I'm sad to tell you that she died during the last days of 2008. Only when I read her death notice last Monday [also included below] did I learn of this talented woman's other great talents.

Three photos by Eleanor Tauber

From the NY Times, Jan 5, 2009

Eleanor J Tauber

1937 - 2008
ELEANOR J. TAUBER � actress, singer, artist, writer, photographer, and bird watcher � passed away at age 71 on December 20 at Calvary Hospital following an illness. Eleanor understudied Dina Merrill in the lead role of Mrs. Manningham in the Broadway production of Angel Street in the 1970's. She played Mrs. Oxenham in the Star Package Tour of The Hot L Baltimore with Jan Sterling and was a member of the Hypothetical Theatre Company, Inc. and the performance art group DADAnewyorkDADAnynyDADA.

Off-Broadway, Eleanor performed in several plays at the Pulse Theatre on Theatre Row, including O'Keeffe, Sunset of an Artist, a one-woman show about George O'Keeffe. On television, she played featured roles on All My Children and One Life to Live, as well as the U.S. Steel Hour, Robert Montgomery Presents, and the Lux Video Theatre.

Eleanor was born Eleanor Blumberg in Philadelphia on January 15, 1937 and was previously married to William Tauber. After graduation from high school, she was offered a fully paid four-year scholarship to Bryn Mawr. The pull toward acting was too great, however, so she turned down the scholarship to study with Jasper Deeter at the famed Hedgerow Repertory Theatre in Rose Valley, Pennsylvania, where she performed several roles in the Repertory Theatre, including Anne Shakespeare in A Cry of Players, Esther in The Price, and The Widow Quinn in Playboy of the Western World. Among the other roles she played during her career are Amanda in The Glass Menagerie, Maria in Twelfth Night, Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, and Gertrude in Hamlet.

An avid member of the Central Park birding community, Eleanor was a devoted supporter of causes related to nature, animals, ecology, and humanitarianism. As an Audubon Society volunteer, she spent many mornings working with Project Safe Flight, rescuing stunned and injured birds that collided with the City's skyscrapers during the night. She could often be found watching her favorite red-tailed hawks, Pale Male, Lola, and their brood, from the "hawk bench" in the Park.

In the last few years, Eleanor realized her dream of becoming a nature photographer when she purchased a digital camera, which gave her a whole new avenue of creative expression. Her talent is unmistakable in the hundreds of images she created, primarily of birds, landscapes, plants, insects, and other wildlife in her beloved Central Park.

Eleanor was a very spiritual person who had an unwavering childlike awe and reverence for the beauty and soulfulness of nature. She touched many lives, and she is and will remain sorely missed.