Oct 20, 2008
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Fashion critic Blackwell dead at 86: report

Oct 20, 2008

LOS ANGELES, Oct 20, 2008 (AFP) - US fashion critic Richard Selzer, famed for an annual international "worst dressed" list which he penned as "Mr. Blackwell," died here at the age of 86, The Los Angeles Times reported Monday, October 20th.

Richard Selzer, plus connu sous le pseudonyme de "Mr Blackwell"

The newspaper said Mr. Blackwell, who had been in failing health, died late Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of complications from an intestinal infection.

His skewered such celebrities as Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor and, more recently, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham for their fashion flubs.

Of Elizabeth Taylor, Mr. Blackwell wrote that her "plump" figure and revealing clothes reminded him of "the rebirth of the zeppelin," the Times noted.

Sophia Loren, he said, dressed like "the Italian shop girls she portrays in movies."

His sharp tongue did not spare even Queen Elizabeth of England, of whom he wrote: "From her majesty to her travesty."

Mr. Blackwell's list and comments were published annually in the American Weekly, a syndicated Sunday supplement magazine.

Mr. Blackwell was born on August 29, 1922, in Brooklyn, New York. He was the younger of two sons of impoverished parents who were evicted from their apartment several times, the paper noted.

He started working in Hollywood in the late 1930s, but his acting career did not last long, according to The Times. He later went into the fashion business but abandoned it in the mid-1970s, focusing instead on being a fashion critic.

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