Walter Monheit, RIP

Categories: Nightlife

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The New York Sun

I'm now officially the oldest club kid in New York.

Walter Monheit died in a nursing home last night at 85.

The Austrian-born party figure was famous for tirelessly chasing any female form that moved while performing stupid human tricks like balancing cocktail glasses on his head and chattering, in his thick accent, at about 100 miles a minute.

You never knew what the fuck he was saying, but he was always amusing and amazing.

Walter also managed to be the mock movie critic for Spy magazine in the '90s, cranking out ad copy posing as reviews in a spoof of all the quotemongers polluting the media.

Well, he didn't actually write the column, but it's a testament to his unique charm that the magazine acted like he did.

Bye, Walter.

I know you're balancing cocktail glasses in heaven.


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9 comments
Jason T. Sparks
Jason T. Sparks

While not a New Yorker--a Nashvillian--I'm old enough and snarky enough that I religiously devoured "Spy" while it existed; that said, I, like Muscato below, thought Monheit was a whole-cloth creation of the magazine's writers (and as such, a joke I knew I was not fully getting). Very sorry to hear of his passing, and to finally realize that he existed. I wish I'd met him; sounds like he brought a lot of eccentric, interesting light into the world around him.(Muscato, you now also have me wondering about Jean Teasdale, and about Herbert Kornfeld--sorry, "Tha H-Dawg".)

Sita
Sita

We should all take a lesson from Walter and live life to the fullest.  His personality was magnetic and you couldn't help but smile when you saw him dancing the night away.

Keep dancing my dear old friend...you will be missed and never forgotten...

Cimmy Monheit
Cimmy Monheit

Walter DID have a family, and we are sitting in an apartment in Jerusalem remembering Walter.  We loved when he took time off from partying at clubs to join us at weddings, bar mitzvahs and even the occassional Chanuka party. My father was Walter's older brother, Walter is survived by his twin brother Tovia.  His funeral will be at Montefoire Cemetery at 10:00 AM on Sunday.  Uncle Walter was not the person you knew, but he was kind, attentive and interested in his family, when he wasn't dancing with cocktails on his head. He was endlessly entertaining, he would impress my Orthodox mother in law with his party pictures, always carried in his breast pocket.  (She was also quite pretty, in an understated way).

He's gone, and the world will be a sadder place for it.

Cimmy Monheit

Jason T. Sparks
Jason T. Sparks

Ms Monheit, I never met your uncle--like a lot of folks, I only knew him via "Spy", and even then did not know he genuinely existed (see my comments above). However, I hope that I carry out the third act of my own life (whenever it begins; for all I know, it already has) much as Walter did his. You were blessed to know him--of course, you already know that.

Lindsu02
Lindsu02

Hi Cimmy --

I am Linda Solomon, and had the joy of a 35 year friendship with your dear Uncle Walter.  Walter was always there for me and my family.  He was my confidante in my "growing" years in New York City.    I  could tell him just about anything and get his objective opinion. Yes, your Uncle Walter was exceptionally kind and thoughtful.  He was there for anyone in his circle who was sick and needy.  He truly loved his family-- spoke so often of family members, and he mentioned you at various times as well.  It was obvious that he was very close with his family in a very loving way.  And joy was on his list--going places and having fun.   Even when I didn't feel like going out on some nights, Walter was on the phone with me with his list and persuasion.  How could I resist---parties, charity events, art gallery openings, discos, etc.  A mutual friend, Jeanie, and I were fortunate to have seen Walter on Thursday, a day before he went to G's kingdom.  Even though he was ailing, we never expected to lose him so quickly.   The service at Old Montefiore was well done.  The Rabbi from the Riverdale Home conducted it on a personal and warm level.  He stressed Walter's caring for others, his joy for life and his humility.  I pray that his good neshuma lives on eternally.  My best to your dear Mother, Paula, who was so good to Walter, and the rest of your family.

Muscato
Muscato

Hmmm - and here I always thought he was a Spy invention entirely, rather than a based-on-a-real-person.

Does that mean The Onion didn't really invent Jean Teasdale?

But he does sound like a lot of fun, not to mention the kind of person not often enough found in New York (or anywhere, for that matter) anymore...

Susan Anton
Susan Anton

He wasn't really trying to pick anyone up, just loved the laydays!! I will miss him, wish i followed up on someone's attempt to find him earlier. His # wasn't working last i remember!RIP

Yaya
Yaya

I remember he had a cat named Precious.

Gina
Gina

I never understood what he was saying either, but he was always trying to pick me up.

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