Her World a Stage
Laura Rockefeller's parents in White Plains got sympathy letters from people who knew her only as J. T.'s mom, one of the regulars at the dog run in Riverside Park, where a bench will be dedicated in her name.
Ms. Rockefeller's animal-loving friends were the first to figure out that she might be among the missing at the World Trade Center, although she did not work there. If she was even 15 minutes late to walk J. T., a shepherd mix named for James Taylor, or feed her two cats, Uff and Parker, something was surely wrong.
Ms. Rockefeller, who would have turned 42 yesterday, was an aspiring actress, singer and director who paid the rent on her one- bedroom apartment on West 85th Street with freelance work for Risk Waters, a London-based company that produces seminars for financial managers. On Sept. 11, she was stage-managing one at Windows on the World.
But Ms. Rockefeller's passion, in addition to her animals, was musical theater. She fell in love with the stage as a child when her mother ran a children's theater and her father was a television director. In New York, she went to plays as often as she could afford and often broke into spontaneous song.
Because she was not an employee at the World Trade Center, it took a full day for Ms. Rockefeller's sister Terry and her parents to figure out she had been there and was surely dead. But J. T. continues to resist the finality, running to the door in White Plains, ears perked, each time a car approaches.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 14, 2001.