Cris Alexander Actor/Photographer Dies at 92. Cris Alexander, New York Broadway actor and renowned portrait photographer died on Wednesday, March 7th of natural causes, his death was confirmed by William J. Burke & Sons Funeral Home of Saratoga Springs, NY. The recent death of his partner and spouse of 62 years, Shaun O'Brien, former New York City Ballet dancer/actor, led to Cris' death. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on January 14th, 1920, Cris moved to New York City at the age of 18 to pursue his dream. Cris was raised by his devoted father, and attended high school with Tony Randall. They performed their own weekly radio show along with other exceptionally talented classmates. He was a singer, dancer, painter and world-renowned photographer. His portrait photography included: Cris and Shaun's dear friend Gloria Vanderbilt, also Vivian Lee, Andy Warhol, and Martha Graham to name just a few. Cris was recognized most often for his role as one of the three sailors in the original Broadway production of "On The Town" in 1944. Cris is pictured on the left, with John Battles (center) and Adolph Green. He performed a memorable part in the movie "Auntie Mame" as the excitable toy department store manager at Macy's. That scene was played with the famous, Rosalind Russell. Peggy Cass, a close friend, also played a hilarious character in "Auntie Mame" as Mame Dennis' comic secretary, Agnes Gooch. Cris also collaborated on several books with well known author and good friend Patrick Dennis, including "Little Me", and "First Lady". Both books are filled with Cris' wonderful photography and settings. In 1966 the New York City Ballet brought the talented couple to Saratoga Springs, NY where they have lived full time since 1993. Cris and Shaun were an integral part of their community, and added to the creative nature of Saratoga Springs. Cris will be missed by his fans and also by many close friends and acquaintances from their community. A celebration of Cris and Shaun's life will be held at a later date.
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Published in The Saratogian on Mar. 14, 2012