When a building is magnificent, unusual and has a
storied past, it’s
deemed a landmark.
There are individuals who are similarly noteworthy and
Ward Morehouse III, arguably one of the most fascinating
people on the planet, comes to mind. The scion of a
theatrical and newspaper dynasty, his own
accomplishments, so varied in scope, are not as widely
recognized as they should be.
Ward, son of
legendary New York Sun theater critic Ward Morehouse II,
whose column Broadway After Dark was a fixture for
decades, is also grandson of movie stars who flourished
back when the filming was done in Ithaca, NY, pre-WWI.
Ward has written numerous books, is an ace reporter,
authority on hotels.
He worked for 10 years at The Christian Science Monitor
another 10 at the New York Post where he regularly had
stories and was, for five years, the Broadway columnist.
He’s now the drama critic for Black Tie magazine. He is
also a playwright as was his father, whose “gentleman
producer” friend, Vinton Freedley, was Ward’s godfather.
Ward explains his special affinity for “Citizen Kane”
his father wrote a play, “Gentlemen of the Press,” the
movie version of which starred Kay Francis, and his
maternal grandfather was the editor of The Ithaca
A play of Ward’s, “The Actors” was praised by no less
than Frank Rich and ran for nine months off-Broadway.
“My Four Mothers”? No, not about growing up in a Muslim
household! It’s Ward’s play about his father’s wives,
serially, all lovely talented ladies including
theater-producer Jean Dalrymple whose presence at New
York City Center was long-term and formidable, and
theater writer (Playbill) Rebecca Morehouse.
insatiable curiosity, Ward became an intrepid explorer
living for a time with a tribe of Indians in a remote
region of the
upper Amazon. Ward, at this moment, is on one of the
Thousand Islands he owns. The tale of Ward’s acquiring
the island involves his mother, beautiful actress and
co-publisher of “New York Theatre Critics' Reviews” and
“Theatre Information Bulletin” Joan Marlowe, her friend
Irene Purcell, the latter’s lover and a boat called
“Show Girl.” Ward garnered background for his play
“Gangplank” from these events.
Ward’s books on hotels – Life at the Top: Inside New
Hotels; Inside the Plaza, a new edition of which will be
January; The Waldorf-Astoria, London’s Grand Hotels, a
edition is due in several months; a forthcoming
biography about his
father, The Bear Who Lived at the Plaza, (really!) and
one in progress on the grand hotels of Paris -- are a
natural consequence of his having been brought up in
hotels, and only the finest!
Ward has been the Checking In columnist for TravelSmart
Newsletter for four years. As such he's written about
hotels from The Fairmont in San Francisco to La Fonda in
Santa Fe to The Greenbrier in White Sulfur Springs, WV.
So addicted to hotel living was his father that it was
epitaph on his tombstone should read, “Room Service
Please.” But Ward III is not only enjoying room service
in the here and now, he’s sharing the experience with
those who enjoy luxurious living, including both active
and armchair travelers.