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Arts and Theater 1
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Black Tie International:
Ward Morehouse III, Renaissance Man

Ward Morehouse III

Ward Morehouse III, Renaissance Man

By Beatrice Williams-Rude


When a building is magnificent, unusual and has a storied past, it’s
deemed a landmark.

There are individuals who are similarly noteworthy and should be

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, explorer and
authority on hotels.

He worked for 10 years at The Christian Science Monitor and for
another 10 at the New York Post where he regularly had front page
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” noting that
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 Journal.

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.

Fueled by 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 York's Grand
Hotels; Inside the Plaza, a new edition of which will be available in
January; The Waldorf-Astoria, London’s Grand Hotels, a hard cover
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 said the
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.

Joyce Brooks

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