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July 19, 2003

Guy Who Inspired "Six Degrees" Dies

Friedrich --

Did you ever see John Guare's "Six Degrees of Separation," either as a play or a movie? It was inspired by an actual con artist, a charismatic young gay black guy named David Hampton whose specialty was pretending to be the son of Sidney Poitier. Dan Barry at the NYTimes reports that Hampton has died of AIDS at the age of 39, here. It's a good piece that gives a convincing picture of what a strange guy Hampton must have been.



posted by Michael at July 19, 2003


I just read the N.Y. Times story--and was surprised to learn that Guare had taken most of it from "real life." And I was also surprised to learn that the original dupe had been Oz Elliot, a fellow who once apppeared on the radio program that I do. Another connection involves the title. It comes from research (and the article rporting it) by Stanley Milgram who was my colleague in the Yale Psychology department when both he and I were young.

Posted by: milton rosenberg on July 20, 2003 8:06 PM

Wow, six degrees of separation indeed!

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 21, 2003 12:39 AM

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