he was born in Chicago and at an early age, the family moved west. My mother was very interested in singing, and she had quite a voice. My uncle Paul Dubov was an actor and was doing films and radio at an early age. So you can see, this runs in the family.
My mother went to work for MGM in the 40’s where she worked for the main message center, her job was to deliver messages to the sets. She seemed to get lost there, and watched many films being made, including The Postman Always Rings Twice and Meet Me in St. Louis, she was a huge John Garfield fan so she hung around the Postman set quite a lot!
She then went to Palestine to study Jewish Folk music and sang Opera on the radio, this where she met my father Zvi, who was in the underground fighting for their freedom. After Israel became a state they moved to California, where my grandfather who was a painter at the studios gave my dad a job, and my father became a painting contractor.
I WAS SPOILED!
My cousin Adam said we were treated like little princes, maybe… My mother really was there for me – taking me to rock shows (Cream!), and she stayed, how cool!
She also was very good in pulling off the surprise, dad goes on trip … get a dog, oops too late we have a dog! Dad goes on trip … oops too late … we have a drum set, and boy, dad was not too happy! But that was my door into the music business, she convinced my dad to let us (my friends) use the garage as a rehearsal space, we jammed playing awful music learning how to play!
She also surprised me with concert tickets, I got you tickets to see The Who at The Forum, wow great … front row center … WHAT!!! Was she connected to the mob? Yikes! That was mom!
Did I mention SHE WAS A BAD COOK!!! I probably don’t eat meat because of her, and we were able to convince her that a Pizza from Mike’s Pizza might be a good idea! My dad was a specialist at cooking, not many items on the menu, but they were all good! She did surprise us one year and actually screwed up and made a good Thanksgiving turkey!
She loved gardenias, dogs, chocolate, and she was a huge supporter of her children … she rocked.
About 7 years ago she was diagnosed with Dementia/Alzheimer’s, but in the end she passed away of congestive heart failure, the night before we spoke and she was celebrating Hanukah, she could still sing and did not need help with the words …
I hope my mom and brother and father are all together in a better place … I just hope my father is doing the cooking…
Muriel Benair was the best and has left us at the age of 80.