Richard Wilson, keeper of the Oscars, died last month of an apparent heart attack in his home in West Hollywood without ever boring us with an acceptance speech. The 46-year-old administrator for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences kept track of awarded statuettes, ordered and inventoried new Oscars, monitored their distribution backstage at each ceremony, and oversaw the placing of the winners’ names on each award. That last duty made it possible for Wilson to meet more Academy Award winners than anyone else ever has, with the exception, perhaps, of God. He was graduated from Northwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences with a degree in chemistry. And isn’t chemistry what showbiz is really all about?
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