Fosse’s open-heart surgery deepened his depression. He was worried that it had compromised his virility. In one scene in “Fosse/Verdon,” Bob tests his fears by having Ann mount him on his hospital bed. Reinking hadn’t seen the episode, but said, “I heard that I’m in the hospital with Bob and we’re having intimate relations?” She let out a hoarse laugh. “That didn’t happen. At all. First of all, there’d be a nurse in the room in two seconds flat the moment his heart rate went up. He was under severe observation. He almost died. It was the last thing on his mind, or mine. He was just trying to get well.” I read aloud from page 402 of Wasson’s biography: “Having sex with Reinking, he wept with relief that impotence hadn’t set in. She had never seen him cry before.” “But that was later on,” she clarified. “It wasn’t in the hospital.” Besides, when he had the heart attack she was in a back brace, having fractured her vertebrae during a “gravity-defying” jitterbug in the Broadway show “Over Here!”
Chayefsky died in New York City of cancer, for which he had declined surgery, in 1981, aged 58, and was interred in the Sharon Gardens Division of Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, Westchester County, New York. Bob Fosse performed a tap dance at the funeral, as part of a deal he and Chayefsky had made when Fosse was in the hospital for open-heart surgery. If Fosse died first, Chayefsky promised to deliver a tedious eulogy or Fosse would dance at Chayefsky's memorial if he was the one to die first. His personal papers are at the Wisconsin Historical Society and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Billy Rose Theatre Division.
“There are times when Bob will act like a jerk in this, but I find him so charming that I get sucked into thinking, ‘Well, maybe he didn’t really mean it,” even though I knew him about as well as anybody, you know? And then the mature woman part of me steps in and says, ‘No, that’s not okay. That’s hurtful and harmful.’”
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