Sunday, April 14, 2024

Carly Simon pays tribute to sisters who died of cancer one day apart: “I am filled with sorrow”

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Carly Simon’s two sisters, acclaimed mezzo-soprano and Emmy-winning TV correspondent Joanna Simon and composer Lucy Simon, died within a day of each other last week, the singer confirmed in a statement on Sunday.

“I am filled with sorrow to speak about the passing of Joanna and Lucy Simon,” Carly Simon said in a statement. “Their loss will be long and haunting. As sad as this day is, it’s impossible to mourn them without celebrating their incredible lives that they lived.”

Joanna Simon, the eldest of four, died Wednesday, just a day before her sister Lucy died, according to Lucy’s daughter, Julie Simon. Their brother Peter, a photographer, died in 2018 at 71. All three had cancer.  

“We were three sisters who not only took turns blazing trails and marking courses for one another, we were each others’ secret shares,” Simon said. “The co-keepers of each other’s memories. I have no words to explain the feeling of suddenly being the only remaining direct offspring of Richard and Andrea Simon.”

Beryl TV  Carly Simon pays tribute to sisters who died of cancer one day apart: "I am filled with sorrow" Entertainment
Singer Carly Simon, right, is joined by her sisters and mother at a party in New York on Thursday, March 23, 1990, to celebrate the release of her new album “My Romance.” From left are Lucy, Andrea, Joanna and Carly Simon.

Ed Bailey / AP

Carly Simon added that “they touched everyone they knew and those of us they’ve left behind will be lucky and honored to carry their memories forward.”

“In the last 2 days, I’ve been by the side of both my mother and my aunt, Joanna, and watched them pass into the next world. I can’t truly comprehend this,” Lucy’s daughter Julie wrote on Facebook.

Joanna Simon, who was 85 and died of thyroid cancer, rose to fame in the opera world and as a concert performer in the 1960s. She was a frequent guest on TV talk shows. After her retirement from singing, she became an arts correspondent for PBS’s “MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour,” where she won an Emmy in 1991 for a report on mental illness and creativity.

Joanna Simon was married to novelist and journalist Gerald Walker from 1976 until his death in 2004. She was the companion of Walter Cronkite from 2005 until his death in 2009.

On stage, she made her professional debut in 1962 as Cherubino in Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” at New York City Opera. That year, she won the Marian Anderson Award for promising young singers. Simon took on a range of material. As a concert performer, she leaned into classic and contemporary songs of her time.

The siblings were born to publishing giant Richard Simon and his wife, Andrea. Carly and Lucy once performed as the Simon Sisters, opening for other acts in Greenwich Village folk clubs.

Lucy Simon, 82, was nominated for a Tony for writing the score of “The Secret Garden.” She died of metastatic breast cancer, according to CNN.

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