Kay Halle, 93, a freelance writer, radio commentator and noted Washington hostess whose extraordinary range of friends included various occupants of the White House, Sir Winston Churchill, Fred Astaire, George Gershwin and Fats Waller, died of pneumonia Aug. 7 at her home in Washington. She had dementia and had suffered a stroke.
It was through Gershwin that Miss Halle met Astaire and Waller and such musical luminaries as Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin and Oscar Levant. She was present when Todd Duncan, the head of the voice department at Howard University, auditioned for the part of Porgy in "Porgy and Bess" and Gershwin gave it to him. Miss Halle and Duncan were friends for life.
Miss Halle devoted a corridor in her Georgetown house to Churchilliana, including three paintings by the artist John Churchill, a nephew of the statesman and a frequent house guest. She was fond of pointing out that Churchill's mother was American. Sir Winston was, Miss Halle said, "half American and all British."
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