Last Dance at the Savoy:
Life, Love and Caring for Someone with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

by Kathryn Leigh Scott



Cumberland Press, 2016. ISBN 978-0-986-24592-3.
Reviewed by Lee Ambrose
Posted on 06/09/2016

Nonfiction: Memoir

"Progressive supranucler palsy (PSP) crept into our lives on cat's paws, insinuating itself without haste or fanfare...The outcome was inevitable. Our way of dealing with the insidious, relentless advance of his rare neurological disease was to go on living with as little disruption as possible." (p 6).
In this lyrical, heartfelt, and at times gut-wrenching memoir, Kathryn Leigh Scott shares the journey through her husband Geoff Miller's rare disease but more profoundly, she shares her intimate love story with the world. In tender and honest writing, Scott introduces readers to the world of PSP victims and their families.

Kathryn is an author and actress who married Geoff Miller, founding editor of Los Angeles magazine. Their marriage was put to the ultimate test when Geoff was diagnosed with Progressive supranuclear palsy. Their drive to live life to its fullest despite his terminal diagnosis is a testament to the love of life and love for each other that drove them through all of their days together. This book reveals the power of such a deep abiding love—even after such a deeply personal and tragic loss.

A rare neurologic disease for which there is no cure, PSP sneaks in, grabs hold and never lets go. Through the pages of Scott's memoir, readers glimpse the very human condition of dealing with such an insidious disease while trying to maintain a sense of decorum and normalcy. Scott lovingly portrays her relationship with her beloved Geoff while also reflecting on the often subtle hints of trouble that went unnoticed or were explained away in other, less daunting terms until the condition was undeniable.

Through the myriad consultations, tests, medical appointments, ups and downs of the disease and the move into hospice care, Scott shares her struggles, her joys, her realizations and a few u-turns along the way. But what shines through in all of her writing is the incredible depth of the love she and her husband shared and the lengths they would go to keep that alive in the worst of times.

Thoughtfully, Scott has included a "Resource Guide" at the back of her book. As she recalls, "When my husband was diagnosed with PSP, I yearned for someone to figuratively take my hand and walk me through the difficult times I knew were ahead." However, she is quick to point out that little is known about the cause or treatment of this rare condition. A percentage of the royalties from the sale of this book are donated to CurePSP.


Writing and acting have always been twin careers for Kathryn, who has written several nonfiction books and three novels, including Dark Passages (2012), Down and Out in Beverly Heels (2013), Jinxed (2015), while also appearing in a recurring role as George Segal's girlfriend in "The Goldbergs" and in the 2015 launch of Marvel's Agents of "S.H.I.E.L.D." Her most recent nonfiction title is Dark Shadows: Return to Collinwood. She appeared in a cameo role in the Johnny Depp/Tim Burton film, Dark Shadows (2012).

Kathryn grew up on a farm in Robbinsdale, Minnesota. Upon graduation from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Kathryn landed the inge´nue lead in the classic Gothic daytime drama "Dark Shadows" (ABC, 1966-1971), and starred in the 1971 MGM feature, "House of Dark Shadows," playing Maggie Evans and Josette du Pres. Kathryn wrote Dark Shadows Memories to coincide with its 20th anniversary and Dark Shadows Companion as a 25th anniversary tribute.

In 1985, Kathryn launched Pomegranate Press, Ltd. to publish books about the entertainment industry, including guidebooks, biographies, textbooks and coffee table art books.

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