NEW YORK, March 21 (UPI) -- Bobby Short, the singer-pianist whose elegant style epitomized Manhattan sophistication, died Monday at New York Presbyterian Hospital at the age of 80.
The cause of his death was leukemia, according to Short's publicist, Virginia Wicks. She said Short had gone to the hospital last week for treatment of diverticulitis, and only received the diagnosis of leukemia Thursday.
Short called himself a saloon singer, but he plied his trade for more than three decades in formal wear at the Cafe Carlyle on Manhattan's Upper East Side. According to the New York Times, Short said he would no longer appear for his annual six-month engagement at the club after his 2004 stand -- but changed his mind and appeared for the club's 50th anniversary in 2005.
He was such an emblem of the romanticized version of New York that Woody Allen used him in such feature films as "Hannah and Her Sisters" and "Manhattan Murder Mystery." He also appeared on such TV series as "The Love Boat," "Frazier" and "7th Heaven."
Short used his popularity to promote the music of such black musical theater contributors as Duke Ellington, Eubie Blake and Fats Waller. He was a leading interpreter of the music of Cole Porter; and one of his best-selling albums was "Bobby Short Loves Cole Porter."
Wicks said that, in accordance with Short's wishes, no funeral service would be held.