Cuban author, poet Ofelia Fox dead at 82

Jan. 7, 2006 at 4:38 PM
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BURBANK, Calif., Jan. 7 (UPI) -- The former "first lady" of Havana's legendary Tropicana nightclub, Ofelia Fox, has died in Burbank, Calif., at age 82.

Fox died Monday of cancer and complications of diabetes, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

Fox recalled the lavish lifestyle and celebrities who frequented the showplace owned by her husband, Martin, in the 1950s in "Tropicana Nights, The Life and Times of the Legendary Cuban Nightclub," published last fall.

Nat King Cole and Josephine Baker were among the Tropicana's performers while celebrities Ava Gardner and Tyrone Power and writer Ernest Hemingway frequented the so-called "Paradise Under the Stars," the Times said.

The Times said Fox's skill in English was crucial to her husband's business since he spoke only Spanish.

The couple fled to Miami after Fidel Castro took possession of the club in 1959. After Martin Fox died in the mid-1960s, she moved to Los Angeles with her friend, broadcaster Rosa Sanchez.

Fox published several books of poetry while in Cuba and self-published "Patria en Lagrima (Tears in the Homeland)" during her time in Florida.

Several of her bilingual plays have been staged by the Cuban Cultural Club in Los Angeles.

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