Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Burt Shavitz (1935–2015)

The Burt behind — or at a distance from — Burt’s Bees has died: “Burt Shavitz, Scruffy Face of Burt’s Bees, Dies at 80” (The New York Times).

Elaine and I happened to watch the documentary film Burt’s Buzz (dir. Jody Shapiro, 2013) on Saturday. Its story was strange and sad: the guy whose face has sold who-knows-how-many tubes of lip balm turns out to have been exiled from the company that bears his name. Yet he still made appearances as a real-life brand emblem, when he would have liked nothing better than to stay on his thirty-seven acres. “A good day is when no one shows up and you don’t have to go anywhere,” he tells the camera. Saddest scene: Burt in Taiwan, using Skype to talk to — and then howl with — his beloved dog.

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