Long­time Times writer Gre­nier dies at 89

The Washington Times Daily - - METRO -

Cyn­thia Baker Gre­nier, a long­time jour­nal­ist and a for­mer fea­tures writer and editor for The Wash­ing­ton Times, died peace­fully at her home in North­west Wash­ing­ton on Nov. 12. She was 89.

A long­time com­pan­ion and care­taker said Mrs. Gre­nier was serene to the end, sur­rounded by her fa­vorite books and com­ment­ing on classic films while un­der the care of hos­pice at­ten­dants.

Born in 1927 in Med­ford, Mas­sachusetts, Mrs. Gre­nier was the daugh­ter of home­maker Stella Fran­cis Fish Baker and Stan­ley Baker Sr., a Navy vet­eran and nephew of Capt. John “Mad Jack” Per­ci­val, one of the pi­o­neers of the Navy’s global out­reach.

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Rad­cliffe Col­lege in Cam­bridge, Mas­sachusetts, in 1948, she mar­ried Richard Gre­nier, who was study­ing at Har­vard Univer­sity af­ter his grad­u­a­tion from the U.S. Naval Academy and tours of duty in the Pa­cific and the At­lantic. The cou­ple moved to Paris shortly af­ter, and to­gether embarked on decades­long ca­reers “un­cov­er­ing the cul­ture,” as they both liked to say.

As a writer for the Paris Her­ald-Tri­bune in the 1950s and 1960s, Mrs. Gre­nier was among the first Amer­i­can film crit­ics to her­ald the com­ing of the di­rec­tors col­lec­tively known as the “New Wave,” in­clud­ing Francois Truf­faut, Jean-Luc Go­dard and Alain Res­nais. She wrote many ar­ti­cles about di­rec­tors and ac­tors of the pe­riod but by no means only about the French cin­ema. She con­ducted in-depth in­ter­views with Richard Bur­ton and Ing­mar Bergman for Play­boy mag­a­zine.

Her of­ten-acer­bic, witty re­views and fea­tures ap­peared in a wide range of French and English-lan­guage pub­li­ca­tions on both sides of the At­lantic dur­ing years when the “new world” for Amer­i­cans was the old one, cul­tur­ally speak­ing.

The Gre­niers re­turned to the United States in 1980, set­tling first in New York City, then Los Angeles and, a few years later, Wash­ing­ton, D.C., where they both pur­sued their ca­reers and set­tled into writ­ing and edit­ing vo­ca­tions.

A lively pres­ence in Wash­ing­ton press cir­cles, Mrs. Gre­nier worked at The Wash­ing­ton Times as a fea­tures re­porter, editor and colum­nist in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, and con­trib­uted to such out­lets as The Weekly Stan­dard and WND.com.

A life­long and pas­sion­ate reader with broad tastes and in­ter­ests, she founded the Gre­nier Foun­da­tion to pro­mote lit­er­acy while en­cour­ag­ing the “cul­tural crit­i­cism” in which she and her late hus­band spe­cial­ized.

Mrs. Gre­nier is sur­vived by a niece, Mered­ith Baker of Mount Ver­non, Wash­ing­ton; a nephew, Lor­ing Baker of Hol­ly­wood, Florida; and grand- and great-grand neph­ews and nieces.

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