GARY ALLEN COCKRELL 1932–2018

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Gary Allen Cockrell, born in St. Louis, Mis­souri, USA on De­cem­ber 4, 1932 passed away in Or­lando, Florida on Oc­to­ber 26, 2018. He left be­hind his Saint Lu­cian-born wife Marie The­cla Cockrell, presently re­sid­ing in Florida, his chil­dren: Brett Cockrell, re­sid­ing in the UK; Jake Cockrell, a for­mer stu­dent of St. Mary's Col­lege, presently re­sid­ing in Or­lando, Florida; Joey Cockrell and Jade Cockrell for­mer stu­dents of Dame Pear­lette Louisy Pri­mary School, also re­sid­ing in Or­lando, Florida.

At school, Gary was a gym­nast and ath­lete who de­vel­oped his in­ter­est in dance as a teenager af­ter see­ing the film 'The Red Shoes'. Mov­ing to New York to learn dance, he was in the stage pro­duc­tion of Damn Yan­kees and the 1957 Broad­way pro­duc­tion of 'West Side Story', trav­el­ling to Britain with the show the fol­low­ing year. He left 'West Side Story' for a straight act­ing role in 'Or­pheus De­scend­ing'. Gary acted in many fea­ture films and tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tions in­clud­ing The Saint, the Per­suaders, Tarzan the Mag­nif­i­cent, Lolita (he played the role of her hus­band), The Rebel, Cross Trap, The War Lover with Steve McQueen and Robert Wag­ner, Man in The Mid­dle, The Amer­i­can­iza­tion of Emily, The Bed­ford In­ci­dent and many oth­ers.

In 1964 Gary opened a dance stu­dio called The Dance Cen­tre in Covent Gar­den, Lon­don, fol­lowed by a Dance Cen­ter cloth­ing line with many re­tail shops around the world. He later ex­panded the busi­ness which ran for thir­teen years un­til 1977 when he opened a ladies only health spa named The Sanc­tu­ary. Gary re­tired from act­ing and chore­og­ra­phy around this time. Af­ter many years of run­ning the busi­ness he re­tired and moved to Palm Springs, Cal­i­for­nia and later to Saint Lu­cia to be the Artis­tic Di­rec­tor at The BodyHol­i­day, Le Sport Re­sort.

Af­ter his mar­riage to Marie in 1989, the cou­ple moved to Mis­souri where they lived a quiet fam­ily life for 13 years. In 2003 they re­turned to Saint Lu­cia. Gary had a great love for gar­den­ing and lo­cal wine-mak­ing, though he might be best re­mem­bered for his Sun­day morn­ing pan­cake break­fasts which of­ten in­cluded his next-door neigh­bour, Derek Wal­cott. As Gary would say: “An­other day in Par­adise.” May his soul rest in peace.

Gary Cockrell who died last Fri­day.

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