Jane Julianelli, The New York Times, Jan. 8, 1995
HE had a sparkle in his eye, Francie Norkin said, and then she related how she met her husband, Sam, at Chester’s, in 1967, when Mr. Norkin, a caricaturist, was drawing publicity sketches for that resort in the Catskills.
“I was wearing a bathing suit at the time,” Mrs. Norkin recalled. “And as we were talking Sam said there was some publicity that had to be done for Chester’s, and would I mind posing? And I said, not at all. And as I’m posing in this lovely bathing suit, I see the pad is lifting higher and higher so that I can’t see it. When I saw it, I was posing nude.”
Using that sparkle in his eye Sam Norkin has drawn 4,000 caricatures in 54 years for The New York Herald Tribune, The Daily News, Backstage, Variety, Stages and other publications. Perhaps the only other theatrical caricaturist who has been as prolific is Al Hirshfeld, whose work has appeared in The New York Times since the 30’s.
Mr. Norkin has two studios, in his house in Quogue and in Manhattan. His new book, “Sam Norkin: Drawings, Stories” (Heinemann), includes caricatures and “pertinent nuggets of information” about theater, opera, ballet and movies.
“Sam Norkin’s book includes accounts of shows that never came back, of shows whose names were changed (‘Away We Go!’ became Oklahoma!), of directors who changed their names (Paparofsky became Papp), of the leaky fountain at the Vivian Beaumont Theater and other Lincoln Center tales.”The New York Times