When Theodor Giesel, better known as Dr. Seuss, died in 1991 of oral cancer, he entrusted his beloved characters like the Cat in the Hat and the Grinch to the one person he had faith in, his wife Audrey.
For the past 26 years, Audrey Giesel looked after her husband’s stories, standing as a promoter and oversaw its adaptations, until she passed away on Dec. 22 at the age of 97.
It cannot be understated how careful Audrey was in guarding the legacy of her late husband, one that has spanned books to films and even a Broadway show. “You keep a firm control as if they really were your children,” Geisel said in 1998. The couple did not have any children together, ironically because Theodor was not fond of them.
Audrey founded Dr. Seuss Enterprises, which oversaw the writer’s literary estate. To this day, more than 10 million Dr. Seuss books are sold each year.
With her permission, Universal Pictures was able to make live-action films of How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) and The Cat in the Hat (2003). The former was box-office and holiday hit, nominated for three Academy Awards and won for Best Makeup.
The latter however was critically panned for its innuendo-based humor, and Audrey disallowed any future live-action adaptation of Dr. Seuss stories. It would be five years before a Seuss character would return to the big screen, only this time through computer-animation.
Audrey served as an executive producer for Horton Hears a Who! (2008), The Lorax (2012), and most recently for The Grinch (2018), overseeing production to make sure that the studios would be faithful to her husband’s works.
Also recently, Dr. Seuss Enterprises struck a deal with Warner Animation Group to develop new animated films of Dr. Seuss’ characters, starting with The Cat in the Hat. It can be assumed that all the films will dedicated to the memory of the beloved couple, who together gave us childhood stories that will last generations.
Story from AP