THE FINAL CURTAIN

Michael suffered a heart attack on June 1st. He was incredibly well cared for by very capable and compassionate caregivers at Mercy Medical Center and at Windsor Redding Care Center, where he lived. Michael was treated with “Humankindness” at every turn – and his family will be forever grateful. With personal friends over the years that ranged from best friends for over 50 years to celebrities such as Johnny Mathis, Rock Hudson, the Sinatra’s, Bob Crew and many more – some of Michael’s new best friends for the past two years have been the staff and residents at Windsor, especially the “Hole in the Wall Gang.”

On June 12th, 2014 on a full moon, Michael sang his last note in peace and clarity, with his brother by his side.

Listen carefully, you might still hear it...


Michael was preceded in death by his mother, Theresa (Teddy) Gluck, and his father, Hyman Gluck. He is survived by his brother, Jeffrey Jon Gluck and his wife, Pam, of Redding, California; his niece, Geneva Foster Gluck of Tucson, Arizona; and by so many good friends that were like family to him. 

As you know, Michael loved good food and good company! Friends are encouraged to celebrate Michael’s life by sharing memories of him with family and friends over a favorite meal and to add stories and photos to this memorial site.

 

MICHAEL AND JEFFREY

“Michael wanted a Tiger, but settled for me when Teddy returned from the hospital.  He was more than seven years older than me and our paths didn’t cross very often in childhood.  But when they did, it was memorable.  Like the time Michael took me to see my first movie – a 3-D version of the House of Wax – I had nightmares for six months. Or when we saw “My Fair Lady,” and I yelled out “they’re real people” – expecting a movie. It wasn’t until Junior High that I knew that all shows weren’t musicals.  I clearly remember seeing Michael perform at swanky clubs in NYC. That was really “cool”!

Years passed, changes happened. I became a sculptor and a designer/builder, while Michael began renovating houses. He helped me with my sculpture career, and I helped him with his projects. Sometimes we camped out on site for months while the work was done.  And, of course, going out for dinner night after night.

Teddy passed away in 2003 – which created a huge void in his life.

Fast forward until Michael’s health began to fail. Long trips for me to be able to help him, until finally it was time for Michael to move to where my wife and I live in northern California.  For more than two years, we were able to continue the tradition of going out for lunch or dinner to our “new favorite restaurant.” We talked on the phone once or twice a day every day, and caught a movie, listened to music, or just reminisced. 

Michael went from living by himself all alone to being surrounded by people: new friends and caretakers at Windsor Redding Care Center (where he lived), and with his family – Pam (his “favorite Sister-in-Law”), Helen (Pam’s Mom, a.k.a. “Doris” as Michael affectionately called her since she reminded him of Doris Day), and with me.”

One of the highlights for Michael was when our daughter Geneva, and her boyfriend, Sean, came to visit from Tucson. He adored his niece, and we all shared fond memories and stories for hours on end…

Pam and I loved having Michael nearby. I know that Michael really appreciated what we were doing.  He always thanked me, and I him.  His greetings ranged from “dear,” or “darling,” to “sweet pea,” which carried a warmth and affection that only Michael could convey.

I love you more…”

 

 

MICHAEL AND TEDDY

Michael was very dedicated to Teddy’s well-being.  After our father passed away, Michael moved Teddy to Los Angeles to be near to him. Then on to the Palm Springs’ area when Michael decided to locate there. He provided her with a beautiful place to live right on a golf course. This was great for Jeff and Teddy who played golf together on every visit. Teddy even “hit balls” from her wheelchair in her 90’s!  Michael and Teddy were an active part of each other’s lives on a daily basis.  A highlight for Michael and for Teddy was when Michael gained the opportunity to perform for one evening at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert. There he sang a favorite song to her from the bottom of his heart.

INTERIOR DESIGN YEARS

With the advent and spreading popularity of disco, Michael walked away from a dedicated career and turned to another favorite vocation – the world of design. Michael studied space planning, color, texture, and pattern in apprenticeship with world famous designers. Encouraged to go on his own, he launched his business, “Michael Allen Designs” in Los Angeles in the 1980s with stunning renovations. Michael’s good friend Rupert Alan, the international famed publicist, introduced him to a continental society. Design commissions from Princess Grace of Monaco began a succession of celebrity assignments. Soon to follow were a variety of luminaries in the entertainment industry.

Later he moved to the Palm Springs area and formed his firm, “Michael Allen Designs.”

Michael believed the answers were all in nature: color, line form, light, and texture. It is these elements, carefully balanced in harmony, which made his living spaces so remarkable. Caring is the key to Michael Allen’s success. Whether the style was Country French, English, Southwestern, Contemporary, Art Deco, or Eclectic, and whether the project was an estate or a condominium, it was all done with loving care, integrity, honesty, and perfection in every detail.

Michael believed that, “A house itself isn’t important… it’s what you do in it and how you give it life. A house is not a home until it is filled with love.” His home reflected that with photos of dear friends and family abundant in every room.

IN THE SPOTLIGHTS

After leaving home, Michael went to Boston University, made the Dean’s List, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Radio and Television Production.

He returned to New York City and was signed as a recording artist with MGM Records. He also began performing in nightclubs throughout the world. Frequent appearances on, “The Johnny Carson Show,” “The Merv Griffin Show,” and “David Frost” followed. He toured the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and South America, and over a period of 15 years recorded three albums, including “Michael Allen Sings.” (You can listen to his album by visiting the “Audio Gallery” on this website.)

Michael Allen, the entertainer, was wowing audiences worldwide… He toured Fairmont and Hilton clubs across the country. He appeared on Broadway in one of the “New Faces” productions.  Michael played New York nightclubs, such as “Basin Street East” and the “Living Room.” But the highlight of his entertainment career was headlining at the Copacabana.

In 2002, he capped his entertainment career with a spellbinding solo performance at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert. The highlight of the show was when Michael came down in the audience and sang “Mommala” one of Teddy’s favorite songs directly to her. There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd. Teddy had never been prouder of him. Then, Michael brought the house down as a full choir dressed in brilliant red gowns came out and joined him on stage as he sang a rendition of, “Michael Row the Boat Ashore.” And – he did! (The choir was a complete and joyful surprise. He hadn’t even told his closest friends. And, he told them everything!)

His success in the entertainment field was a result of his endless passion and meticulous presentation. He paid attention to every detail of his performance – an asset he would later transfer to his dedication to interior design.

Michael was born to be an entertainer. He first expressed this gift through his love of music and people. He sang his passion directly to the people around him, touching their hearts in a way that only a true entertainer can do. Later in life, Michael extended this tradition of entertaining by being the life of the party, an accomplished story-teller and “the head of the table.” His brother Jeffrey said, “Michael had more friends and life-long ones than anyone I’ve ever known.”

FIRST SHOW BIZ EXPERIENCES

Teddy fully supported Michael’s endeavor to become a popular singer.  Her favorite line was, “I am his manager and producer,” as she truly was.  Teddy made the appointments and got him there on time, along with all of the encouragement he would ever need. Upon graduating High School, Michael had to get a job, so he went out into the business world and became an Arthur Murray Dance Instructor.  His Natural talent and popularity quickly earned him the title of, “Instructor of the Year.”

Michael was a child singer and appeared on. “The Milton Berle Show,” “The Children’s Hour,” and “Star Time Kids.” He was also a junior cantor at Temple Israel in New Rochelle, New York.

BEGINNING OF LIFE: MOTHER’S INFLUENCE

The year 1939 gave birth to Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, and Michael Allen.

Born in New York City, Michael was raised in unusual circumstances. His Mother, Theresa (Teddy) Gluck was a law student who worked as an intern for Eleanor Roosevelt in the White House. As the United Nations was being established, Michael’s mother became active in UNICEF. Teddy was also active with the “Mothers’ March on Polio.” From an early age, Teddy involved Michael in her civic activism and cultivated a keen sense of social justice in her young son.

Michael was born at the beginning of WWII and Jeffrey, his brother, just after it ended (the start of the baby boomers).