Sally Hawkins and Bill Schiffer were husband and wife for 37 years. For 25 years she directed the gallery in SOHO, which was her concept. Those who had the pleasure of meeting her know how much she will be missed. Sally loved interacting with all the wonderful people she met over the years. Unfortunately, Sally passed away on July 4, 2005 ending her year and a half long battle with brain cancer. She was 64 years old.
In her youth Sally was a championship swimmer garnering such headlines as "Sally Hawkins Takes Three Firsts" in the Pennsylvania newspapers. She performed in the last Billy Rose Aquacade as a water ballerina and attended Marjory Webster College for Women in Washington, DC. In the early 60's Sally moved to Greenwich Village. She studied acting with Sanford Meisner and they became lifelong friends. She was in the first graduating class of the American Musical and Dramatic Theater Academy. Sally worked at the Bitter End and was friends with such luminaries as Bill Cosby, who was her roommate, Bobby Dylan, Shell Silverstein who dubbed her "The Holly Go Lightly of the Village," Louise Lasser, and many, many, many more. Sally performed on television variety shows, off Broadway, and in cabarets, commercials and industrials.
In 1972 Sally joined with Bill to bring forth his work in the form of wearable art. They were groundbreakers in this area with permanent counters in Bloomingdales and Saks Fifth Avenue.
After moving to SOHO is 1976 Sally decided she wanted a presence in her new community and so opened the gallery. She touched many a soul during her 25 years directing the Sally Hawkins Gallery. She was the inspiration for most of Bill's art including the mural he placed on the exterior of the gallery that became a SOHO landmark. Due to her determination, Bill's art and the gallery became known throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Bill says she was the most beautiful and amazing person he has ever known. Her talents were endless. "I will cherish her love forever."
She is missed dearly by all who knew her but her strength, talents, wit, warmth and zest for life will live forever.