David Gest lived a life in the spotlight with showbiz pals, a Hollywood marriage and a thriving reality TV career. Born in Los Angele...
David Gest obituary: from the Upper East Side to the Ouse, the showbiz star who settled in York
Born in Los Angeles in 1953, David spent most of his professional life as a producer in America, before being beamed into British living rooms on shows including Celebrity Big Brother and I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!
Sometimes described as an “oddball”, he was a friend to the stars and counted king of pop Michael Jackson and his brothers among his childhood best friends, before he went on to marry acting royalty Liza Minnelli.
David’s appearance often hit the headlines, and he said having cosmetic surgery was his “biggest regret”.
In recent years, he lived thousands of miles away from the razzle dazzle of LA, choosing to settle in York and enjoy the simple life.
He told the Yorkshire Post in 2014: “It’s my home and the most beautiful place in the world. You look at the Minster, the cobblestone streets, the history with the Vikings and the River Ouse running through.
“It also has the York Hog Roast. People come by and see me eating there and I tell them I’m having my turkey and my Yorkshire pudding, my stuffing, my crackling, my vegetables and my gravy and I’m loving every minute of it.”
Despite his starry credentials, he prided himself on being a man of the people.
He told the newspaper: “I don’t look at celebrity the way others look at it. I’m down to earth. People come up to me in the streets in York and I talk with everybody.
“I don’t believe there’s really a difference between any of us. We all pull down our pants to go to the bathroom.”
He married Judy Garland’s daughter Liza in 2002 and their star-studded wedding and glitzy reception brought Hollywood to New York.