msnbc.com
updated 12/12/2003 2:03:16 PM ET 2003-12-12T19:03:16

The New York Times admitted Friday that a dame of dance and theater was alive and well, a day after prematurely polishing off the 94-year-old actress, a heroine from the original production of “Oklahoma.”

In a correction, the so-called “Gray Lady” said it had based its account of the passing of Katharine Sergava on an account in the Daily Telegraph of London that ran on Nov. 29, but had neglected to attribute the British paper as the source of the obituary or independently confirm that Sergava had died.

The Times said it had subsequently learned that Sergava, who has lived in Manhattan for many years, is currently hospitalized in a nursing home.

The New York Post gloated over its rival’s error in a news story headlined “Dead wrong.”

The Post said many of Sergava’s acting students from HB Studio, where she taught classes until a few months ago, rushed to her Greenwich Village home to mourn after reading the bogus story.

“All of her students are going crazy right now,” it quoted Stephen Long, a doorman at her building, as saying.

The Post said the Times obituary was written by freelance dance writer Jack Anderson, who told the cross-town rival that he was “embarrassed” by the incident.

“My bio about Katharine was accurate,” he said. “What (makes the obituary) not accurate is that she is presumably still alive in a nursing home on Riverside Drive.”

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