For years many of us were pleased to welcome talk show host Dick Cavett into our living rooms — and now he’s welcoming us into his grand summer home, along with Lee Cowan:
Amid the pounding surf, Dick Cavett pointed out nearby Cavett’s Cove.
Cowan asked, “I read at some point that clothing was optional in Cavett’s Cove, on the beach?”
“Oh, you could wear it, if you wanted to,” Cavett replied.
There are lots of endearing stories like that, that happened at this endearing place: Dick Cavett’s ocean-front getaway in Montauk, Long Island.
“It’s just, people fall in love with it,” Cavett said. “Watch, you’ll ask if you can come back.”
The house is historic — it was one of seven beach cottages designed back in the 1880s by flamboyant architect Stanford White.
Cavett and his late wife, actress Carrie Nye, bought the house in 1966, just before his TV star went super-nova.
His talk show was often the talk of TV, and many of the celebrities Cavett hosted on stage he also hosted out at that beach house, including Woody Allen, Lauren Bacall, and even playwright Tennessee Williams.
“Tennessee said, ‘Dick, it’s the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen in the North!'” Cavett laughed.
But on one tragic night in 1997, a fire destroyed it all, leaving only the brick chimney as a grim sentinel.
“You can’t imagine your house being gone,” Cavett said. “Every cell, I think, in your body probably, if they could be seen magnified, moves at that moment.”
“Because you lost everything, right?”
Cavett and Nye set about to rebuild it — but only had their memory and pictures to go by (“forensic architecture,” they called it). Out of the ashes came an exact replica of Stanford White’s historic home. “I think Stan would have said, ‘Hey Dick, you done good!'”
He did good in his career, too. Cavett…