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Cary Winscott 1970-2008

Cary Winscott, "Forever" (Daniel Johnston)

Cary Winscott, a popular Houston actor and musician, passed away from skin cancer Tuesday at Ben Taub Hospital, his longtime friend Jason Nodler, former director of Infernal Bridegroom Productions said Friday afternoon. Winscott, 38, originated the role of the Pro-Tester in IBP's first production, 1993's Nodler-penned In the Under Thunderloo, as well as its 2002 revival. He was in "virtually all" of IBP's productions, Nodler says, including originating roles in Suzan-Lori Parks' Fucking A and Brian Jucha's We Have Some Planes.

Winscott also starred in the now-defunct punk-rock theater company's musical productions, including its acclaimed 2006 Daniel Johnston rock opera Speeding Motorcycle (Winscott was one of three leads playing Joe the Boxer); he also appeared as Starmaker in A Soap Opera, a similar production based on the Kinks album of the same name. Winscott was part of the Speeding Motorcycle company that performed at Austin's Zach Scott Theater earlier this year, as well as Tamarie Cooper's Tamalalia show (he was a regular in that cast as well), but after that his health took a turn for the worse, Nodler says.

Cary Andrew Winscott was born April Fools' Day 1970 in Kansas City and moved to Houston at a young age. "We met as freshmen at HSPVA," Nodler remembers.

Winscott later studied at DePaul University and was also a member of several Houston bands, including Horseshoe, Pork Belly Picnic and "sloppy supergroup" Blood Fart, who caused a stir for several months with a Monday residency at Catal Huyuk. He followed the Grateful Dead for four years, Nodler says, and also loved Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson and the Flaming Lips.

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"More than anybody I know, he was a fan and collector of music," Nodler says.

Winscott is survived by his mother and stepfather, father, brother and girlfriend of two-plus years, Lindsey Hardin. His memorial service is 2 p.m. tomorrow at Pat H. Foley Funeral Home, 1200 W. 34th St. A reception follows at 4 p.m. at DiverseWorks, 1117 East Fwy.

Nodler encourages the public to attend the DiverseWorks reception and to bring instruments and play all night. The original Houston production of Speeding Motorcycle will be screened (for the first time in public), as will A Soap Opera. "Cary loved music more than anything other than his friends and Lindsey," he says. "Most of all, he loved to hear his friends play. It is the best way we can imagine to celebrate his life."

"We'll at least go to curfew if we can get away with it," Nodler adds. - Chris Gray

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