Edited for content and reading purposes

A Bandstand Diaries Exclusive

My Friend Myrna Horowitz

By: Ed Kelly

Most people remember Myrna as the girl with the brace due to her fight with polio. But she was also an inspiring, resilient, kind, loving, personable individual. A fighter and a trooper, Myrna proved that anyone with a disability could to do whatever they desired.

Myrna Horowitz

I want to  thank Joyce Shafer for personally introducing me to Myrna.  Myrna had many friends, including many of the artists that came on American Bandstand. She was friends with Frankie, Bobby, Fabian and many, many, more.  Well-liked by other dancers and viewers, we were very concerned when she had leg surgery. Before I attended American Bandstand, I remember Dick Clark giving updates on her recovery from leg surgery on air. This went on for a few months.  

Myrna Horowitz

Myrna had other activities besides American Bandstand. She worked at Swan Records for a period of time and became very good friends with Chuck Barris of The Gong Show. Myrna was also President of the Freddie Cannon Fan Club.  I feel this certainly helped Freddie’s popularity. He visited the show quite often. Dick Clark would sometimes include Myrna when Freddie was a guest on the show.

Dick Clark speaking with Myrna Horowitz


I did not visit Myrna  as often as I would have liked because she lived in the far west of Philadelphia while I lived on the north side. However, this had no impact on our friendship.

One of my most exciting moments with Myrna was in 1959, when she asked me to join her and her parents on a mobile trip to visit an aunt living in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. On that trip, a totally unplanned decision was made to go to Dick’s Beechnut Show in New York City.  Well, I don’t have to tell you the rest. As other Regulars have described, all havoc broke loose when we arrived. We ended up against the wall of the Little Theatre signing autographs while flashes of cameras went off. Myrna was definitely the star that day since In I was only starting my stint on American Bandstand. But guess what?  After all that, we never did get into the show. Today, I think we would know what to expect, and what to do. Thank you Myrna for this one time very exciting experience.

I persuaded Myrna (which was not easy) to think about writing for one of the many teen magazines as other Regulars were doing.  Pat Molittieri wrote for “Teen” and Arlene Sullivan for “16”. She took my advice and started writing for “Teen Screen” in 1960. During that time, teen magazines were competing against each other for  greater circulation numbers.

Bunny Gibson, Myrna and Ed Kelly

Much later in life Myrna moved to Palmdale, CA,  not far from Los Angeles and I would make it my business to see her when I could on my visits to Los Angeles.  We would meet in West Hollywood at the “French Market Place” for lunch. As she started getting ill she eventually moved back to Philadelphia to be near her family and friends. Myrna passed at the age of 64 with her eyes closing peacefully.  I am sure she is still making friends up above.

Ed Kelly and Myrna Horowitz

How lucky was I to have shared such joy with  a loving person as Myrna Horowitz. I am sure she is still making friends up above. Rest In Peace my special buddy and friend.  In my heart and loving you always, Eddie