Renowned desert dancer dies

Renowned desert dancer diesWe mourn the Jan. 30 death of Marta Becket, 92, famed proprietor and star of the Amargosa Opera House. Becket, who had a lot of friends in Ridgecrest, is shown at the opera house in 2003 with another deeply mourned desert treasure — Dr. Jean Bennett, who was Becket’s friend and benefactor for many years. After purchasing buildings at Death Valley Junction in 1967, Becket made her debut in the opera house in 1968, when the Junction population was two — herself and her husband. So she painted herself an audience (and you can see two members of that audience in the photo). Real audiences weren’t long in arriving to experience her ethereal songs and dances that perfectly captured her spirit. She typically created two shows a year, and starred in all of them until old age forced her to quit in 2012. She was also an accomplished painter with nonstop creativity in everything she did. -- Photo by Liz Babcock

Story First Published: 2017-02-10