the party of the century

Don Carlos de Beistegui y de Yturbe (1895 – 17 January 1970), was an eccentric multi-millionaire art collector and interior decorator and one of the most flamboyant characters of mid-20th century European life. His ball at the Palazzo Labia in Venice in 1951, an event so extravagant it was criticised by the Vatican, is still described as “the party of the century”. He was often referred to as “The Count of Monte Cristo”

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In the early 1930s, he had a penthouse built on the Champs-Élysées, designed by Le Corbusier. It included an electronically operated hedge that parted to reveal a view of the Arc de Triomphe, and a roof terrace designed by Salvador Dalí.

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In 1948, Beistegui acquired the Palazzo Labia, just off the Grand Canal in Venice, and began an intensive restoration. He purchased frescoes by Raphael, Annibale Carracci, and Guido Reni. These works of art, coupled with tapestries and antiques, restored the palazzo to its former splendour. So avid a collector was Don Carlos that his taste became known as “le goût Beistegui” (the Beistegui style). It was said that, in order to avoid the clatter of dishwashing at parties, he frequently ordered his soiled gold tableware thrown into the canal at the end of each course. (The ugly gossip was that he had laid a stout fish net on the canal bottom beforehand.)

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On 3 September 1951 Beistegui held a masked costume ball. It was one of the largest and most lavish social events of the 20th century. The invitations went out six months beforehand. The guest list included the Aga Khan III, Barbara Hutton, Gene Tierney, Orson Welles, Gala Dalí and many others. 

image of guests at the ball found here

Christian Dior and Salvador Dalí designed each other’s costumes. Winston Churchill and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were invited but did not attend. Many who would have liked to have been invited were not. The host wore scarlet robes and a long curling wig, and his normal height (5 ft. 6 in.) was raised a full 16 inches by platform soles. Cecil Beaton’s photographs of the ball display an almost surreal society, reminiscent of the Venetian life immediately before the fall of the republic at the end of the 18th century. The “party of the century” launched the career of Pierre Cardin, who designed about 30 of the costumes. Nina Ricci was another designer who was involved.

Pierre Cardin shoes found here

Champagne, lobsters, ballets, minuets, rumbas, sambas, Charlestons and a troupe of acrobats diverted the guests in the palace until dawn. In the courtyard, lordly Don Carlos had provided a special party for the common folk, including soft drinks, which they paid for, a free Punch & Judy show, and a contest to see who could climb to the top of a greased pole.

 

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Despite this colossal extravagance and the enormously high-profile guest list he was able to attract, Beistegui did not generally warm to people, nor they to him. He remained personally aloof and shadowy, and was often accused of treating his friends and mistresses very poorly. He never married, and although he was said to have had many mistresses, his sexuality was the subject of speculation. A certain duchess was said to have been his illegitimate daughter….

not this duchess

the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree

In a graveyard in Bramfield, England, lies the body of one Bridgett Applewhaite. Her mother died of an apoplectic fit when Bridgett was just 16 and her brother died aged 27 of a debilitating cough and wasting disease. She had married once, been widowed and was about to remarry when she too died of an apoplectic fit at age 44.

Not this Brig(d)itt(e) found here

This is the charming and informative engraving on her headstone

Between the Remains of her brother Edward

and of her husband Arthur

Here lies the body of Bridgett Applewhaite

Once Bridgett Nelson

Not this Bri(d)gitt(e) N(i)elsen found here

After the fatigues of a Married Life

Borne by her with Incredible Patience

for Four Years and three Quarters, bating three weeks;

And after the Enjoiment of the Glorious

Freedom,

Of an easy and Unblemish’t widowhood,

Merry Widow found here

For four years and upwards

She Resolved to run the Risk of a Second Marriage

Bed

But Death forbad the Banns and

having with an Apoplectick Dart

Many more fascinating images to be found here

[The same Instrument, with which he had

Formerly

Dispatcht her Mother]

Toucht the most vital part of the Brain;

She must have fallen Directly to the Ground

[as one Thunder-strook]

Thunderstorm found here

If she had not been Catch’t and Supported

by her Intended Husband.

Of which invisible Bruise,

After a struggle for above Sixty Hours

With that grand enemy to Life,

(But the certain and Merciful Friend to Helpless Old Age)

In Terrible Convulsions Plaintive Groans, or

Stupefying Sleep

Without recovery of her Speech, or Senses

She dyed on the 12th day Sepr in ye year of our

Lord 1737

Of her own age 44.

  

Mike, Steve, Greg – all dead at 44

Published in: on August 30, 2011 at 8:05 am  Comments (48)  
Tags: , , , , ,

mars bar sandwiches

Colin Tennant, Lord Glenconner, celebrated his 60th birthday in grand style. He chartered a 440 foot four masted sailing vessel and had 130 of his nearest and dearest installed in its 75 state rooms for a week long cruise from Santa Lucia to Martinique and Mustique.

Lord Glenconner found here

The guests were hermetically sealed in the elegant confines of the vessel, where they swam in the pool, gambled in the casino, worked out in the gym, drank at the bar, danced in the disco and watched a selection of 58 pornographic videos. 

image found here

On the night of the party, wearing a gold crown and a rope of pearls, Lord Glenconner was dressed in white magnificence, his robes encrusted in gold embroidery. Handsome, almost nude black males, with their private parts encased in coconut shells painted gold, lined the pink carpeted walkway to the house.

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There were princesses galore at the party, Princess Margaret, two of the Lowenstein princesses and Princess Tina who provided cabaret entertainment. She performed gymnastic gyrations while she balanced full glasses of champagne on her head and pelvic area. A heavily wined English lady sat in the reflecting pool in front of the pleasure palace and pulled up her skirts to the refreshing waters. “My god, look at her – she’s showing her bush!” another lady cried out.

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After Margaret’s marriage to Lord Snowdon on 6 May 1960, the couple honeymooned in the Caribbean; Glenconner made them a wedding present of 10 acres of land on Mustique. She went out twice a year, in February and late autumn, presiding over a social set which sometimes lurched into loucheness, with characters such as the East End-criminal-turned-actor John Bindon. However, Glenconner denied that Bindon had produced his prodigious manhood for royal eyes; the flashing was done to one of her ladies-in-waiting, who merely commented, “I’ve seen bigger

John Bindon found here

Early in the 1980s, Tennant paid around £200,000 for Jalousie Plantation, 488 acres of virgin rainforest in St Lucia. He sold half the land to a holiday resort developer, while he, next door, opened a restaurant he called Bang Between the Pitons because potential clients always had to ask where it was and were told: “It’s bang between the Pitons [two volcanic peaks].” He had a seaside shack with one bedroom containing a solid silver four-poster bed. One commentator wrote that Bang Between the Pitons was the only place in the world where you could find Princess Margaret and a member of Led Zeppelin eating bananas and Mars Bar sandwiches.

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In a last wilful act, committed just before he left his adopted home of St Lucia to return to Scotland for a brief visit, the beady old reprobate cut his family out of his will — and left everything to his faithful manservant, Kent Adonai. As one mesmerised critic noted: “Lord Glenconner was the Basil Fawlty of the aristocracy.”

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smoked salmon and a black basque

Keith Waterhouse was a British novelist, playwright and newspaper columnist who was the youngest son of a cleaner and an alcoholic door-to-door vegetable salesman.

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In 1994 one of his secretaries, referred to in his columns as his “flame-haired factotum”, gave an interview in which she claimed: “At 1pm he would expect smoked salmon sandwiches and a bottle of champagne, and I had to put on my black basque, suspenders and strippergram gear.” Her claim for unfair dismissal was settled out of court.

image found here

He was also the writer of this wry little piece

And God said unto Noah, Make thee an ark of gopher wood. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee.

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And Noah said, Sign here, and leavest Thou a deposit.

And the Lord signed there, and left He a deposit.

And Noah was 600 years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.

And the Lord said unto Noah, Where is the ark, which I commanded thee to build?

And Noah said unto the Lord, I have had three carpenters off ill. The gopher wood supplier hath let me down – yea, even though the gopher wood hath been on order for nigh upon 12 months. The damp-course specialist hath not turned up. What can I do, O Lord ?

One of these Carpenters is unwell

And God said unto Noah, I want that ark finished after seven days and seven nights.

And Noah said, It will be so.

And it was not so.

And the Lord said unto Noah, What seemeth to be the trouble this time?

And Noah said unto the Lord, Mine sub-contractor hath gone bankrupt. The pitch which Thou commandest me to put on the outside and on the inside of the ark hath not arrived, and the plumber hath gone on strike.

Noah rent his garments and said, The glazier departeth on holiday to Majorcayea, even though I offerest him double time. Shem, my son, who helpeth me on the ark side of the business hath formed a pop group with his brothers Ham and Japheth. Lord, I am undone.

Book a holiday in Majorca here

And God said in his wrath, Noah, do not thou mucketh Me about. How can I destroy this earth if thou art incapable of completing the job that thou was contracted to do?

And Noah said, Lo, the contract will be fulfilled.

And Lo, it was not fulfilled.

And Noah said unto the Lord, The gopher wood is definitely in the warehouse. Verily, and the gopher wood supplier waiteth only upon his servant to find the invoices before he delivereth the gopher wood unto me.

And the Lord grew angry and said, Scrubbeth thou round the gopher wood. What about the animals? Where for example, are the giraffes?

baby giraffe found here

And Noah said unto the Lord, They are expected today

And the Lord said unto Noah, How about the unicorns?

And Noah wrung his hands and wept, saying, Lord, Lord, they are a discontinued line. Thou canst not get unicorns for love nor money.

image found here

And God said, Come thou, Noah, I have left with thee a deposit, and thou hast signed a contract. Where are the monkeys, and the bears, and the hippopotami, and the elephants, and the zebras, two of each kind?

image found here

And Noah said unto the Lord, They have been delivered unto the wrong address, but should arriveth on Friday

And God said unto Noah, Thou hast not made an ark of gopher wood, nor hast thou lined it with pitch within and with-out; and of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort hast thou failed to bring into the ark. What sayest thou, Noah?

And Noah kissed the Earth and said, Lord, Lord, thou knowest in thy wisdom what it is like with delivery dates.

And the Lord in his wisdom said, Noah, my son, I knowest. Why else dost thou think I have caused a flood to descend upon the Earth?

Melbourne Flood 1972 found here

unlike women, pictures can’t talk back

Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen- Bornemisza De Kaszon, who died in 2002, was one of the richest men in Europe (his fortune had been estimated at more than $5.4 billion) and the owner of one of the world’s great art collections.

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During his lifetime, the baron was considered a prime kidnapping target. All his houses were equipped with closed circuit surveillance, bodyguards and dogs. The author Dominick Dunne was acquainted with one of these guards whom he described as a cross between Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood. He packed two weapons beneath his suit, a pistol in a holster and what appeared to be a sawed off machine gun tucked into the back of his trousers.

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”Heini” Thyssen inherited from his father, Heinrich, a collection of 400 old masters, to which he added another 200 as well as 900 modern works. By 1986, the collection had overwhelmed the Villa Favorita. Thyssen was concerned that the bulk of it should be kept together after his death and had secured an agreement with his children to that effect.

Villa Favorita found here

He then asked the Swiss authorities to fund an enlargement of his museum, but they offered less than $3 million. Piqued, Thyssen embarked on a search for a new site outside Switzerland which would be worthy of his patronage. Both Prince Charles and Mrs Thatcher flew to Switzerland to put in a bid for Britain; President Mitterrand lobbied for France; the Getty Foundation offered millions of dollars for the United States; and the Swiss Government tried to block the paintings’ export.

image found here

But in 1993 the pressure of the bedroom decided matters in favour of the birthplace of the baron’s fifth wife, Carmen ”Tita” Cervera, a former Miss Spain 22 years his junior and widow of Tarzan of the Apes actor Lex Barker. She negotiated successfully with the Spanish government who donated the Villahermosa palace in Madrid, near the Prado, to house it.

Carmen and Lex found here

Thyssen collected beautiful women rather as he collected homes and works of art – though he once observed that ”unlike women, the pictures can’t talk back”, and, as one newspaper put it, old mistresses tended to be more troublesome to him than old masters. He married first, in 1946, Princess Theresa de Lippe, by whom he had a son, Georg Heinrich.

In 1953 Thyssen began an affair with 17 year old Nina Dyer, an English model, to whom he gave a Caribbean island, two sports cars with gold-plated ignition keys, a black panther and a fortune in jewellery. He divorced Theresa and married Nina in 1954.

Nina Dyer found here

But it soon transpired that Nina loved an impoverished French actor. ”It sounds silly,” Thyssen once remarked, ”but I hate to divorce. It’s a most disagreeable operation.” Nevertheless, he swiftly divested himself of Nina who moved on to marry Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan. Indifferent to gender when it came to love partners, Nina also dallied with a selection of ladies, who called her Oliver and vied with her husbands to shower her with jewels.

Nina Dyer’s black pearls found here

Heini’s third wife was another English model, Fiona Campbell-Walter, whom he married in 1956. She gave him two children, Lorne and Francesca. But Thyssen divorced Fiona in 1964 and took as his next wife Denise Shorto, a Brazilian banker’s daughter, who was to remain with him for 17 years and bear him another son, Alexander. Denise was known to have had an affair with the baron’s art dealer, Franco Rappetti, described as a playboy, gambler and drug user, who shared women with powerful men. In 1978, 38 year old Rappetti fell or was thrown to his death from the Meurice in New York.

Denise Shorto found here

Heini’s fourth divorce was his most acrimonious. In 1981 Thyssen met his fifth wife, Carmen ”Tita” Cervera, while holidaying on the Costa Smeralda in Sardinia, but marriage had to wait until 1985, when the legal battle with Denise was settled. Relations between ”Baron Heini” and his older children were aggravated by this marriage to Tita, whom Francesca described as ”the wicked stepmother”.

Carmen was an amateur painter with flamboyant tastes in interior design. The couple became an almost permanent feature of the pages of Hola!, the Spanish progenitor of Hello! magazine. Thyssen adopted as his fifth child Carmen’s son Borja, whose natural father she never publicly named……

Carmen and Borja found here

the sistrums are tinkling

The following is an extract from a synopsis of Carmen, thoughtfully provided some years ago by the Paris Opera for the benefit of its English and American patrons:

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Carmen is a cigar-makeress from a tabago factory who loves with Don Jose of the mounting guard. Carmen takes a flower from her corsets and lances it to Don Jose (Duet: ‘Talk me of my mother’). There is a noise inside the tabago factory and the revolting cigar-makeress bursts into the stage. Carmen is arrested and Don Jose is ordered to mounting guard her but Carmen subduces him and he lets her escape.

Don Jose found here

ACT 2. The Tavern. Carmen, Frasquita, Mercedes, Zuniga, Morales. Carmen’s aria (‘the sistrums are tinkling’). Enter Escamillio, a balls-fighter. Enter two smugglers (Duet: ‘We have in mind a business’) but Carmen refuses to penetrate because Don Jose has liberated from prison. He just now arrives (Aria: ‘Slop, here who comes!’) but hear are the bugles singing his retreat. Don Jose will leave and draws his sword. Called by carmen shrieks the two smugglers interfere with her but Don Jose is bound to dessert, he will follow into them (final chorus: ‘Opening sky wandering life’)…

one of the 10 most expensive desserts in the world found here

ACT4, a place in Seville. Procession of balls-fighters, the roaring of the balls heard in the arena. Escamillio enters. (Aria and chorus: ‘Toreador, toreador, All hail the balls of a Toreador’.) Enter Don Jose (ARIA: I do not threaten, I besooch you‘.) but Carmen repels himwants to join with Escamillio now chaired by the crowd. Don Jose stabs her (Aria: ‘Oh rupture, rupture, you may arrest me, I did kill der’) he sings ‘Oh my beautiful Carmen, my subductive Carmen…’

Deep fried bull’s balls found here

how does one lose four husbands?

Enid Kenmare lost four husbands, all by death

“She was a member of the Australian Lindeman wine family, and she thought nothing of walking through Mayfair with a cheetah or flying to Kenya on safari by private aeroplane in the 1930s.

Lindeman’s vineyard found here

Enid, a celebrated beauty, married four times, the first time in 1913 to a New York shipbroker when she was 21. Two of her husbands were fabulously wealthy and left her fortunes. Three of them had titles. All died before her and two died less than a year after marrying her.

Her second husband was Brigadier General Frederick Cavendish, better known as Caviar Cavendish. Enid is reputed to have slept with every officer in his regiment for a dare.  

caviar found here

In 1933 she married the very rich Lord Furness, known as Duke, short for Marmaduke. He had a private railroad car, two yachts and an airplane. They were each other’s third spouse. Lord Furness was himself no stranger to homicidal rumour and controversy. His first wife, Daisy, had died aboard his yacht while on a pleasure cruise and he had buried her at sea.

Marmaduke found here

Enid’s last marriage, to Valentine, the sixth Earl of Kenmare, took place in 1943. He was an enormously fat man, 225 pounds, who once accidentally sat on a dog and killed it. Previously he had been married to Doris Castlerosse who died of an overdose of sleeping pills and alcohol. When Kenmare also died less than a year after his marriage to Enid, his inheritance was to pass to his niece. But Enid, in one of her boldest ventures, claimed to be pregnant, although she was approaching fifty. She was thus able to hold on to the income from the ancestral lands for an additional thirteen months. 

Valentine found here

Her great friend, writer Somerset Maugham, dubbed her Lady Killmore. 

The beauty of the much married and much widowed Enid Kenmare was so renowned that it was said people stood on chairs in the lobby of the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo just to catch a glimpse of her as she passed through.

Lobby of the Hotel de Paris found here

She was also a constant and successful gambler who frequented casinos nightly. “She had fantastic posture, wore cabochon emeralds and dressed in diaphanous gowns” remembered one of her friends. She seemed to inhabit another sphere.”

Enid’s “other sphere” was dope. “She was a legally registered heroin addict” recalled a gentleman in New York whilst another gentleman in London said “Opium was her drug of choice.”

Opium smokers found here

“I don’t think Enid killed anybody” said a friend of her son Rory, “but she may have given them drugs and helped them along.”

a man’s life

Extracted from The Digest of Hygiene’s “A Man’s Life” by Joseph M Lee

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“Masturbation is a habit that must be practiced alone and may lead to depression and a deep dissatisfaction with oneself. Married men have been known to masturbate. If you do so, even in your married state, you should try to work out some solution with your wife.

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If young men have an idea that they would like to marry a girl who has not cheapened herself, we suggest that you consider leaving a few of them around. While we are on the subject of people who come to a marriage with a “past”, confession may be good for the soul, but it might be a good idea to do your confessing to your doctor or your minister or to the diary you are going to burn before you get married, instead of to your fiancee. 

image found here

If your wife knows nothing of the matters of sex, you must act as a sort of instructor. Explain the function of the marriage ritual as delicately as possible. Explain how she may have an orgasm, and why. Even if it is possible to have coitus on your wedding night, it is possible that it may not be wholly satisfactory. Remember – be a man – not an animal.

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Inability of the man to withstand the stimulation of friction until the wife reaches her climax is one of the main causes for failure and chagrin for many couples. Massaging several times daily with desensitizing cream – to be prescribed only by a physician – will have a calming effect on the male organ. Though there will be erection during the massage, it is not masturbation, but conditioning. 

image found here

Remember, most women, even if strongly sexed, do not experience an orgasm every time. About three successes out of four contacts is considered normal. Inadequate erection or short duration of sexual contact will cause failure of a woman’s response, but the husband can caress the genital area to supplement intercourse and the wife can fortify her husband’s erection by rhythmic manual stimulation. This is neither unnecessary nor undignified for her to do so.

Anthony writes a reply about what he knows

The following letter* was written by Anthony Henley, Member of Parliament for Southampton from 1727 to 1734, to his constituents who had protested to him about the Excise Bill:

QE2 leaving Southampton found here

Gentlemen,

I received yours and am surprised by your insolence in troubling me about the Excise. You know, what I very well know, that I bought you.

Know What I Mean? found here

And I know, what perhaps you think I don’t know, you are now selling yourselves to Somebody Else; and I know, what you do not know, that I am buying another borough. May God’s curse light upon you all: may your houses be as open and common to all Excise Officers as your wives and daughters were to me, when I stood for your scoundrell corporation.

Magnificent Scoundrel found here

Yours, etc.,

Anthony Henley

(In the previous year, on 31 March, the Weekly Register had noted:

Lady Betty Berkeley, daughter of the Earl of that name, being almost fifteen has thought it time to be married, and ran away last week with Mr Henley, a man noted for his impudence and immorality but a good estate and a beau.)

* originally found in Christmas Crackers by John Julius Norwich

These Luxury Christmas Crackers are priced at £600 ($1000)

Miss Bang Bang

Ann Woodward was born in Kansas but was smart and talented enough to get a job in radio in New York

She won the odd title of “Most Beautiful Woman in Radio” and in 1942, her beauty caught the eye of William Woodward Sr. 

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At some point in 1942, William Woodward Sr. passed the 27-year-old Ann on to his son, five years her junior. It was love at first sight and very quickly the two were wed.

While her son’s marriage started off happy, Elsie Woodward, the socialite who ran the most exclusive parlor of the New York 400, saw her new daughter-in-law as a gold digger who latched on to her son merely to get her hands on his $10 million fortune.

Billy’s sisters also froze off Ann. Even though she had been famous in her own right — her work on radio had gained the notice of The New York Times — she was too gaudy and flashy for their tastes. She once made the unforgivable faux pas of wearing red shoes with a blue dress and was seen smoking in public long before such behavior was tolerated in their circles.

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The friction Ann felt in high society contributed to the problems at home. Both had roving eyes that created fireworks. Billy’s rumored bisexuality only made things worse.

Billy and Ann had one of those relationships that was too fractious to keep together and too strong to break apart. They sparred openly in public over many things, not the least of which were her affairs with the likes of the Aga Khan and Franchot Tone and his with any number of debutantes.

Franchot Tone found here

In between fights there was obviously affection, as the couple soon had two children, William III (nicknamed Woody) and Jimmy, born in 1944 and 1947.

At a swank party for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Billy and Ann Woodward were noticeably agitated, guests would recall later, talking incessantly about the recent spate of burglaries in their upscale Oyster Bay, Long Island neighborhood.

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No one at the party remembers Ann or Billy squabbling that night, although many guests do recall the event had been particularly boozy.

By the time the couple returned home, it was 1 a.m. and 11-year-old Woody and 7-year-old Jimmy were fast asleep in their beds. Ann and Billy bade each other good night and retired to their own rooms. Behind locked doors, Billy slept with a revolver nearby while Ann was armed with a double-barreled shotgun.

shotgun found here

Two hours later Ann awoke to find her dog, Sloppy, barking at her open door. Ann told authorities she saw a “shadowy figure” near Billy’s room, backlit against the pale moonlight streaming in from a hallway window. She reached for the 12-gauge shotgun and pulled the trigger.

“Almost immediately,” Ann testified later, “I realized it was my husband. I ran and fell on the floor beside him.” Ann pulled herself away long enough to call for help. She summoned an ambulance, police and, in a move that some would use to damn her, an attorney.

image found here

In the face of widespread press coverage, the district attorney convened a grand jury to investigate the shooting. Shortly after she buried her husband, Ann Woodward appeared before the grand jury and told her account of events.

The jurors took just 30 minutes to deliberate and find that Ann had acted without malice and that the shooting was unintentional. She was completely exonerated in the eyes of the law.

Over petit fours and champagne, the grande dames whispered that Ann had once been a prostitute. She had been previously married and had killed Billy when he discovered that her first marriage had never been legally ended. Unfortunately for Ann, the rumors gained a measure of truth when it came out that her father was not the “late Col. Crowell,” as was listed in the Woodwards’ wedding announcement, but was, in fact, alive and well and estranged from his daughter (he erroneously thought the actress Eve Arden was actually his child).

image found here

The Woodward boys were whisked off to European boarding schools shortly after their father’s death. They had slept through the shooting and could offer no helpful information to investigators. The move would have profound ramifications in later years, as neither boy was ever given a satisfactory explanation by mother or grandmother about the events leading to their father’s death.

Jimmy Woodward managed to make it through Switzerland’s exclusive Le Rosey school (its alumni included Prince Rainier of Monaco, the Shah of Iran and the King of Belgium) and volunteered for service in Vietnam so he could serve with a friend who had been drafted. When his friend was killed, Jimmy turned to drugs and drink. 

Prince Rainier found here

Jimmy became paranoid and convinced that people were spying on him through his television set. He attempted suicide by jumping out the window of a friend’s apartment and succeeded in breaking his arms and legs. It was while Jimmy was convalescing that he started seeing notorious prostitute Xaviera Hollander, author of the book “The Happy Hooker.” Hollander included several stories about Jimmy in her second book, “Xaviera, Her Continuing Adventures,” in a chapter called “Jimmy, Don’t Jump Again.”

image found here

In time, the stories about Ann Woodward reached author Truman Capote, who ingratiated himself with Elsie’s circle and began collecting anecdotes and gossip. The idea for a novel based on real-life characters – began forming in Capote’s mind and Ann Woodward was at the center.

Capote never let the facts get in the way of a good story and wasn’t above using his skill as a storyteller to get back at those who had slighted him. When he and Ann quarreled at a debutante ball and Ann, her tongue loosened by drink, called him a “little faggot,” Truman responded by dubbing her “Miss Bang Bang.”

Capote found here

At the request of a friend who edited Ladies Home Journal, Truman penned a wicked story about a woman of loose morals known as “Madame Marmalade” by the boys of the French Riviera for a “trick she did using her tongue and jam.” The story proved too racy and too controversial for Ladies Home Journal and Capote looked elsewhere for a market.

image found here

In September 1975, Ann received a shocking telephone call from a friend in the publishing business. Capote had sold his story to Esquire magazine. “In a few weeks, everyone would be talking about the thinly disguised Capote story in which someone very like Ann Woodward turns out to be a bigamist and the former girlfriend of a gangster who traps her rich society husband into marrying her by becoming pregnant.”

Ann became increasingly forlorn and depressed. As she prepared for bed, she made up her face with makeup, lipstick, eye shadow and mascara. Then Ann Woodward lay down on her side on her bed, took a single cyanide capsule, and died.

Jimmy never recovered from his mother’s death. The cocaine and heroin, guilt and remorse took its toll on him and less than a year after Ann Woodward died, Jimmy did jump again. This time he was successful in ending his life.

Woody married in 1985 and lived overseas in a life of comfort. But in 1996, his wife filed for divorce. The divorce and separation from his child took its toll on Woody who suffered from bipolar disorder and in 1999, after revising his will to leave his $35 million estate entirely to his daughter, the 54-year-old Woodward followed in the steps of his mother and brother, and leapt out the window of his Manhattan co-op.

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