gangsters are romantics too

Phyllis McGuire was one of the famous singing trio, the McGuire Sisters.

image found here

She was also well known for her affair with Sam Giancana, whom she met in Las Vegas in 1960. Giancana, the notorious crime figure who shared one of his mistresses, Judith Exner, with President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Chicago in 1975.

Judith Exner found here

“Phyllis had taken a liking to the gaming tables and had run up a hefty marker. Sam spotted her and liked what he saw, so he asked Moe Dalitz, who ran the Desert Inn, how much she owed. Moe told him “$10,000” to which Sam is alleged to have replied “Eat it”, meaning erase the debt, a gesture not without charm and romantic appeal, especially since Sam followed it up with a suiteful of flowers.

image found here

In 2005, Dominick Dunne visited Phyllis at her extraordinary residence in the swankiest part of Las Vegas.

From the outside, the place looked like a suburban ranch style house, but all resemblance to ranch style living stopped at the front door, which was opened by a man wearing a gun in a holster under his open suit jacket. There is a 44-foot-tall replica of the Eiffel Tower in her living room, as well as 55 Bergère chairs. She has a lake with black swans in it, five gardeners, a putting green, and waterfalls that you can turn on and off. She also possesses one of the world’s great collections of serious jewels and once told me that maybe a few Saudis were better customers of Harry Winston’s than she was.

image found here

Downstairs she has a nightclub with a neon sign. The carpet rolls up and there’s a dance floor in the shape of a piano underneath. There is a beauty salon in the house, next door to a health club with three massage tables and three masseuses on call. 

image found here

Although Phyllis did not mention him in her list of suitors, there has been another romantic involvement since Sam, a larger-than-life character named Mike Davis, the owner of Tiger Oil. “Tiger Mike” was once the chauffeur of Phyllis’s great friend Helen Bonfils, and married Bonfils upon the death of her husband in 1956. Helen Bonfils was reportedly in her late sixties at the time and Davis was in his late twenties. 

Perhaps she has a weakness for chauffeurs. They’ve certainly played a significant part in her life

Singer Phyllis McGuire, 68, performed 40 hours of charity work at the Nathan Adelson Hospice in Las Vegas, and made a donation of $5,000 to the Injured Police Officers Fund. With proof presented to the Las Vegas Justice of the Peace, a misdemeanor criminal charge of obstructing an officer was dismissed.

image found here

The lead singer for the McGuire Sisters did not attend the court hearing. Her lawyer had struck a deal for McGuire, who was arrested on March 24 after she screamed, cursed, hit and head butted a police officer. She was riding in her limo when the vehicle was stopped by police who wanted to speak to the driver. The driver had been seen conferring with an individual, who was under police surveillance……

Published in: on August 8, 2011 at 9:58 pm  Comments (38)  
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38 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. They were a big part of the WW2 entertainment effort for American troops with Bob Hope

    • Carl, why does your name only link to your gravatar and not to your blog any more?

    • The McGuires were a bit young for that. Andrew Sisters, perhaps?

  2. I had several comments but I lost them all when I got creeped out by that smiling cat.

    • Oh but she’s adorable

      • I love the cats. (Note to self: clip Sporran’s claws before next massage)

      • I love the massage kitties.

    • I feel like it’s a feline reenactment of Mo Green (or Mew Green maybe) getting whacked…

  3. The automatic waterfalls are a turn-off for me but three masseurs on call is a different story.

    • It would be heavenly, wouldn’t it? Mitzi, I’m having the same trouble with your link as I am with Carl’s. Why does it go back to your gravatar and not to your blog?

  4. Mary Louise Parker played Phyllis in an HBO movie, “Sugartime”. i don’t know why i know that… damn brain cell random memory generator.

    • the gal from Weeds? I love her

      • Me too. She’s hot … for someone who bears no resemblance to Julie Andrews, that is.

  5. What does the old bat need the nightclub for? I could enjoy an on-call masseuse though …

    • couldn’t we all……

      • And the chauffeur!

  6. Some fame and beauty take people to places and compel them to do and own the things they do.
    Wonder if she was sober when she head-butted the officer.

    • It doesn’t sound like a sober thing to do

  7. I love a good love story…

  8. FYI, ma’am, I’ve noticed that if one logs in under “guest” — the only option for those of us on Blogspot, since your site lately does not support autologin for us for some reason — that damned gravatar thingie persistently “auto-grabs” the website line unless one stomps it out with ferocity. That, and four paws’ worth of long sharp toenails…

    Hope that helps…

  9. I enjoyed every bit of that.

    Including the massage kitties. 🙂


  10. Ostentation, don’t ya just love it?

  11. ‘A lake with black swans on it.’
    There’s posh!

  12. That should be Pat above.

  13. So not only does her gambling debt get erased, she gets flowers out of the deal. If only my sister and I had continued those accordion lessons…

  14. I was also severely distracted by the kitties… and the fantasy of living in such palatial quarters.

  15. Erasing thousands of dollars of gambling debt? Yeah, that’d lure me in.

  16. That was one hell of a big debt to write off over pussy.

    • This is the comment I wish I’d made.

      • Me too

      • Dang that Mr Jimmy, he is good.

  17. Wow proof that wealth does not bring good taste!

  18. “There is a 44-foot-tall replica of the Eiffel Tower in her living room.” Must be a very tall living room. The average ceiling height in the UK is about 8 feet.

    • I guess she has cathedral ceilings. That quote came directly from Dominick Dunne’s article in Vanity Fair. I’ve linked to it above

  19. She was a very high priced call girl. I also wondered about the 44 foot tall Eiffel Tower….

    In my younger days I wanted to meet someone who would forgive me thousands in debt and cover me with jewels, but I guess I didn’t frequent the right sort of places. I suppose I wasn’t really strikingly beautiful enough either. Oh well. I’m kind of fond of my rather pedestrian life at present, in spite of the ticks.

  20. I wonder how much of her wealth came from her singing?

  21. I LOVE the McGuire Sisters!

    That kitty massage picture is a scream.

  22. On call masseuse… that’s my idea of having it made.

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