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)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Ronald loves Harry who loves Gaby who just wants a pearl necklace

Ronald Firbank (1886-1926) was already a published author and a fully formed personality by the time he entered Cambridge at the age of nineteen.

Ronald Firbank

“In 1907 he converted to Catholicism, a religion whose ornate rituals, costumes, symbols, and pageantry provided him with a vehicle through which to express his homosexuality obliquely. Firbank visited Rome with the intention of taking holy orders; however, as he later revealed in a letter to Lord Berners, “The Church of Rome wouldn’t have me, and so I mock her.” Accordingly, his fiction is populated with a ribald gallery of homosexual choirboys, lesbian nuns, cross-dressing priests, salacious bishops, flagellants, and self-canonized saints.

image

His last and most explicitly gay work, Concerning the Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli, appeared in 1926, the same year as Firbank’s early death at the age of forty. The book begins with the cardinal baptizing a police puppy named Crack, and ends when the naked cardinal drops dead while pursuing a choirboy named Chicklet around his church.”

image

Gaby Deslys (1881-1920) was a famous French dancer and actress of the early 20th century.

Gaby

“She had many admirers among royalty, most notably Manuel II of Portugal. Deslys became a celebrity following newspaper stories which gossiped about King Manuel’s infatuation with her. Manuel is thought to have given Deslys a pearl necklace worth $70,000 after first meeting her in Paris in July 1909. More gifts soon followed. One was a diamond necklace with black and white pearl drops set in a platinum band. Deslys cultivated a pearl fetish. She collected so many that before she died she said she owned her weight in them.

Gaby

Her American feature film debut was in 1915 with Her Triumph costarring her dancer boyfriend Harry Pilcer. The film is lost but surviving stills show a scene with Deslys and Pilcer and also the intro card with Deslys’s picture in the credits. Deslys made only two more French silent films in 1918 and 1919, both with Harry Pilcer in the cast, before getting the illness that would take her life.


Harry

Her carved and gilded bed, in the form of an enormous swan, was bought at auction by the Universal Studios prop department, and was used in the 1925 film of “The Phantom of the Opera”. In 1950 it was in “Sunset Boulevard” as the bed of Norma Desmond.

According to Beverley Nichols, Gaby spent most of her stage career stalking up and down staircases in the traditional manner. When Ronald Firbank first saw Harry Pilcer dance, he was chasing Gaby up one of her staircases at the time. Firbank was so overwhelmed that he rushed out and bought a huge bunch of orchids which he sent to Pilcer’s dressing room accompanied by an invitation to supper.

“Whether Pilcer ever got the flowers we shall never know; he gave no answer. Whereupon Firbank, with tears streaming down his face, returned to the theatre. Still sobbing, he advanced to the front row and walked slowly along by the side of the orchestra pit, tossing cypripediums and odontoglossums with tragic gestures to the astonished musicians. “

Orchid Mantis found here



Published in: on November 9, 2010 at 7:38 am  Comments (38)  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,