Lee Radziwill

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Lee Radziwill
Lee Radziwill in India.jpg
Lee Radziwill (left) and Krishna Hutheesing in India, 1962
Born Caroline Lee Bouvier
(1933-03-03) March 3, 1933 (age 84)
Southampton, New York, U.S.
Other names Caroline Bouvier
Caroline Canfield
Caroline Radziwill
Caroline Ross
Occupation Actress, public relations executive, interior decorator
Spouse(s) Michael Temple Canfield
(m. 1953; annulled 1959)

Stanisław Albrecht Radziwiłł
(m. 1959; div. 1974)

Herbert Ross
(m. 1988; div. 2001)
Children Anthony Stanislas Albert Radziwill
Anna Christina Radziwill
Parent(s) John Vernou Bouvier III
Janet Norton Lee
Relatives Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (Lee Bouvier) (sister)
Janet Jennings Auchincloss (half-sister)

Caroline Lee Radziwill (née Bouvier; born March 3, 1933) is an American socialite, public relations executive, interior decorator, and former actress. She is the younger sister of the late First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and sister-in-law of President John F. Kennedy. Her niece Caroline Bouvier Kennedy is named after her. She was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1996.[1][2]

Early life and ancestry[edit]

Caroline Lee Bouvier was born in Southampton, New York to stockbroker John Vernou Bouvier III and socialite Janet Norton Lee.[3]

Marriages and children[edit]

Radziwill has been married three times. Her first marriage, in April 1953, was to Michael Temple Canfield, a publishing executive who had been adopted as an infant by the American publisher Cass Canfield. Canfield's biological mother was the American socialite Kiki Preston. It was rumored that his biological father was Prince George, Duke of Kent, a member of the British Royal Family; if so, then Canfield would be a first cousin of the present Queen. Caroline and Canfield divorced in 1959, and the marriage was annulled by the Roman Catholic Church in November 1962.[4]

Her second marriage, on March 19, 1959, was to the Polish former prince Stanisław Albrecht Radziwiłł, who divorced his second wife, the former Grace Maria Kolin,[5] and received a Roman Catholic annulment of his first marriage to marry the former Mrs. Canfield (his second marriage had never been acknowledged by the Roman Catholic Church, so no annulment was necessary).[4] Their marriage ended in divorce in 1974.[6] They had two children, Anthony and Christina "Tina".[7]

On September 23, 1988, Radziwill became the second wife of American film director and choreographer Herbert Ross.[8] They divorced in 2001, shortly before his death. She reverted to the use of her second husband's surname.

Career and fame[edit]

In the 1960s, Radziwill attempted to forge a career as an actress. Her acting attempt was unsuccessful if highly publicized. She received dismal reviews in the 1967 production of The Philadelphia Story, starring as spoiled Main Line heiress Tracy Lord. The play was staged at the Ivanhoe Theatre in Chicago, and Radziwill's performance was widely panned. A year later, she appeared in a television adaptation of the Hollywood film Laura, which was also badly received.[9] Radziwill discontinued her acting work.

She visited India and Pakistan along with her elder sister Jacqueline Kennedy (then First Lady of the United States) in March 1962.

A London townhouse and a manor Turville Grange in Turville that she shared with her second husband, both of which had been decorated by Italian stage designer Renzo Mongiardino, were greatly admired and frequently photographed by Cecil Beaton and Horst P. Horst. She herself worked briefly as an interior decorator in a style much influenced by her association with Mongiardino. Her clientele were the wealthy; she once decorated a house "for people who would not be there more than three days a year".[10] She frequented celebrity company, including travelling with the Rolling Stones during The Rolling Stones American Tour 1972,[11] during which she was accompanied by Truman Capote.

For some years, Radziwill was a public relations executive for Giorgio Armani, the Italian fashion designer.[citation needed]

She received the Légion d'honneur from the French government in 2008.[citation needed]

Her Paris and Manhattan apartments were featured in the April 2009 issue of Elle Décor magazine. She was listed as one of the fifty best-dressed over 50s by the Guardian in March 2013.[12]

She was interviewed by producer Sofia Coppola for a June 2013 blog article about Coppola's film The Bling Ring and about the loss of privacy.[13]

References within popular culture[edit]

In 1973, Radziwill hired documentary filmmakers Albert and David Maysles to work on a film about the Bouvier family. At the outset, the brothers filmed two eccentric and reclusive members of the extended family: Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale ("Big Edie") and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale ("Little Edie"), who were Radziwill's aunt and cousin respectively. The Beales lived in a rambling, decaying home in East Hampton, New York, and were supported by other members of the family. Radziwill's original film project was not completed, and Radziwill kept the footage that had been shot of the Beales. But the Maysles brothers were fascinated by the strange life the two women led, and after raising funds for film and equipment on their own they returned and filmed 70 more hours of footage with Big Edie and Little Edie. The resulting film was released in 1976, and titled Grey Gardens after the name of the Beales' home. Grey Gardens is widely considered a masterpiece of the documentary genre. It was later turned into a 2006 musical of the same name in which the characters of Lee and Jackie Bouvier appear as visiting children in retrospect. An HBO television movie based upon the Grey Gardens story appeared in 2009 and featured both Radziwill and her sister Jackie as children and as adults who later assisted their aunt and cousin to refurbish their dilapidated, condemned home.



  1. ^ VF Staff (1996). "World's Best Dressed Women". The International Hall of Fame: Women. Vanity Fair. Retrieved February 15, 2012. 
  2. ^ Ultimate Style: The Best of the Best Dressed List. 2004. p. 160. ISBN 2 84323 513 8. 
  3. ^ "Janet Lee Auchincloss Morris, 81". Janet Lee Auchincloss Morris, a leading member of society in Newport, Rhode Island, and Washington, D.C., and the mother of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis 
  4. ^ a b "Roman Catholics: The Law's Delay". New York Cit: Time-Life. February 28, 1964. Retrieved September 4, 2009. 
  5. ^ Lundy, Darryl, ed. "Grace Maria Kolin". ThePeerage.com, September 28, 2010
  6. ^ "For Princess Lee Radziwill, It's the End of a Marriage" "People", July 29, 1974
  7. ^ http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/07/the-real-lee-radziwill/?_r=0
  8. ^ "Lee Bouvier Radziwill Weds Herbert Ross, Film Director". New York Times. September 24, 1988. Retrieved June 21, 2007. Lee Bouvier Radziwill and Herbert Ross were married yesterday evening at the bride's home in New York by Justice E. Leo Milonas of the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court, First Department. After the ceremony, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the sister of the bride, gave a dinner party for the couple at her home in New York. Rudolf Nureyev, the dancer and director of the Paris Opera Ballet, and John Taras, the associate director of American Ballet Theatre, attended the couple. 
  9. ^ Clarke, Gerald. Capote: A Biography (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988), pages 388–389.
  10. ^ New York Magazine, "The Decorating Establishment" February 12, 1979.
  11. ^ Keys, Bobby. Every Night's a Saturday Night (Counterpoint, 2012) page 159
  12. ^ Cartner-Morley, Jess; Mirren, Helen; Huffington, Arianna; Amos, Valerie (March 28, 2013). "The 50 best-dressed over 50s". The Guardian. London. 
  13. ^ Radziwell, Lee (June 9, 2013). "In Praise of Privacy". The New York Times Style Magazine. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 


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