Lee Radziwill (left) and Krishna Hutheesing in India, 1962
|Born||Caroline Lee Bouvier
March 3, 1933
Southampton, New York
|Occupation||actress, public relations executive, interior decorator|
|Spouse(s)||Michael Temple Canfield
(m. 1953–1959; annulled)
Stanisław Albrecht Radziwiłł
(m. 1959–1974; divorced)
(m. 1988–2001; divorced)
|Children||Anthony Stanislas Albert Radziwill
Anna Christina Radziwill
|Parents||John Vernou Bouvier III
Janet Norton Lee
|Relatives||Jacqueline Lee Bouvier (sister)
Janet Jennings Auchincloss (half-sister)
Caroline Lee 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.
Early life and ancestry
Born in Southampton, New York, Caroline Lee Bouvier, nicknamed "Lee" after her maternal grandfather James T. Lee, is the daughter of stockbroker John Vernou Bouvier III and socialite Janet Norton Lee.
Marriages and children
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. He was the son of notorious socialite Kiki Preston. It was rumoured 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. They divorced in 1959, and the marriage was annulled by the Roman Catholic Church in November 1962.
Her second marriage, on March 19, 1959, was to the Polish prince Stanisław Albrecht Radziwiłł, who divorced his second wife, the former Grace Maria Kolin, 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). He died in 1976.
In his book Nemesis, author Peter Evans has stated that Radziwill also had a long-standing affair with Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, and was privately bitterly disappointed when he married her elder sister.
Career and fame
In the 1960s, Radziwill attempted to forge a career as an actress. Her acting attempt was unsuccessful, but she did receive international publicity. Largely untrained, Radziwill 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. Radziwill discontinued her acting work.
Radziwill received favorable coverage from the wine-and-cheese press for her personal style in the 1960s and 1970s. The two English homes, a townhouse in London, and a manor house called Turville Grange in Turville, that she shared with her second husband, were decorated by Italian stage designer Renzo Mongiardino and were greatly admired and frequently photographed by Cecil Beaton and Horst P. Horst. She herself worked briefly as an interior decorator, as well, 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". She was seen in celebrity company, such as on the The Rolling Stones American Tour 1972, during which she accompanied Truman Capote.
For some years, Radziwill was a public relations executive for Giorgio Armani, the Italian fashion designer. She is also the author of Happy Times (Assouline, 2003), an autobiographical coffee-table book about her life.
Radziwill's 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.
References within popular culture
In 2006, a musical titled Grey Gardens opened on Broadway. In the musical, the characters of Lee and Jackie Bouvier appear as children visiting their aunt's home to attend the engagement party of their cousin "Little" Edie Beale. The musical centers on the lives of Radziwill's cousin Edith Bouvier Beale and aunt Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale.
Titles and styles
Radziwill was also known by the following names:
- Miss Caroline Lee Bouvier
- Mrs Michael Canfield
- Mrs Caroline Lee Canfield
- Her Serene Highness Princess Stanisław Albrecht Radziwiłł
- Mrs. Herbert Ross
- Lee, Princess Radziwiłł
- VF Staff (1996). "World's Best Dressed Women". The International Hall of Fame: Women. Vanity Fair. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
- Ultimate Style – The Best of the Best Dressed List. 2004. p. 160. ISBN 2 84323 513 8.
- "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"
- "Roman Catholics: The Law's Delay". New York City: Time-Life. February 28, 1964. Retrieved September 4, 2009.
- Lundy, Darryl, ed. "Grace Maria Kolin". ThePeerage.com, September 28, 2010
- "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."
- Clarke, Gerald. Capote: A Biography (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988), pages 388–389.
- New York Magazine, "The Decorating Establishment" February 12, 1979.
- Cartner-Morley, Jess; Mirren, Helen; Huffington, Arianna; Amos, Valerie (March 28, 2013). "The 50 best-dressed over 50s". The Guardian (London).
- Radziwell, Lee (June 9, 2013). "In Praise of Privacy". The New York Times Style Magazine. Retrieved June 10, 2013.