Lee Radziwill

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Lee Radziwill
Princess Caroline Radziwill
Lee Radziwill in India.jpg
Radziwill with Krishna Hutheesing in India in 1962
BornCaroline Lee Bouvier
(1933-03-03)March 3, 1933
New York City, U.S.
DiedFebruary 15, 2019(2019-02-15) (aged 85)
New York City, U.S.
Noble familyRadziwill
Michael Temple Canfield
(m. 1953; ann. 1962)

Herbert Ross
(m. 1988; div. 2001)
Prince Anthony Stanislaw Albert Radziwill
Princess Anna Christina Radziwill
FatherJohn Vernou Bouvier III
MotherJanet Norton Lee
OccupationActress, public-relations executive, interior decorator

Caroline Lee Radziwill (née Bouvier, formerly Canfield and Ross; Polish pronunciation: [ra'd͡͡ʑivʲiww]; March 3, 1933[1] – February 15, 2019), usually known as Princess Lee Radziwill,[2] was an American socialite, public-relations executive, and interior decorator. She was the younger sister of First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and sister-in-law of President John F. Kennedy. Radziwill was married three times, with the marriage to third husband Herbert Ross ending in divorce shortly before his death in 2001.[3]

Early life and ancestry[edit]

Caroline Lee Bouvier was born at Doctors Hospital in New York City to socialite Janet Norton Lee and stockbroker John Vernou Bouvier III.[4][1][a] She attended Potomac School in Washington, D.C., Miss Porter's School in Farmington, Connecticut, and pursued undergraduate studies at Sarah Lawrence College.[6] In her birth announcement, and from her earliest years, she was known by her middle name "Lee" rather than Caroline.

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 starred in the 1967 production of The Philadelphia Story as the 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 1944 film Laura, which was also badly received.[7]

A London townhouse and a manor, Turville Grange (which she shared with her second husband) that she owned had both been decorated by Italian stage designer Lorenzo Mongiardino; they were greatly admired and frequently photographed by Cecil Beaton and Horst P. Horst. She worked briefly as an interior decorator in a style 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".[8] She frequented celebrity company, including travelling with The Rolling Stones during their 1972 tour of North America,[9] which she attended alongside the writer Truman Capote.[10]

Radziwill was named to the Vanity Fair International Best Dressed Hall of Fame in 1996.[11][12] Her Paris and Manhattan apartments were featured in the April 2009 issue of Elle Décor magazine. She was interviewed by director Sofia Coppola in February 2013 about her life as part of Radziwill's cover story for T: The New York Times Style Magazine as well as about Coppola's film The Bling Ring and the loss of privacy.[13] She was listed as one of the 50 best-dressed over-50s by the The Guardian in March 2013.[14]

Grey Gardens documentary[edit]

In 1972, 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.[15]

Radziwill's original film project was not completed, and Radziwill kept the footage that had been shot of the Beales. However, 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, titled Grey Gardens (1976) after the name of the Beales' home, is widely considered a masterpiece of the documentary genre. It was later adapted as a 2006 musical of the same name, in which the characters Lee and Jackie Bouvier appear as visiting children in retrospect. An HBO television movie based upon the documentary and surrounding story of the Beales' lives, also called Grey Gardens, appeared in 2009.[16]

Personal life and death[edit]

Radziwill was married three times. Her first marriage, in April 1953, was to Michael Temple Canfield, a publishing executive. They divorced in 1958, and the marriage was annulled by the Roman Catholic Church in November 1962.[17] Her second marriage, on March 19, 1959, was to the Polish aristocrat Prince Stanisław Albrecht Radziwill, who divorced his second wife, the former Grace Maria Kolin,[18] and received a Roman Catholic annulment of his first marriage to re-marry (his second marriage had never been acknowledged by the Roman Catholic Church, so no annulment was necessary).[17]

Upon her marriage she became Her Serene Highness Princess Caroline Radziwill.[19][20][21] They had two children, Anthony (1959–1999) and Christina.[22] Their marriage ended in divorce in 1974.[23]

On September 23, 1988, Radziwill married for a third time, becoming the second wife of American film director and choreographer Herbert Ross.[24] Their divorce was finalized shortly before his death, and she returned to using Radziwill, her children's name.

Radziwill died on February 15, 2019, aged 85, in New York City from undisclosed causes.[25][26][27]


  1. ^ Though some sources say she was born in Southampton, the New York Times of 14 March 1933 reported that "A daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. John Vernou Bouvier 3d on March 3 at the Doctors Hospital".[5] New York City is likely correct, as she was born in late winter; Southampton is a summer retreat.


  1. ^ a b "Lee Radziwill, stylish sister of Jackie Kennedy, dies at 85". AP NEWS. February 17, 2019. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  2. ^ "Princess Lee Radziwill Opens Up About Her Sister Jackie Kennedy and JFK". April 27, 2016.
  3. ^ "Obituaries: Herbert Ross". Los Angeles Times. October 10, 2001. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  4. ^ "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
  5. ^ "Daughter to Mrs. J. V. Bouvier 3d" (PDF), The New York Times, New York City, LXXXII (27, 443), p. 21, March 14, 1933
  6. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (February 16, 2019). "Lee Radziwill, Ex-Princess and Sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Dies at 85". The New York Times. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  7. ^ Clarke, Gerald. Capote: A Biography (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988), pages 388–89.
  8. ^ New York Magazine, "The Decorating Establishment" February 12, 1979.
  9. ^ Keys, Bobby. Every Night's a Saturday Night (Counterpoint, 2012) page 159
  10. ^ Barna, Dan. "Lee Radziwill, American Style Icon and Jackie O's Sister, Dies at 85". W Magazine. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  11. ^ VF Staff (1996). "World's Best Dressed Women". Vanity Fair: The International Hall of Fame: Women. Archived from the original on July 12, 2013. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  12. ^ Ultimate Style: The Best of the Best Dressed List. 2004. p. 160. ISBN 2 84323 513 8.
  13. ^ Radziwell, Lee (June 9, 2013). "In Praise of Privacy". The New York Times Style Magazine. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  14. ^ Cartner-Morley, Jess; Mirren, Helen; Huffington, Arianna; Amos, Valerie (March 28, 2013). "The 50 best-dressed over 50s". The Guardian. London.
  15. ^ Woodman, Sue (February 9, 2002). "Obituary: Edith Bouvier Beale". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  16. ^ Rohter, Larry (April 7, 2009). "'Grey Gardens,' Back Story Included, on HBO With Drew Barrymore". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Roman Catholics: The Law's Delay". Time. February 28, 1964. Retrieved September 4, 2009.
  18. ^ Lundy, Darryl, ed. "Grace Maria Kolin". ThePeerage.com, September 28, 2010
  19. ^ "A less known American 'Princess': Lee Radziwill - History of Royal Women". December 3, 2016.
  20. ^ "Lee Radziwill Is Ready to Part With Her Glamorous Paris Home". August 10, 2017.
  21. ^ "The Bouvier Sisters: 12 Things You May Not Know About Jackie Kennedy and Lee Radziwill".
  22. ^ Haslam, Nicky (February 7, 2013). "The Real Lee Radziwill". The New York Times T magazine. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
  23. ^ "For Princess Lee Radziwill, It's the End of a Marriage", People, July 29, 1974
  24. ^ "Lee Bouvier Radziwill Weds Herbert Ross, Film Director". The New York Times. September 24, 1988. Retrieved June 21, 2007.
  25. ^ Codinha, Alessandra (February 16, 2019). "Lee Radziwill Is Dead at 85". Vogue. Condé Nast. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  26. ^ Rathe, Adam (February 16, 2019). "Lee Radziwill Has Died". Town & Country. Hearst Communications. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  27. ^ "Lee Radziwill Dies at 85". Yahoo! Finance. Oath, Inc. February 16, 2019. Retrieved February 28, 2019.


  • Clarke, Gerald (1988). Capote, A Biography (1st ed.). New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-241-12549-6.
  • Dubois, Diana (1995). In Her Sister's Shadow: An Intimate Biography of Lee Radziwill (1st ed.). New York: Little Brown & Co. ISBN 978-0316187534.
  • Evans, Peter (2004). Nemesis: The True Story. Regan Books. ISBN 978-0-06-058053-7 [0-06-058053-4].
  • Magazine Paris Match July 6, 2008 page 16.
  • Radziwill, Lee (2003). Happy Times. New York: Assouline. ISBN 978-1-614-28054-5.

External links[edit]