Lee Radziwill

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Caroline Lee Bouvier
Princess Lee Radziwiłł
Lee Radziwill in India (cropped).jpg
Radziwill and Krishna Hutheesing 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.
BuriedMost Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery
Noble familyRadziwiłł
(m. 1953; div. 1958)

(m. 1959; div. 1974)

(m. 1988; div. 2001)
IssuePrince Anthony Stanislaw Albert Radziwiłł
Princess Anna Christina Radziwiłł
FatherJohn Vernou Bouvier III
MotherJanet Lee Bouvier
Public relations executive, interior decorator

Caroline Lee Bouvier (/ˈbvi/ BOO-vee-ay), later Canfield, Radziwiłł (Polish pronunciation: [raˈd͡ʑiviw]), and Ross (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, each marriage ending in divorce, 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 stockbroker John Vernou Bouvier III and his wife, socialite Janet Norton Lee.[4][1][a] She attended The Chapin School, in New York City, 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 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 (Avenue Montaigne 49)[13] and Manhattan (160 East 72nd Street)[14] 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.[15][unreliable source?] She was listed as one of the 50 best-dressed people over 50 by The Guardian in March 2013.[16]

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.[17]

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 1975 film Grey Gardens, named after 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.[18]

The original 1972 footage featuring Radziwill visiting with the Beales was released in 2017 as That Summer.[19]


  • Radziwill, Lee (2001). Happy Times. New York: Assouline. p. 168. ISBN 9781614280545.
  • Radziwill, Lee (2015). Lee. Foreword by Peter Beard, introduction by Richard David Story. New York: Assouline. p. 184. ISBN 9781614284697.

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 declared annulled by the Sacred Rota in November 1962.[20]

Her second marriage, on March 19, 1959, was to the Polish aristocrat Prince Stanisław Albrecht Radziwiłł, who divorced his second wife, the former Grace Maria Kolin,[citation needed] 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.)[20] Upon her marriage, she became Her Serene Highness Princess Caroline Lee Radziwiłł. (In the Second Polish Republic the privileges of the nobility were legally abolished by the March Constitution in 1921 and as such not reinstated by any succeeding Polish law). [21][22] They had two children, Anthony (1959–1999) and Christina (b. 1960).[23] Their marriage ended in divorce in 1974.[24]

In 1976, The New York Times reported Peter Tufo was a "frequent escort" of Radziwill.[25]

On September 23, 1988, Radziwill married for a third time, becoming the second wife of American film director and choreographer Herbert Ross.[26] Their divorce was finalized shortly before his death, and she returned to using Radziwill, the transliteration of her children's name, Radziwiłł.

Radziwill died on February 15, 2019, aged 85, in her apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. [27][28][29] Half of her ashes are buried at the Bouvier family plot at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery in East Hampton, New York. The other half of her ashes were scattered on the Amalfi Coast in the Mediterranean Sea, per her wishes.


  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, vol. LXXXII, no. 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. ^ Zilkha, Bettina (2004). Ultimate Style: The Best of the Best Dressed List. p. 160. ISBN 2-84323-513-8.
  13. ^ "Lee Radziwill's Paris Apartment - Scene Therapy".
  14. ^ "Lee Radziwill's Upper East Side apartment sells for $4.25M".
  15. ^ Radziwell, Lee (June 9, 2013). "In Praise of Privacy". The New York Times Style Magazine. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  16. ^ Cartner-Morley, Jess (March 28, 2013). "The 50 best-dressed over 50s". The Guardian. London. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  17. ^ Woodman, Sue (February 9, 2002). "Obituary: Edith Bouvier Beale". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ Weissberg, Jay (March 30, 2018). "Film Review: That Summer". Variety.
  20. ^ a b "Roman Catholics: The Law's Delay". Time. February 28, 1964. Archived from the original on November 2, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2009.
  21. ^ Halberg, Morgan (August 10, 2017). "Lee Radziwill Is Ready to Part With Her Glamorous Paris Home". Observer. Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  22. ^ Locker, Melissa (July 13, 2017). "The Bouvier Sisters: 12 Things You May Not Know About Jackie Kennedy and Lee Radziwill". Southern Living. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  23. ^ Haslam, Nicky (February 7, 2013). "The Real Lee Radziwill". The New York Times T magazine. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  24. ^ "For Princess Lee Radziwill, It's the End of a Marriage". People. July 29, 1974. Archived from the original on February 10, 2011.
  25. ^ "Notes on people: Alexandra Creel married Goelet Museum President". The New York Times. September 11, 1976. p. 12. Retrieved October 12, 2019. Mr. Tufo, a lawyer, is chairman of the city's Board of Corrections and a frequent escort of Lee Radziwill.
  26. ^ "Lee Bouvier Radziwill Weds Herbert Ross, Film Director". The New York Times. September 24, 1988. Retrieved June 21, 2007.
  27. ^ Codinha, Alessandra (February 16, 2019). "Lee Radziwill Is Dead at 85". Vogue. Condé Nast. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  28. ^ Rathe, Adam (February 16, 2019). "Lee Radziwill Has Died". Town & Country. Hearst Communications. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  29. ^ "Lee Radziwill Dies at 85". Yahoo! Finance. Oath, Inc. February 16, 2019. Retrieved February 28, 2019.


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