Rosamond Pinchot

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Rosamond Pinchot
Rosamond Pinchot.jpg
Born (1904-10-26)October 26, 1904
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died January 24, 1938(1938-01-24) (aged 33)
Old Brookville, New York, U.S.
Cause of death Asphyxia due to carbon monoxide poisoning
Resting place Milford Cemetery
Nationality American
Other names Rosamond Pinchot Gaston
Occupation Actress, socialite
Spouse(s) William Gaston (m. 1928–1938)
Children 2
Parent(s) Amos Pinchot
Gertrude Minturn Pinchot
Relatives Gifford Pinchot (brother)
Mary Pinchot (half sister)
Antoinette Pinchot (half sister)
Gifford Pinchot (uncle)

Rosamond Pinchot (October 26, 1904 – January 24, 1938) was an American socialite, stage and film actress.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in New York City, Pinchot was the daughter of Amos Pinchot, a wealthy lawyer and a key figure in the Progressive Party and Gertrude Minturn Pinchot, the daughter of shipping magnate Robert Bowne Minturn, Jr.. She had a younger brother, Gifford (nicknamed Long Giff). Her uncle was Pennsylvania Governor Gifford Pinchot and her cousin was Edie Sedgwick.[1][2][3] The family divided their time between their home in New York City and the family estate, Grey Towers, in Milford, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Miss Chapin's School.[4]

Her parents divorced in 1918. After the divorce, Pinchot and her brother lived with their mother in her townhouse in New York City.[5] In 1919, Amos Pinchot married magazine writer Ruth Pickering with whom he would have two more children: Mary Eno and Antoinette "Tony" Pinchot.[6][7]


At the age of nineteen, Pinchot was discovered by Max Reinhardt while traveling on an ocean liner with her mother. Reinhardt cast her as a nun who runs away from a convent in the Broadway production of Karl Vollmoller's The Miracle.[8]

Pinchot's appearance in the play caused a sensation and led to her receiving considerable attention from the press who named her "the loveliest woman in America".[9][10]

Reinhardt later cast her in productions of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Franz Werfel's The Eternal Road. She made her only film appearance in the 1935 adaptation of The Three Musketeers, as Queen Anne.

Personal life[edit]

Pinchot married William "Big Bill" Gaston (who was previously married to Kay Francis), on January 26, 1928. The couple had two children, William Alexander Gaston and James Pinchot Gaston.[11][12] In 1933, Pinchot and Gaston separated. They remained married but were estranged at the time of Pinchot's death.[13]


On the morning of January 24, 1938, a cook found Pinchot's body in the front seat of her car parked in the garage of a rented estate in Old Brookville, New York.[14] Her death was later determined to be caused by asphyxia due to carbon monoxide poisoning and was ruled a suicide.[15] Pinchot left two suicide notes of which the contents were never made public.[16]

Pinchot's funeral was held at her mother's townhouse in New York City on January 26, 1938, her tenth wedding anniversary.[11][16] She was buried in the Pinchot family plot in Milford Cemetery in Milford, Pennsylvania.[17]

Stage credits[edit]

Date Production Role
January 16 – June 1924 The Miracle The Nun
May 31 – June 1926 Henry IV, Part 2 John of Lancaster
November 17 – December 1927 A Midsummer Night's Dream Helena
December 7 – December 1927 Jederman Lady
December 20, 1927 – January 1928 Danton's Tod Marion
October 6 – November 1936 St Helena Countess Bertrand
January 7 – May 15, 1937 The Eternal Road Bath-Sheba


  1. ^ (Gaston 2009, p. 5)
  2. ^ "THE WEDDINGS OF A DAY; Marriage of Miss Gertrude Minturn to Mr. Pinchot. The Ceremony at St. George's Church -- Many Guests Invited -- The Bride's Costume". The New York Times. November 15, 1900. 
  3. ^ (Gaston 2009, p. 61)
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ (Gaston 2009, p. 31)
  6. ^ "Amos Pinchot Married To Magazine Writer". The Gazette Times. August 10, 1919. p. 3. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  7. ^ Bernstein, Adam (November 4, 2011). "Antoinette Pinchot Bradlee, former wife of prominent Washington Post executive editor Benjamin C. Bradlee, dies at 87". Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  8. ^ (Gaston 2009, pp. 7, 12)
  9. ^ Burleigh, Nina (2009). A Very Private Woman: The Life and Unsolved Murder of Presidential Mistress Mary Meyer. Random House, Inc. p. 47. ISBN 0-307-57417-2. 
  10. ^ See, Carolyn (June 6, 2008). "A Complicated Pedigree". Retrieved December 13, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Kear, Lynn; Rossman, John (2006). Kay Francis: A Passionate Life and Career. McFarland. p. 33. ISBN 0-7864-2366-8. 
  12. ^ (Gaston 2009, pp. 43, 49)
  13. ^ "Rosamond Pinchot, Actress, A Suicide". The Montreal Gazette. January 24, 1938. p. 2. Retrieved December 13, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Rosamond Pinchot Takes Own Life". The Daily Times. January 24, 1938. p. 1. Retrieved December 13, 2012. 
  15. ^ "ROSAMOND PINCHOT ENDS LIFE IN GARAGE; Actress of 'The Miracle' Fame Dies of Fumes in Auto at Long Island Home". The New York Times. January 25, 1938. p. 1. 
  16. ^ a b "Pinchot Rites Are Arranged". Prescott Evening Courier. January 25, 1938. p. 8. Retrieved December 13, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Rosamond Pinchot Buried In Family Lot". The Pittsburgh Press. January 26, 1938. p. 2. Retrieved December 13, 2012. 


  • Gaston, Bibi (2009), The Loveliest Woman in America: A Tragic Actress, Her Lost Diaries, and Her Granddaughter's Search for Home, HarperCollins, ISBN 0-06-085771-4

External links[edit]