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17-08-2011
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Margaux and Mariel with their father 1987


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1986

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21-08-2011
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03-09-2011
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MARGAUX HEMINGWAY,
Vogue Cover ~ Brazil

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28-09-2011
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02-10-2011
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As I have no scanner, I'm typing out a feature I found in the October 1996 issue of US Vogue... here's the first part, more to follow...

Quote:
A Model Hemingway

Was Margaux Hemingway really destroyed by the limelight or only a little burned? Her sister Mariel and her friends search for the true story.

By Rebecca Johnson

“No Hemingway ever dies a natural death.”
Ernest Hemingway

You can almost discern the arc of her short, unhappy life in her name. Born Margot Byra Hemingway in 1955, grand-daughter of Ernest, she was named after the wife in “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” his unsettling portrait of a withered marriage between a coward and his ruthless wife. Margot Macomber was an “extremely handsome and well-kept woman of the beauty and social position which had, five years before, commanded five thousand dollars as the price of endorsing, with photographs, a beauty product which she had never used.”

Twenty-one years after she was born, Margot Hemingway commanded $1 million for endorsing, with photographs, the perfume Babe, by Faberge. It was an unheard-of amount at a time when models were still more tabula rasa than full-blown characters whose personal lives would one day prove as compelling to the gossip machinery as any other celebrity's, but it was an infelicitous choice of namesake in other ways: Margot Macomber had a face “so perfect that you expected her to be stupid” (you can see why Hemingway got in trouble with the feminists), but she cuckolded her husband on safari and then shot him when she realised he was planning to leave her.

At sixteen, while drinking a bottle of champagne and packing for boarding school, Margot Hemingway changed her name to Margaux. In honour, she would say, of the wine her parents drank the night she was conceived. (Her father never adopted the new spelling.) Fifteen years and many bottles of wine later, after a stint in the Betty Ford Centre for alcoholism, and at a time when her once great beauty had begun to wane, Margaux changed her name back to Margot. “I think,” said her friend Milan, an interior designer who had known her since the late seventies when he planned parties for Studio 54, “the glamour she had created with the x became a burden.”

It was, however, the x (and that last name) that kept her in the public eye so long. So long, in fact, that she eventually became less known for her magazine covers than for her battles with alcohol, weight and depression. When she was found dead last July at 41, in a studio apartment in Santa Monica, her body so bloated it was unrecognisable, in a room where you could hear the ocean but could not see it, she was Margaux with an x once again.

The name, the meteoric career as a fashion model, and the suddenness of her death guaranteed lurid headlines, like the one in the National Enquirer – TRAGIC LAST DAYS OF MARGAUX HEMINGWAY: HOW THE GIRL WHO HAD EVERYTHING LOST IT ALL. Though there was no note, and though the autopsy results would not be released for seven weeks, the reports hinted of suicide, mentioning that she died the day before the thirty-first anniversary of her grandfather's death by his own hand.

But when I spoke with the people who knew her best, her sister Mariel and close friends like Ali MacGraw, Beverly Johnson, and Maryam D'Abo, they were certain her death was accidental. They remembered her not as a victim, but as a sweet, vulnerable and caring friend; a woman who may have been injured by a too early brush with the limelight but was not destroyed by it; someone who struggled, as all of us do, to overcome our disappointments and find meaning in the ordinary events of our lives.

“We, as a society, assign certain moments as the apex of your existence,” Ali MacGraw said about Margaux, “but it's not the truth of your life. Anybody who lives in the fast lane gets knocked hard, but she stayed unspoiled.”

“Margaux had depressed moments, as we all do,” Mariel said, “but she wanted to be well and happy. Nobody struggled harder than she did to make life better for herself.”

“I missed not working and I felt the death loneliness that comes at the end of every day that is wasted in your life.”
Ernest Hemingway

Margaux Hemingway did not plan in becoming a model or an actress or anything else, for that matter. She was an indifferent student who dropped out of high school to bum around the country and find herself. An old boyfriend from her hometown of Ketchum, Idaho, told a reporter about a trip they took around that time (and set an early precedent for men commenting on her weight): “Margaux was probably 40 pounds heavier than she is now, so she was not too happy with herself – she didn't look too foxy... She would walk into a second-hand clothing store and say, 'Hi, I was wondering if you were hiring any salesladies today.' I would say, 'Margaux, what are you doing?' and she would say, 'I don't know what I'm doing. I know I want to do something, but I don't know what it is.'”

After doing some public-relations work for Evel Knievel, she and a friend went to New York, where they stayed at the Plaza hotel because her father had once told her, “To meet interesting people, you have to go to interesting places.” To a nineteen-year-old self-described “little **** in cowboy boots,” 34-year-old Errol Wetson, the founder of a chain of hamburger restaurants, who spied Margaux at the Palm Court restaurant, must have fit that bill. Maybe it was his experience judging beauty contests on Colombia, but Wetson had no trouble recognising the extraordinary beauty of Margaux's high, angular cheekbones (inherited from her half-Shoshone mother), her perfect little nose, and her wide, sensual mouth that had a funny way of turning down, even when she smiled.

Years later, Margaux would call Wetson a “jerk” in print, but even back then, nobody had much good to say about the man she married a year later. “[He] is aesthetically as wrong for Margaux Hemingway as that fellow in The Philadelphia Story, the one who preened himself over Katharine Hepburn when we knew all the time she was predestined to make it up with Cary Grant,” James Brady wrote in Esquire.

“She always preferred guys who weren't that attractive,” Milan explained, “because she thought they'd be more into her.”

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02-10-2011
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^ You're amazing!!
Does anyone know if Andy ever did a portrait of her?

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03-10-2011
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Some more of the story...

Quote:
Wetson did, however, introduce Margaux to Zachary Selig, a socially well-connected Texan. He introduced her to Frances Stein, an editor at Vogue, and Marian McEvoy at Women's Wear Daily. “The whole thing snowballed in the course of a month,” Selig said of those days. “I gave a party for her, Marian wrote a story about her, and that was it. A lot of people did say, 'She's too big' or 'She doesn't shape her eyebrows' or 'She's a country bumpkin,' but the fashion industry at that time was in a very big transition. They were looking for a new, fresh image; She was very natural. She's the one who led to Brooke Shields.”

When Francesco Scavullo saw her at that party, he said, his first thought was My God, she's the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. She's got to lose 100 pounds.

In retrospect, Mariel said: “She did have too much too fast: She was on the cover of Time; she was the highest-paid model for that time; she was the great Western American dream woman.” It happened so quickly, she didn't have time to call home. Mariel found out about her sister's new life by seeing her photo on a magazine cover.

“Everything came so easily in the beginning,” Milan remembered. “She never had to work for it, so she missed out on getting those inner resources. She never had the ambition to be a star.” Or, to be frank, the talent to be an actress, the next phase of her career.

It's hard to imagine what Dino De Laurentiis was thinking when he cast Margaux in the leading role of Lipstick, a film that bombed spectacularly. Or what he thought the first time he heard her speak in that husky, strangely babyish voice that has been compared to Carol Channing's, Jimmy Cagney's, and, most mysteriously, the sound of gravel being poured from a truck. “I heard that Mariel had the same lisp,” a friend said, “but she took lessons to get rid of it.”

“She was just hammered for Lipstick, and it was horrible,” said Mariel, who played Margaux's little sister in the movie. Mariel is still outraged that the movie became, for Margaux, a career-killer. “Big deal. One movie doesn't do well. But with a name like ours, people expect a lot. We're Hemingways, granddaughters of this great and wonderful person, and we're supposed to be flawless. If you're not, then you're a ****-up.

“After that, everyone decided there was a big thing between us,” Mariel continued. “There never was. One of us would say in an interview that we had the usual problems that sisters have. All of a sudden, the story was that we never got along, we never spoke.”

Margaux felt unable to return to modelling, partly because the world expected her to move on. “I think she knew that she wasn't a really good actress,” Mariel said. “Margaux couldn't find what was a right job for her.”

Maryam d'Abo, probably best known as the Bond girl who skied down a mountain on a cello case, became friends with Margaux when they worked together on a small movie in 1991, and said she might have been a good actress if she'd ever had any formal training. But when I asked d'Abo if she thought Margaux was cast for her name, she answered, “Of course; that's how the business works.”

“She didn't really see herself as an actress,” said Linda Livingston, an executive at Broadcast Music Incorporated in LA and the last of her friends to see her alive. What, then, did she see herself as? Livingston sighed. “I guess,” she said, finally, “she was still searching.”

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03-10-2011
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Final part...

Quote:
Someone once asked Ernest Hemingway if he had a happy life. “I have never heard a happy life defined,” he answered, “Personally, I am happy when I work hard and love someone.” After the debacle of Lipstick, Margaux went for love, leaving Wetson for Bernard Foucher, a Venezuelan filmmaker and the man whom friends say she probably loved best.

“Bernard was a bohemian and an artist,” said Milan, “and I think she thought they were going to have a creative marriage, like Jean Paul Goude and Grace Jones, but after he got a taste of the high life, all that bohemian stuff went out the window.” By the time the bill came due, Margaux and Bernard had split and she was deeply in debt. When she filed for bankruptcy in 1991, she listed debts of $815,900 and assets of $6,765.

Her grandfather was famous for never seeking professional help for his demons. “My typewriter is my psychiatrist,” he once said. Even at the end of his life, when his suicidal impulses were obvious to everyone, his wife, Mary, refused to have him committed. She didn't want the bad publicity. Not Margaux. As the New Age dawned in the late eighties, she visited its gurus, healers, psychics, and spas, endlessly looking to heal whatever it was that was broken inside her. Afterward, she tried to turn those liabilities into assets by openly speaking of them in what was then the newly minted media of the confessional talk show. “She used the press as her therapist,” Zachary Selig recalled. “She wanted compassion from the world.”

“By the time Margaux died,” one news reporter wrote, “she had almost nothing at all. She lived alone in a studio apartment – no kids, no lover, only an agent/manager left to offer a lukewarm eulogy on CNN.” But these were the harsh pronouncements of a newspaper reporter on deadline. The people in her life were much more sympathetic.

“Modeling is a business where you really don't make friendships because everyone is in a different place all the time, but Margaux was different,” Beverly Johnson said. “She threw herself into you. When she'd ask, 'How are you?,' she meant it. We both knew it wasn't about us.”

“Los Angeles is not a nurturing place,” said Maryam d'Abo. “You have to be a survivor to be here, and it gets harder after 30. Margaux was warm and trusting; I don't think she was cut out for this town.”

Mariel had her own idea about how she might help revive her sister's career – by casting her in a TV sitcom. “She could be herself,” Mariel explained. “My sister was a big girl, bold and uninhibited. She had that presence. For drama, it was overwhelming. But in comedy, I think she could really have been amazing.”

One thing is certain – none of her friends believed she killed herself. Margaux, they reasoned, always liked to make a big statement. She would have left a note. “If she were going to commit suicide, everyone would have known,” said Mariel. “She would have made a big flipping deal out of it. I don't even mean that as a bad thing, but she let people know. She was not suicidal at all. She was never in a better place in her life. She was physically in great shape and getting herself together mentally. She was only going forward.”

Why, then, and how did she die? The Los Angeles County coroner's office ruled the death a suicide, saying the autopsy revealed levels of phenobarbitol “well above the therapeutic level.” Yet, somehow, those findings did not fully answer the questions. Margaux told friends she took phenobarbitol to control her epilepsy, but the vial found in her apartment contained no doctor's label, and it's hard to believe any doctor would prescribe a habit-forming barbiturate to someone with a well-known history of addictions.

What's more, the Santa Monica police investigator questioned the official death report. “Based on what I saw at the scene, I do not agree with the coroner's conclusion that this was a suicide,” said Detective Sargeant Ray Cooper. Hemingway seemed, he said, to have prepared for bed in the usual way, cleaning up after herself and propping her legs up on a pillow to ease pain from an old skiing injury, and had made doctors' appointments for the coming weeks.

“No matter what the coroner finds,” Stuart Sundlun, her last boyfriend and an investment advisor in New York, said, echoing all her friends, “it's a mystery. We'll never know what happened.” Then he, too, endorsed the “Margaux would have left a note” theory.

The last note she did write was to her friend Linda Livingston, in whose apartment she spent the night two days before she died. It read:

Linda,
Slept. Finally
slept.
Thank you!
I love you feel a bit
better.
Kisses
Margaux [smiley face] MM

The note seemed to sum up Margaux. She was a sweetly naïve optimist, albeit one trapped in a depressive's body. No matter how bad things got, she would always be the kind of woman who closed her letters with a smiley face. Maybe that's why she couldn't bring herself to leave a note explaining what happened last summer in that studio apartment where you could hear the ocean, but could not see it.

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