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Tell Me About Elsa Maxwell

I'm mad to know more about her, she seemed so camp.

by Anonymousreply 42March 25, 2023 5:16 AM

Very fat. A eunuch.

She liked to use homosexual men to ornament her parties.

Mentioned in one Cole Porter song.

by Anonymousreply 1March 24, 2023 9:34 AM

Elsa Maxwell's long term partner was Dorothy Fellowes-Gordon who I believe is related to Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey fame.

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by Anonymousreply 2March 24, 2023 10:28 AM

"Mentioned in one Cole Porter song."

That would be " I Went To Marvelous Party".

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by Anonymousreply 3March 24, 2023 10:31 AM

Elise made an entrance with May!

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by Anonymousreply 4March 24, 2023 10:34 AM

Not even "handsome woman" covers it. Certainly forget jolie laide as well.

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by Anonymousreply 5March 24, 2023 10:46 AM

The hostess with the mostess' on the ball.

by Anonymousreply 6March 24, 2023 7:42 PM

1959 portrait suggests a bit of Marie Dressler and a bit of William Frawley.

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by Anonymousreply 7March 24, 2023 7:49 PM

She has a prominent part in this enjoyable 1940 film on Youtube.

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by Anonymousreply 8March 24, 2023 8:20 PM

Also a frequent third wheel of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor

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by Anonymousreply 9March 24, 2023 8:28 PM

She makes Wallis look like Sophia Loren

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by Anonymousreply 10March 24, 2023 8:33 PM

"And entertain them she did, providing their bored souls with the notion – or maybe the illusion – that their world was full of interesting and amusing people (themselves) having a marvelous time. Among the accomplishments attributed to her:

· Introduction of the scavenger hunt as a party game. · Introduction of the treasure hunt as a party game. · Come-as-you-are parties, with the invitations arriving at the oddest hours, causing guests to come in their underwear or nighties, or men with shaving cream smeared on their face. · Come-as-your-opposite parties. (Fanny Brice showed up as Tosca, George Gershwin as Groucho Marx, and a socialite as Elsa herself.) · A party where pink pigs walked down the aisle. · A “hate party” where guests came as the people they most despised. (Elsa came as King Farouk, who had sued her for defamation of character.) · A murder party where a model posed as a victim and the other guests screamed and panicked, until the ruse was revealed. · A circus ball in 1935 with acrobats and elephants. · Introducing Maria Callas to Aristotle Onassis. · Introducing Rita Hayworth to Ali Khan. · A newspaper gossip column that reached millions. · A radio program entitled 'Elsa Maxwell’s Party Line.'"

by Anonymousreply 11March 24, 2023 9:52 PM

Does the "April In Paris" ball still happen?

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by Anonymousreply 12March 24, 2023 9:57 PM

MM seems to have been the most famous attendee of those April in Paris balls...

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by Anonymousreply 13March 24, 2023 9:59 PM

The sexual tension is palpable

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by Anonymousreply 14March 24, 2023 10:01 PM

Gérard Philipe! Great actor and one fine looking man.

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by Anonymousreply 15March 24, 2023 10:01 PM

Her autobiography is entitled "I Married The World"

by Anonymousreply 16March 24, 2023 10:03 PM

She claimed she had no need for alcohol or sex, saying once that "the world is my husband." But wasn't she a big ole lez?

by Anonymousreply 17March 24, 2023 10:05 PM

Elsa Maxwell had a thing for young Maria Callas who wasn't at all interested. Love letters written by Ms. Maxwell to Callas are still out there and the two remained close friends. Maria Callas kept up the acquaintance despite Maxwell being besotted with her in great name of PR.

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by Anonymousreply 18March 24, 2023 10:10 PM


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by Anonymousreply 19March 24, 2023 10:10 PM

Fugly dyke bitch …..was ruthless to Judy until signed with Warner Brothers to do A Star is Born. Jack Warner paid her to arrange parties for him-so Elsa was on the payroll . She started rhapsodizing about her for a while .

The Windsor’s loathed her . They called her an “oaken barrel in the well of loneliness “ which was pretty funny…

by Anonymousreply 20March 24, 2023 10:15 PM

R20 Thank you for telling me that about the Windsors, because she seems to wind up in a lot of photos with them, and I thought it odd because they seemed cooler than that. That quote is great.

by Anonymousreply 21March 24, 2023 10:19 PM

[quote] The Windsor’s loathed her.

Well. Lots of English people loathed them

by Anonymousreply 22March 24, 2023 10:19 PM

Was she the Bride of Frankenstein actress?

by Anonymousreply 23March 24, 2023 10:26 PM

Nevermind I googled

by Anonymousreply 24March 24, 2023 10:28 PM

[quote] Was she the Bride of Frankenstein actress?

R23 At least we can see and evaluate Elsa Lanchester's talent for ourselves.

Whereas no one here was alive during Elsa Maxwell's life. The only information we have about her is second-hand from people who were party guests and relied on her money for ephemeral fun.

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by Anonymousreply 25March 24, 2023 10:32 PM

Duke and Duchess of Windsor went anywhere other people were picking up the tab. This and or at least tried to keep up with Le Train Bleu, Palm Beach, Fifth Avenue set.

Despite her unfortunate looks and background Elsa Maxwell's parties were the thing back in day.

Both American and European society was rather closed back then, but they happily allowed themselves to mix with certain persons who proved some use to them (think Truman Capote). Regardless of what people may have thought about Elsa Maxwell in private her parties were legendary and of course everyone who was anyone went or wanted to go.

Post WWII into 1950's Duke and Duchess of Windsor kept up with café society because otherwise few would know or even care about either of them. Attending Ms. Maxwell's parties and other society events got their names in print and pictures on paper. Other than parties, balls, house parties and other social events by 1950's onwards private lives of Duke and Duchess of Windsor by most accounts was like something out of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?".

by Anonymousreply 26March 24, 2023 10:33 PM

R26 People were saying back in 1920 that Edward was a BIG disappointment.

by Anonymousreply 27March 24, 2023 10:44 PM

The Windsors and Elsa Maxwell operated primarily in international cafe society so their paths crossed . Sort of a frenemy scenario that at times turned into open hostility.

by Anonymousreply 28March 24, 2023 10:49 PM

Edward was the Just Harry of his day. A petulant man-child who shirked his duties and lived a life of empty hedonism, with a bitchy social climbing gold-digging American divorcee.

by Anonymousreply 29March 24, 2023 10:50 PM

There was a symbiotic relationship between Maxwell and all her drunken freeloaders.

by Anonymousreply 30March 24, 2023 10:50 PM

Where did Maxwell get that money?

Did The Beatles write that song about her?

by Anonymousreply 31March 24, 2023 10:51 PM

Mr. Wally Wallace a popular hairdresser in Hollywood was a fan.

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by Anonymousreply 32March 25, 2023 4:15 AM

Wally Wallace kept up with some good company.

What? A picture of Henry Fonda sold for less than Elsa Maxwell?

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by Anonymousreply 33March 25, 2023 4:17 AM


At her death Elsa Maxwell left an estate of about $10k, she wasn't wealthy at all.

Ms. Maxwell lived for years rent free at the Waldorf Astoria. They gave her an apartment in lieu of all the parties and good press she brought to the place.

In fact not unlike many PR persons then, since and today much of Ms. Maxwell's lifestyle was funded by not exactly grifting per se; but people paid for her to stay at their hotels, eat at their restaurants, travel on their ships or trains, etc.. in lieu of the good PR and press she brought along.

As noted in this thread several times Elsa Maxwell's parties were legendary. They were bound to attract international social circle of highest levels, which in turn brought tons of publicity.

by Anonymousreply 34March 25, 2023 4:27 AM

Ms. Maxwell apparently requested her remains be cremated and scattered over Adriatic sea. That didn't happen and after a private funeral remains were interred at Ferncliff

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by Anonymousreply 35March 25, 2023 4:34 AM

One of the better write-ups about Elsa Maxwell

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by Anonymousreply 36March 25, 2023 4:35 AM

Some party-givers are praised as great hostesses but others just attract freeloaders.

Lady Ottoline Morrell was praised for her salons.

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by Anonymousreply 37March 25, 2023 4:38 AM

As if her own personal life weren't complicated enough, Lady Ottoline Morrell befriended and supported Siegfried Sassoon; now his is a story worth telling.

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by Anonymousreply 38March 25, 2023 4:44 AM

Always wondered if Florence Bates wasn't channeling a bit of Elsa Maxwell as Mrs. Van Hopper in 1940 film "Rebecca".

Elsa Maxwell's PR skills helped put Monte Carlo on the map far as "Le Train Bleu" crowd were concerned. Way Mrs. Van Hopper (like Elsa Maxwell an American) refers to "Monte" coupled with her obvious social climbing nature does make one wonder.

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by Anonymousreply 39March 25, 2023 4:49 AM

Florence Bates and Elsa Maxwell; they could have been sisters!

by Anonymousreply 40March 25, 2023 5:05 AM

Yes but Florence Bates was a far more accomplished woman even before she set foot in Hollywood.

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by Anonymousreply 41March 25, 2023 5:11 AM

Sam Staggs book about her is good and gossipy.

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by Anonymousreply 42March 25, 2023 5:16 AM
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