Cynthia McFadden & Katharine Hepburn
Bequests to family, friends, environment, ABC's McFadden . JULY Katharine Hepburn left the bulk of her estate to family members, and gave ABC News correspondent Cynthia McFadden furniture and paintings from. Ms. McFadden was a close friend of the late Katharine Hepburn and Last week she did a "Nightline" interview with Leonardo DiCaprio and. I'm sure someone will link to some rare case where it did happen, but the likelihood Katharine Hepburn was not Cynthia McFadden's birth mother, that is ridiculous. . Kate supposedly met her when she was 19, which could coincide with an.
Others suggest that the contretemps stems from Mr.
The Kate I Knew
McFadden in the book. And, indeed, there are moments in Kate Remembered when Mr. Berg seems to be bending over backward to show there was no rivalry between him and Ms. He also chronicles Ms. After the wedding, during which Ms. Berg asks Hepburn why she married Smith, whom she largely ignored, she says: McFadden have since divorced. When we reached Ms. But she denied that her salvos at Kate Remembered had anything to do with Ms.
I think all of Ms.
- Kate Dismembered
- Cynthia McFadden & Katharine Hepburn
- Diary reveals feisty side of Katharine Hepburn
Hepburn ever gave, at the time of her book, Me. Berg wrote that over the two decades that he kept in close contact with Hepburn: Countless times she spoke of my writing a book about her, insisting only that it never be published during her lifetime. On several occasions she suggested that I publish my account of her life as close to her death as possible.
I always thought that was because she wanted to set the record straight about her life right away, before other books put other versions out there.
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And I had hitherto considered them senior deities in my personal pantheon of gaffes, but this—failing to recognize in whose redoubtable presence I now stood—was big. I like Pudding Pops and Duran Duran. I think she found my ignorance refreshing. Her world was circumscribed by people mothing around her, fussing and trying to give things free meals, admission to shows or take things autographs, photographs.
If she had to go to a party with guests who were outside her inner circle, she would inevitably be under pressure, sooner or later, to be quippy or performative. To talk Hollywood or Film or Life. To dispense the Hepburnian nugget, a screwbally line of dialogue or a poignant bon mot for which the awe-struck were always hankering. With me she could be comfortable. To her I think I was a kind of well-meaning squire, a novice whose unskilled laboring included things like securing seats and toting snacks and fetching coats and refilling tumblers of Famous Grouse.
And to me Kate was a.
Biographers will say this is due to the tragic aspect of her love affair with Spencer Tracy—their estrangements, his refusal to get a divorce, the pain of his diabetes and alcoholism, the grief of his last years—and that might be true.
At best it seems like psychology-by-numbers to me; at worst it seems irresponsible. But either way, I never talked to Kate about that kind of thing. It would have been a violation of our unspoken pact. It would have been unseemly.
Kate Dismembered | Observer
Anyway, call it what you want, but over the years Kate and I became strange pals. Yet I never wrote about her. It always seemed self-promotional and precisely the kind of thing she would disapprove of when she was alive; after her death it seemed downright predatory and ugly. The grandness of the estate in Fenwick was strangely augmented by its decrepitude. There were cracks in walls and a cobwebby haze that dimmed windows; the floors creaked and groaned like the hull of a doomed galleon; and the whole place felt as if it was always leaning shruggishly into the gusting ocean wind.
Kate would swim in the ocean every day of the year. Yes, she was an accomplished figure skater and golfer and performed her own pratfalls in Bringing Up Baby and so on, but what really impressed me was how we would play tennis when she was still in her 80s.
The Fenwick tennis courts would, years later, become the site of another one of my gaffes. It was the summer before I went to college, and my brother and I were young enough to be made uncomfortable by the ceremony, and so we stripped off our rent-a-tuxes and went to go play tennis in our bare feet and underwear. Unfortunately, there was some big deal photographer there—from Life, I think—who was documenting the event. Luckily for everyone involved, the photographer was so drunk that he forgot to put film in his camera until the cake-cutting, a moment which became the central spread in The Private World of Katharine Hepburn.
Kate had an unusual canon of personal laws to which she would—like a cranky Hammurabi—make everyone, including herself, steadfastly adhere: It was forbidden to use any electrical appliances before 9 a.
If she stepped out the door of her place in Boca Grande, and it was windy, she would turn around and go back inside. This, in fact, is a funny factoid for me to reconcile with my memory of Kate. She told me that when she was walking somewhere from her apartment in Turtle Bay, she would make it a point to take a different route every day so that she could get to know New York in the most intimate way—as a pedestrian. She would retire every night at 8 p.
She would also never drink until 5 p. My father, in fact, was often one of the would-be clock killers, and he learned from Kate to drink Famous Grouse, a taste that I in turn took—like an heirloom—from him. What I remember most clearly about Phyllis is her kindness, but also, in later years, her frequent forgetfulness. She had a bracelet that she claimed was given to her by the Kaiser but which she could never find.
Despite her pride, which could be Cleopatran, Kate was playful and, when on the business end of a chummy zinger, a really good sport. Once I brought home from college a girl named Candy on whom I had an agonizing crush and who never believed me about being pals with Katharine Hepburn.