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Encyclopedia > Mercedes de Acosta

Mercedes de Acosta (March 1, 1893 - May 9, 1968) was an American poet, playwright, costume designer, and socialite best known for her lesbian affairs with Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Alla Nazimova, Eva Le Gallienne ([1]), Isadora Duncan, Katharine Cornell, Maude Adams, Ona Munson ("Belle Watling" in the movie "Gone With the Wind"), Adele Astaire and others. It was a reputation not appreciated by everyone. As Alice B. Toklas wrote to a disapproving friend, Anita Loos, "You can't dispose of Mercedes lightly. She had the two most important women in U.S., Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich" (although some took that statement to refer to Eleanor Roosevelt). March 1 is the 60th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (61st in leap years). ... 1893 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... May 9 is the 129th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (130th in leap years). ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ... Lesbian describes a homosexual woman. ... Greta Garbo (September 18, 1905 – April 15, 1990) was a Swedish actress. ... Marlene Dietrich in the 1920s Marie Magdalene Marlene Dietrich (December 27, 1901 – May 6, 1992) also known as Maria Magdalena Dietrich was a German actress, entertainer and singer. ... Alla Nazimova (born Mariam Edez Adelaida Leventon, May 22, 1879 - July 13, 1945), was a Russian and American theater and film actress, scriptwriter, and producer. ... Cover of Time Magazine, November 25, 1929 Eva Le Gallienne (January 11, 1899 – June 3, 1991) was a well-known actress, producer, and director, during the first half of the 20th century. ... Portrait photograph by Arnold Genthe. ... Katharine Cornell was born on February 16, 1893 (although most sources cite the incorrect year of 1898) in Berlin, Germany to American parents, and raised in Buffalo, New York. ... Maude Adams (1902) Maude Adams as Peter in an early stage production Maude Adams (born November 11, 1872; died July 17, 1953) was an American stage actress, most noted for her signature role, Peter Pan. ... Ona Munson publicity photo Ona Munson (born June 16, 1903; died February 11, 1955) was an American actress perhaps best known for her portrayal of prostitute Belle Watling in Gone with the Wind. ... Adele Astaire, 1927 Adele Astaire (September 10, 1896 -January 25, 1981) was an American dancer and entertainer. ... Alice B. Toklas, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1949 Alice Babette Toklas (April 30, 1877 - March 7, 1967) was the sweetheart of writer Gertrude Stein. ... Anita Loos (April 26, 1889 – August 18, 1981) was an acclaimed American screenwriter, playwright and author. ... Eleanor Roosevelt. ...

Contents


Background

She was born to a Cuban father, Ricardo de Acosta, and a Spanish mother, Micaela Hernandez y de Alba, who herself was a descendant of the Spanish Dukes of Alba, in New York City in 1893. Nickname: The Big Apple Motto: Official website: City of New York Location [[Image:|250px|250px|Location of City of New York, New York]] Location in the state of New York Government Counties (Boroughs) Bronx (The Bronx) New York (Manhattan) Queens (Queens) Kings (Brooklyn) Richmond (Staten Island) Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R... 1893 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...


Mercedes de Acosta married Abram Poole (1882 - 1961) in 1920, a noted painter and socialite. They divorced in 1935. Both the he and she were homosexual. 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar) // Events January January 7 - Forces of Russian White admiral Kolchak surrender in Krasnoyarsk. ... 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ...


Personal Life

Although talented in her professional field, it is no doubt her personal life that has made her famous in Hollywood circles. She became involved in numerous lesbian relationships with Hollywood's elite. In 1916 she began an affair with Russian actress Alla Nazimova, and shortly thereafter started an affair with actress Tallulah Bankhead, and later dancer Isadora Duncan. Shortly after marrying Abram Poole in 1920, she became involved in a turbulant 5 year relationship with actress Eva Le Gallienne. Over the next decade she amassed an ensemble of female partners, all of whom were either rising stars, or aging stars. These included Rudolph Valentinos alleged fiance, Polish actress Pola Negri, writer Edith Wharton, Dorothy Fellowes-Gordon and Amy Lowell. 1916 (MCMXVI) is a leap year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar) // Events January-February January 1 - The Royal Army Medical Corps first successful blood transfusion using blood that had been stored and cooled. ... 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar) // Events January January 7 - Forces of Russian White admiral Kolchak surrender in Krasnoyarsk. ... Rudolph Valentino (May 6, 1895 – August 23, 1926) was an Italian actor. ... Pola Negri (December 31, c. ... Edith Wharton Edith Wharton (January 24, 1862 – August 11, 1937) was an American novelist, short story writer, and designer. ... Amy Lowell Amy Lawrence Lowell (February 9, 1874 – May 12, 1925) was an American poet of the imagist school, who posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926. ...


De Acosta was involved with Russian ballerina Tamara Platonovna Karsavina [2] throughout her life, after their first meeting in 1920. The two were as much friends as they were lovers, and Karsavina was one of the few who continued to be friendly toward de Acosta following the controversial autobiography released by the latter, exposing many of her relationships to the public. A ballerina is a female ballet dancer. ... Tamara Platonovna Karsavina (March 10, 1885 – May 26, 1978) was a famous Russian ballerina who eventually settled in England, where she helped found the Royal Academy of Dancing in 1920. ... 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar) // Events January January 7 - Forces of Russian White admiral Kolchak surrender in Krasnoyarsk. ...


In 1931, she met and quickly became involved with Greta Garbo. The two were introduced to one another by de Acosta's lover at the time, author Salka Viertel. The relationship with Garbo has often been described as 'the love of her lifetime'. It is doubtful from all information from the time that Garbo shared those feelings. Garbo was in control of the affair, and the two would be together for lengthy periods, then apart for long spells, all at the will of Garbo. In 1944, Garbo ended the on-again off-again relationship. At that time, she insisted de Acosta stop sending her poems and letters professing her love. The last known poem written by de Acosta for Garbo was written that same year. 1931 (MCMXXXI) is a common year starting on Thursday. ... Salka Viertel (born as Salka Stenermann on June 15, 1889 in Sambor, Ukraine) was an actress and screenplay writer. ... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ...


Later Life

Her memoir, Here Lies the Heart, was published in 1960 because Mercedes was ill and in need of money. Its revelations, though highly sanitized and supported as fact, resulted in the severing of numerous friendships of famous women who preferred their sexuality remain private, including that of the mercurial Garbo. Eva Le Gallienne in particular was furious, and completely did away with anything reminding her of de Acosta [3].Cut off from many of her friends and increasingly in financial straits, Acosta died at age 75 in relative poverty (although her sister, Rita, had married well) and obscurity. She is buried with her mother and sister, Rita de Alba de Acosta (a fabled beauty best known as Rita Lydig) at Trinity Cemetery in Washington Heights in New York City. Washington Heights is a New York City neighborhood in Upper Manhattan. ... Nickname: The Big Apple Motto: Official website: City of New York Location [[Image:|250px|250px|Location of City of New York, New York]] Location in the state of New York Government Counties (Boroughs) Bronx (The Bronx) New York (Manhattan) Queens (Queens) Kings (Brooklyn) Richmond (Staten Island) Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R...


External links

  • http://www.mercedesdeacosta.com - Mercedes De Acosta, more Biographical work and photos
  • MERCEDES DE ACOSTA Excerpts from her autobiography "Here Lies the Heart," meetings with Somerset Maugham, Sri Ramana Maharshi.
  • [4]

  Results from FactBites:
 
Mercedes de Acosta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (261 words)
She was born to a Cuban father, Ricardo de Acosta, and a Spanish mother, Micaela Hernandez y de Alba, who herself was a descendant of the Spanish Dukes of Alba, in New York City in 1893.
Mercedes de Acosta married Abram Poole (1882 - 1961) in 1920, a noted painter and socialite.
She is buried with her mother and sister, Rita de Alba de Acosta (a fabled beauty best known as Rita Lydig) at Trinity Cemetery in Washington Heights in New York City.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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