Betsy von Furstenberg
( b. Aug 16, 1931 Arnsberg, GERMANY - d. Apr 21, 2015 New York, New York, USA ) Female
Betsy von Furstenberg was a glamorous German-born baroness who made her debut in the movies and on the Broadway stage in the early 1950s as a teenager and later reinvented herself as a television actress, writer and philanthropist.
Born in a castle in Westphalia, Ms. von Furstenberg left Germany with her parents for New York before World War II. She was tutored by the choreographer Anton Dolin when she was 4 and performed with American Ballet Theater when she was 7.
While attending the Hewitt School in Manhattan, she began modeling at 14 and embarked with her mother on a globe-girdling career that led to a role in an Italian film called "Women Without Names," about post-World War II internees. That projected her onto the cover of Look magazine, photographed by Stanley Kubrick, for an article titled "Working Debutante."
In 1951, she made her Broadway debut in Philip Barry's Second Threshold, which earned her a spot on the cover of Life magazine (accompanied by a photograph inside of her stage-door mother) as "the most promising young actress of the year." Brooks Atkinson wrote in The New York Times, more guardedly, that her part, like those of the rest of the supporting cast, was "agreeably played."
She went on to star or co-star in Oh, Men! Oh, Women!, The Chalk Garden, Nature's Way, Mary, Mary and, in 1970, Neil Simon's The Gingerbread Lady, for which Walter Kerr of The Times lauded her "brusque, dry, exquisitely enameled performance as a fading beauty."
Ms. von Furstenberg also appeared on television, on "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Have Gun -- Will Travel" and "Playhouse 90," among other series; on variety shows like Ed Sullivan's "Toast of the Town" and "The Johnny Carson Show"; and on the soap opera "As the World Turns."
She continued to perform onstage into the 1980s and was active in supporting the Theater for the New City and Young Concert Artists. She also began writing, contributing articles and columns to various publications and, in 1988, publishing a novel, "Mirror, Mirror," about an heiress who befriends her servant's daughter and pursues love and ambition among Europe's glitterati.
Source: The New York Times obituary