Lee Radziwill, Tastemaker With East End Connections, Dies At 85

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Publication: The Southampton Press
By Cailin Riley   Feb 19, 2019 3:42 PM
Feb 19, 2019 5:08 PM
Lee Radziwill, a fashion icon who ran with a high-society crowd and spent summers during her formative years at her parents’ East Hampton estate alongside her famous older sister, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, died on February 15. She was 85.Ms. Radziwill was considered beautiful, elegant, timelessly stylish and chic, cultured, and sophisticated. She had friendships and relationships with world-renowned artists and taste-makers, including Truman Capote, Andy Warhol and the photographer Peter Beard.

Ms. Radziwill was married three times, keeping the name of her second husband, Polish aristocrat Stanislas Radziwill, after the dissolution of her third marriage. She had brief careers in acting and interior design, and worked in public relations for Giorgio Armani from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s.

Born Caroline Lee Bouvier in March 1933, she was four years younger than sister Jacqueline, who would go on to become first lady after marrying John F. Kennedy. The Bouvier family spent summers at their sprawling Lasata estate on Further Lane, and Ms. Radziwill maintained ties to the East End for most of her life, owning a home in East Hampton in her later years.

She spent time in Montauk in the 1970s, between her second and third marriages, briefly dating Mr. Beard. There were plans to put together a movie about her summer memories spent in the area at that time, but brothers Albert and David Maysles, the legendary documentary filmmakers, instead chose to turn the lens on Ms. Radziwill’s cousins, mother and daughter of the same name, Edith Bouvier Beale (known and Big Edie and Little Edie), in what became “Grey Gardens,” about their offbeat and reclusive life inside a filthy, rundown and overrun East Hampton mansion.

In many ways, fair or not, Ms. Radziwill was defined by her relationship with her sister. The pair traveled the world together, from the time they were teens and into their later years. Ms. Radziwill introduced her sister to Aristotle Onassis, the wealthy Greek businessman she would ultimately marry after her husband was assassinated in 1963.

Ms. Radziwill was by her sister’s side at John F. Kennedy’s funeral, and visited the White House many times during his presidency, but there were also reports that the relationship between the sisters had its ups and downs.

Ms. Radziwill had two children with her second husband: Anna Christina Radziwill, who survives, and son Anthony Radziwill, who died in 1999.

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