Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Poor Little Rich Girl
In the "money can't buy happiness" category, no name looms larger, or richer, than Barbara Hutton's. Her life was ill-starred from the start: her troubled mother, Edna Woolworth Hutton, committed suicide when Barbara was six years old; Barbara discovered her mother's lifeless body. Although she eventually inherited the modern equivilant of $1 billion from her mother's estate, Barbara Hutton's isolated and traumatic childhood and adolescence led to a history of relationships with men who were often parasitic, at best, and horribly abusive, at worst. Drug abuse, anorexia, alcoholism all plagued her; not even marriage to two of the most charismatic and handsome men of their time could save Hutton from a tailspin of self-destructive behavior.
HUTTON WEDS CARY GRANT, JULY 8, 1942
HUTTON WEDS PORFIRIO RUBIROSA, DECEMBER 30, 1953
In total, Hutton wed seven times; all ended in divorce. Her one child, Lance Reventlow, died in a plane crash in 1972; this sent the already unstable Hutton into a tailspin. Throwing herself into booze and gigolos -- upon whom she lavished wildly extravagant gifts -- Hutton somehow managed to survive to age 66, when she died of a heart attack. Reportedly, all that was left of her fortune was $4,000, the result of duplicitous business managers, fortune-hunting husbands and lovers, and Hutton's own blind generosity and compulsive need to buy companionship and affection. Poor little rich girl, indeed.