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Caroline Lee Bouvier Canfield Radziwill Ross (née Bouvier, born March 3, 1933 in Southamptonmarker, New Yorkmarker), best known as Lee Radziwill, is an American socialite, public relations executive, and former actress and interior decorator. She is the younger sister of the late former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and the namesake of Caroline Kennedy.


Caroline Lee Bouvier, called Lee after her maternal grandfather James T. Lee, was the daughter of John Vernou Bouvier III and his wife, the former Janet Norton Lee. "Black Jack" Bouvier was a Roman Catholic in religion; Janet Lee was a Roman Catholic as well before her marriage to Hugh D. Auchincloss, who in turn, was an Episcopalian. Raised Roman Catholic because of her parents' prenuptial agreement, Lee and her sister, Jacqueline, sometimes attended Episcopal churches since they lived under the wing of their stepfather, Hugh Auchincloss.


Radziwill has been married three times. Her first marriage, in April 1953, was to Michael Temple Canfield, a publishing executive who was rumored to be an illegitimate son of Prince George, Duke of Kent and the American banking heiress Kiki Preston; he had been adopted as an infant by the American publisher Cass Canfield. They divorced in 1959, and the marriage was annulled by the Roman Catholic Church in November 1962.

Her second marriage, on March 19, 1959, was to the Polish prince StanisŇāaw Albrecht RadziwiŇāŇā, who divorced his second wife, the former Grace Maria Kolin, and received a Roman Catholic annulment of his first marriage to marry the former Mrs. Canfield. (His second marriage had never been acknowledged by the Roman Catholic Church, so no annulment was necessary.) Five months after the wedding, the couple had a son, Anthony Radziwill, and a year after that, a daughter, Anna Christina Radziwill. They divorced on March 3, 1974. Some sources indicate that Lee Radziwill also received an annulment from her church for this marriage. Anthony Radziwill died of cancer at the age of 40 on August 10, 1999, just one month after the death of his cousin John F. Kennedy, Jr. and JFK Jr.'s wife, Carolyn, and sister-in-law, Lauren Bessettemarker, in a plane crash near Martha's Vineyardmarker, Massachusettsmarker.

Five years after her 1974 divorce, Radziwill became engaged to California hotel magnate Newton Cope, but the marriage was called off five minutes before the wedding ceremony was to begin.

On September 23, 1988, she became the second wife of American film director and choreographer Herbert Ross; they divorced in 2001, shortly before his death.

Career attempts and fame

In the 1960s, Radziwill attempted to forge a career as an actress. It was not a success though it received international publicity. Largely untrained, she appeared to dismal reviews in the 1967 production of The Philadelphia Story, starring as spoiled Main Line heiress Tracy Lord. The play was staged at the Ivanhoe Theatre in Chicagomarker, and Radziwill's performance was widely panned. A year later, she appeared in a television adaptation of the Hollywood film Laura, which was also badly received. Radziwill did no further acting work.

Radziwill received a great deal of favorable coverage for her personal style in the 1960s and 1970s. The two English homes she shared with her second husband were decorated by Italian stage designer Renzo Mongiardino and were greatly admired and frequently published. She herself worked briefly as an interior decorator as well in a style much influenced by her association with Mongiardino. She was seen in celebrity company, such as on the 1972 American tour of The Rolling Stones, during which she accompanied Truman Capote.

For some years, Radziwill was a public relations executive for Giorgio Armani, the Italian fashion designer. She is also the author of Happy Times (Assouline, 2003), an autobiographical coffee-table book about her life.

Radziwill received the Légion d'honneur from the French government in 2008; it was presented to her at the home of Bernard-Henri Lévy and Arielle Dombasle in Paris.

Lee Radziwell's Paris and Manhattan apartment decor was photographed for the April 2009 issue of Elle Decor magazine.

References within popular culture

In 2006, a musical entitled Grey Gardens opened on Broadway. In the musical, the character of Lee Bouvier appears as a child visiting her aunt's home along with her sister Jackie for the engagement party of their cousin "Little" Edie Beale. The musical centers on the lives of Radziwill's cousin Edith Bouvier Beale and aunt Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale.


  • Magazine Paris Match July 6, 2008 page 16.

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