1974 #3 More on Desmond Guinness. John Huston. Ireland.

Miami Herald March 19, 1974. Paige Young would commit suicide 3 weeks later.

According to Melanie, Paige was afraid of a sex tape being seen by certain people or a certain person. Melanie also said the tape was made of Paige at the Playboy mansion.

I have to wonder if the person or persons in Paige’s mind was Desmond Guinness (and his crowd?)

It’s just a hunch but enough for a lead.

But it is interesting that Desmond was in Los Angeles again rather soon after October 1973 when he was photographed with Paige at a reception honoring him in Santa Barbara; he was back in Southern California March of 1974 .

The following Suzy column was published 9 days before Paige’s suicide. Desmond in bold.

Suzy column Daily News March 28, 1974. Again Desmond is the houseguest of Douglas Campbell. This time Desmond’s daughter Marina accompanied her father to Souther California.

The article below is 7 days before Paige’s suicide.

Jody Jacobs column LAT March 31st 1974.

There is proof that Desmond and Marina were also in Raleigh, NC on or around March 28th, 1974, see article below.

This article is unusual in that it brings up the uncomfortable subject of his mother Diana Mitford and step-father Oswald Mosely.

Raleigh News and Observer March 29, 1974. Notice the comment and story about Stanley Kubrick.

Did John Huston and Desmond Guinness know each other?

Given how much Desmond traveled around Ireland meeting people, restoring castles and seeking funds for the Irish Georgian Society, almost certainly. Desmond’s obituary below says they did.

A renowned socialite, party animal and generous host, Guinness entertained the international jet set at his home, Leixlip Castle. Those who visited included British royalty Princess Margaret, her husband Lord Snowdon, and Lord Mountbatten, A-listers such as Jacqueline Kennedy, film director John HustonMick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull, and his stepfather the British fascist leader Oswald Mosley, his mother Diana Mitford’s husband.

From a Guinesses obituary in The Irish Times August 29, 2020.

This also makes me think Desmond and Mariga knew Ricki Soma Huston, John Huston’s 4th wife and mother to Angelica and Tony.

Rikki lived in St. Clerans in the 50s and 60s and raised her children there until she moved to London sometime in the late 1960s.

Anjelica Huston wrote a memoir about growing up in the St. Clerans estate.

Did Paige meet Desmond Guinness when she stayed with John and Celeste Huston at St. Clerans in 72-73 ish?

Los Angeles Times Dec. 1, 1974 Hugh Hefner speaks at the Sportmen’s Lodge, a stone’s throw from the house where Paige Young grew up as Diana Cotterell, 13055 Moorpark St.

1974 #2. Paige Young. The Shanes Of Beverly Hills. Huston & Hefner.

Melanie from the Daily Mail article told me that the “brother of Cici Huston” had Paige’s “sex tape” in his possession and would not hand it over to Paige, despite her repeated requests.

And that Paige frequently expressed the serious mental anguish this was causing her.

The Daily Mail didn’t publish Shane’s name as he “wasn’t a big enough name.”

…..fearful of a “sex tape” that “a relative of a major celebrity had made of her,” is how the Daily Mail phrased it.

CiCi Huston had three brothers.

One of the Shane brothers, David, is a major candidate as the one holding on to Paige’s sex tape; he was very active on the Sunset Strip social scene at the time: 1950s-1960-1970s. Shane owned businesses on the Strip and he was very attractive to women.

In a message to me, Celeste Shane Huston angrily confirmed that Paige and David were sex partners as were David and Tamara Green.

LAT Oct. 28, 2016.

He started a popular car rental agency, Hav -A -Kar, in the heart of the Sunset Strip. Hav-A-Kar was later sold to Thrifty, and David, as the property owner, saw the space become a Kenneth Cole store for many years before its current iteration, the Eveleigh restaurant. In the early 1960s David, who loved to cook, opened a burger joint called Alfie’s. It was a colorful fixture on the Strip and a veritable celebrity magnet. David decided to eventually lease the space in 1971 to the new owners who created Mirabelle, which remained steadfast on the Strip for over 40 years…… David was a jet setter and an avid outdoorsman. He attended USC for two years before transferring to the University of Mexico, in Mexico City, where he befriended painter Diego Rivera.

Alfie’s on the Strip.

Bob Shane is the oldest brother, originally Myron Shane Jr. I know nothing about him but that he changed his first name.

The youngest Shane brother Stephan, not mentioned in the obituary above, moved out of Beverly Hills and lived further north in California. He married, divorced and died young, in the 1970s.

David and Celeste’s father was Myron Shane, already a wealthy business owner from Kansas City who moved his young family to Beverly Hills in the 1940s.

Myron Shane owned a yacht named the “Celeste.” He rented it out to wealthy celebrities including Frank Sinatra.

Independent Press Telegram Long Beach 1955 6/30/57

Myron Shane also used his yacht for charitable purposes.

LAT 11/24/1949

Myron started Hav-A-Kar per newspaper articles and apparently signed it over to his son David L. Shane.

Does anyone remember Hav-A-Kar on the Sunset Strip? It was run by David L Shane.
From the 1966 version of Ed Ruscha’s series “Every Building on Sunset Blvd.”
Alfie’s on the Strip. 8768 Sunset Blvd. David Shane owned “burger joint.” Found on Pinterest. Originally from Alison Martino’s Vintage LA.

Melanie told the Daily Mail, and me personally, that Paige went out with several men. Paige also told Melanie that some of her boyfriends paid her living expenses including kitchen appliances and a dog run for her Akita.

( Don’t know what happened to Joshua the Weimaraner or Hamish the horse)

However much Paige expressed her distress over the Shane brother and his refusal to hand over the sex tape, ultimately she built a physical shrine of hatred and blame, towards Hugh Hefner.

From the Daily Mail:

“It was covered floor to ceiling with photos of Hugh Hefner, there were news clippings, magazine articles, everything you could think of. Written across it was something like ‘Hugh Hefner is the devil.” The whole wall was a shrine saying, ‘I hate Hugh Hefner,’ the crux of her anger was against him. That was the message she wanted to get across to me. She was pointing up at things, showing me around it.  She’s put a lot of work into this, it must have taken her days.”

According to Melanie, Hefner and John Huston were mentioned in the suicide note as well.

“The cops had Paige’s suicide note and read some of it to me…the whole thing was about her anger towards the men who she believed had chewed her up and spat her out.  The two men who got the most attention were Hugh Hefner and the director John Huston. I know she dated Huston for a while and had just gotten back from a trip to Ireland with him.”

“Paige also vented against other Hollywood stars who had used her, says Myers.”

From a Gowland slide sold on e-bay

To be continued.

1974 #1. Death. Witness. Sex Tapes. Hefner. Questions. Cremation. Ocean burial. Documents. Secrets of Playboy. UPdated 10/17/22

March 16, 1974 is Paige Young’s 30th birthday.

April 7th 1974 is a Palm Sunday.

On that day, Paige commits suicide with a gunshot to her head at her residence, picture below.

Paige's garage apartment in WESTWOOD.

During the weeks and months leading up to her suicide, Paige confided in Melanie that she was fearful of a “sex tape” that “a relative of a major celebrity had made of her.”

Below is the account neighbor Melanie gave to reporter Ryan Parry of the Daily Mail.

“She was terrified of it coming out, in that day you knew your career was going to be over once it got ‘round.”

“For weeks all she could think about was getting hold of that tape, she thought it was going to ruin her.”

Melanie

“Paige had the whole thing planned down to the last detail…  It was Palm Sunday and she came to tell me she was going to kill herself. She stayed in the back of the house where we (B.J.) lived and I was at the bathroom window. She comes up to the window and calls out to me “I want to show you something.” I couldn’t be bothered by any more of her drama. But she was like, “No, you’ve gotta come and see it.” So I go to her apartment and she gave me a guided tour …of her suicide scene in her bedroom….It was chilling..there was a large American flag draped across her bed and there was a pentagram laid out on the wooden floor…I remember her showing me around it because it was somehow important, but I didn’t know what it meant.”

But it was the bedroom was that shocked Myers the most.

“It was covered floor to ceiling with photos of Hugh Hefner, there were news clippings, magazine articles, everything you could think of. Written across it was something like “Hugh Hefner is the devil.” The whole wall was a shrine saying, ‘I hate Hugh Hefner,’ the crux of her anger was against him. That was the message she wanted to get across to me. She was pointing up at things, showing me around it.  She’s put a lot of work into this, it must have taken her days.

Myers said that Young then calmly explained that she planned to kill herself.

She produced a gun and put it into her mouth…lay back on her bed and said, ‘this is how I’m going to do it.’

“It was chilling. We were friends but not the best of friends, I was always bitching about her and her dog, so I was scared.  I thought maybe she could shoot me, you know, take me with her, it was all so weird.  I thought, I’ve got to get out of here.”

“Myers quickly retreated to her apartment and called the police. LAPD officers arrived soon afterwards and cordoned of the whole of Eastbourne Ave.”

Myers said, “The cops didn’t want to go in her apartment first, so they asked me to go check on her, so I did.”

“I walked into her apartment and they were behind me. I walked into her bedroom and she was lying dead on the bed. She had shot herself in the head as she told me she would. There was a huge mass of blood, her whole bed was soaked red, it was shocking. But she looked happy and very peaceful, she didn’t look in distress.” 

“The cops had Paige’s suicide note and read some of it to me…the whole thing was about her anger towards the men who she believed had chewed her up and spat her out.  The two men who got the most attention were Hugh Hefner and the director John Huston. I know she dated Huston for a while and had just gotten back from a trip to Ireland with him.”

Paige expressed anger to other Hollywood stars who had used her.

“I believe Paige was making a huge statement in a bid to get at the elite of Hollywood…She thought the story of her death would spark a big scandal, but it didn’t. Sadly no one cared.”

In the A&E channel documentary Secrets of Playboy, Melanie is interviewed by the director.

Melanie says she was told by Paige Young that a member of Hefner’s entourage filmed her in a sexual situation at the Playboy mansion. And she was very afraid of it “getting out.”

Below is a photo of the death certificate copy I obtained. A partial autopsy/police report copy is included in the Daily Mail story, but not the death certificate.

Reporter Ryan Parry of the Daily Mail discovered that Paige did not die of a drug overdose as is stated in “The Playmate Book” and several websites, but actually committed suicide from a gunshot wound to the head, per an autopsy report and death certificate as one can see.

On April 9 Price-Daniel Mortuary handles Paige’s death services. Her cremation takes place at Roosevelt Memorial Park in Gardena. Burial of her ashes to take place at sea near Santa Monica shoreline.

Mother Donna Holroyd signs of with a shaky signature as “Donna Cotterell.”

It is unknown how the false story of Paige overdosing on drugs started to be written and repeated on the internet so much that it became her “official” means of suicide.

Is the Playmate Book the original source? (the Playmate Book is a compendium of all the Playmates who have appeared in the magazine since the first issue in 1953, up to the date of publication. An update on the lives accompanies each woman’s entry. I’m guessing that the Playmate Book is updated and released every 5-10 years.)

Paige’s suicide appears to have never been reported in the Los Angeles media, in 1974 or since.

I haven’t found any death, obituary or memorial announcement.

 In the weeks and months after the Daily Mail article was published, no one spoke out publicly about knowing or having met Paige Young. No one came forward on social or entertainment media to shed any more light on what could have driven or influenced her to take her own life.

This is one reason I was motivated to research more about Paige Young.

Back to 1974……..

What about this alleged sex tape? Was Hugh Hefner or those close to him involved somehow?

A well known part of Hefner’s biography is that he was fascinated by audio and video technology.

He collected home video, film cameras and cutting edge stereo equipment before they were available to the mass consumer.

In the early decades of the magazine, Playboy magazine often featured a “bachelor pad” decked out with the finest stereo equipment and other electronic gadgets, sure to impress the ladies, like a Cadillac or Picasso painting might.

The A&E series Secrets of Playboy has revealed accounts of sex being filmed by Hugh Hefner at his mansion in Holmby Hills. See accounts by Sondra Theodore and Stefan Tetenbaum in Episode 8.

There are reports of video tapes of sexual encounters over the decades, with some involving celebrities.

Secrets of Playboy; see interview with former head of Playmate Promotions Miki Garcia showing her personal notes about Tony Curtis. Curtis and his lawyers were highly upset about Tony’s appearance in sex tapes filmed at the mansion.

There are also reports of Hefner ordering the tapes and films destroyed before his death, by sinking them in the ocean. Hefner had become more fearful after friend and frequent Playboy model Pamela Anderson had her and husband Tommy Lee’s sex tapes stolen, and released to the public.

Former Playboy employee Lisa Loving Barrett says in the same documentary Secrets of Playboy, that she heard the the ocean burial story and has reason to believe it is true.

These stories of “sex tapes” go back to the Chicago Playboy mansion days: an ex-girlfriend of Hefner’s, with help from one of his secretaries, snuck in the mansion and retrieved “her” tape. This incident was told to Russell Miller, author of the book Bunny.

One of the clips from the Secrets of Playboy opening also shows a 1970s Hugh Hefner talking to reporters about all the “electronic equipment in the mansion,” including cameras and that “sometimes stuff happens in the bedroom.”

Mother Mrs. Donna Holroyd signature.
Math figures determine Paige’s age.

Lone surfer along Santa Monica shoreline at sunset. 2022

1971-1973 #1. John Huston. Celeste Shane. Ireland. St. Clerans. Bill Gardner. Writer Jack Smith Sees Huston and Hefner at Trendy Backgammon Club. Move To Westwood. Update 10/7/2022

1972 Paige appears in the ’72 edition of “Gowland’s Guide to Glamour Photography.”

The photo appears to be taken from the same photo session as the one used in the 69/70 Ridgid Tool Co. calendar.

It’s her only appearance in any of the Gowland instructional books that I have seen, which is nearly all of them.

1971 (approx.)

It was around this time that Paige moved into a garage apartment in Westwood (below) after feeling “antsy.” This was told to me by her friend Henry. Paige felt isolated in Trancas Beach area off Broad Beach Rd. area of Malibu.

This is the home where she would end her life in 1974.

Paige’s carriage house where she would live for a few years and end her life in 1974. Taken in September of 2022. Construction workers were inside the apartment gutting the interior with its’ original “built-ins” of 1941.
This was taken from Zillow several years ago.

1972/73 cont...

According to the Daily Mail report, Paige complains to neighbor Melanie about her relationship with famed film director John Huston:

“She (Paige) said she had an affair with John Huston, and that he had done things to her, abused her.  I remember one incident in which John hid her shoes to make her think she had gone crazy. It was a small thing, but she was really bothered by it.”

“I know she dated Huston for a while and had just gotten back from a trip to Ireland with him.”

Daily Mail 2014

John Huston owned and lived in an Irish estate named St. Clerans, located in Galway, Ireland, from 1953 to 1973.  His daughter, the actress and director Anjelica Huston, spent many years there as a child, which she discusses in detail in her memoirs.

Because Melanie said Paige had “just returned from Ireland,” after a visit to Huston, Paige would necessarily have been one of Huston’s last guests; the St. Clerans estate was sold sometime in 1973.

This is the same time frame of John Huston’s marriage to Celeste Shane Green, 1972-1975. It was Huston’s 5th marriage and CiCi’s 2nd.

San Francisco Examiner Aug. 25, 1972. In a Society column by Albert Morch

Celeste, known as Cici, spent time living (visiting really) St. Clerans during her marriage to Huston.

Celeste was (and is) involved with horses and boarded at least one at Sepulveda Stables in the early 60s. I talked with a woman who was 12 years old during these years and knew both Paige and Celeste at Sepulveda Stables.

It’s another factor which places Celeste in the same world as Paige.

Cici visited Huston’s St. Clerans Ireland estate as a newlywed, it was August/September of 1972. She brought along her son Collin and his caregiver Maricella, who also acted as Cici’s “maid.” Wally Green also visited his son at the estate.

 Cici grew up in a wealthy Beverly Hills family with three brothers.  Her father owned a successful car leasing company and rented out his yacht to celebrities like Frank Sinatra. (See chapter: The Shanes of Beverly Hills)

Cici’s first husband is screenwriter Wally Green.  They have a son named Collin.

John Huston later said “Cici was as out of place at St. Clerans as anyone could possibly be.” 

Cici said “I wasn’t prepared for the eleven servants, the mistresses, Betty O’Kelly, Gladys.”

Celeste took an instant dislike to John Huston’s assistants, Betty O’Kelly and Gladys Hill.   Gladys co-wrote scripts with Huston.

Cici felt the women, and several employees of the large staff, were taking advantage of Huston by overcharging him and using his money for their own personal shopping. Huston was frequently absent due to directing films all over the globe plus he was not that interested in managing his money.

This created a lot of tension at St. Clerans.

 Cici wanted most of the staff fired but Huston refused.

About St. Clerans’ horse caretaker Cici said “I caught him with quadruple charges for horseshoeing. I know about horses. He couldn’t screw me around.”

Cici was especially outraged by the visit of her husband’s young mistress, Zoe Sallis, who of course brought along her out-of-wedlock son by John Huston: Danny Huston.  Cici resented the monthly allowance (and breakfast in bed) afforded to Zoe.

Horsemanship was one thing Celeste, Huston and Paige all had in common.

Celeste and Paige both boarded horses at Sepulveda Stables. Celeste messaged me that she is the one who told Paige about Sepulveda Stables.

I happen to have known that Paige boarded her a horse there since grade school when she was known as Diana Cotterell. She gave 2 school photos to the owners of the Stables which were published on a website about Sepulveda Stables. That would mean Cici knew Paige as Diana in grade school and I don’t see it. Diana lived closeby Sepulveda Stables and several of her classmates, like Joan Edwards, boarded a horse at that location. Cici was involved with high class elite level horse shows.

I have read several John Huston biographies.

John Huston and Paige were both painters in addition to being horse lovers, these factors may have played a role in their “connection”.

Huston was a womanizer and had several marriages, flings, short and long-term affairs with numerous women over the decades and apparently of all ages.

I read that he wasn’t one to indulge in “one-night-stands.”

Also, from what I’ve read, Huston had a meanstreak in his personality that he would sometimes unleash on the ones most likely to be hurt by it.

Example: the story Melanie tells of Huston hiding Paige’s shoes. “It really bothered her,” even though “it was a little thing.”

Huston could also display great generosity.

Information and quotes from Lawrence Grobel’s book: “The Hustons” published by Scribner’s.

I also found information from Huston biography Courage and Art by Jeffrey Meyers.

Check these books out for a more detailed look at one of our most legendary Hollywood figures.

Given what Melanie said in the Daily Mail and the sale of St. Clerans, Paige’s visit likely was in 72-73. If so, she may have witnessed or even been involved in the drama between Cici, Betty, Gladys, and Zoe Sallis. According to biographer Jeffrey Meyers, Huston enjoyed women fighting over him.

I had an email exchange with Celeste Shane Huston and she confirmed that she and Huston knew Paige and “were only trying to help her”. She denies that Huston and Paige had affair. She wrote that 2 prominent lawyers purchased Paige’s ticket to Ireland.

Guess who else

was a visitor to St. Clerans in the early 1970s? Bill Gardner. The same Bill Gardner from the Pasadena Art Museum chapter. He knew both John and Celeste Huston as did Paige.

1970 Pasadena Art Museum.

Bill Gardner, Paige Young’s date to the Warhol opening at the Pasadena Art Museum. This photo was From Gardner’s Instagram account. He has not posted since 2014. The hashtags he wrote are below.

The following paragraph is what Bill wrote about himself for online publicity including his author page on Amazon.

William Louis Gardner

William Louis Gardner started his career getting a diploma from the Pasadena Play House in the fifties. The US Air sent him to Pasadena, California to learn film and television production. During his education at the Playhouse he was sent to do on-the-job-training at ABC, CBS and NBC. He spent time on the on the sets of Colgate Comedy Hour studying, observing and watching the process of television variety type shows. Bill became acquainted with the Martin & Lewis show, Jimmy Durante Show, Danny Thomas Show, Lucille Ball, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Milton Berle Shows. After William left Hollywood he joined his squadron and wrote and produced films for the US Air Force. When he was discharged from the Air Force he returned to Hollywood and went to work for Mickey Rooney as his assistant and manager for ten years. After he joined Jonathan Winters as his manager. In 1965 William moved to Ireland and joined director, John Huston, as his assistant. He worked on John’s films in England and Morocco. John sent Bill to East Africa to do pre-production for a film Bill had written called “The Games End”. The film has yet to be made. William, left the industry in 1972 and came back to California and moved to Montecito and became a real estate broker. He formed a Real Estate office in Santa Barbara and retired thirty five years later to write a novel “Confession of a Hollywood Agent” and numerous screenplays. His novel “The End of the Game” struggles with Africanization, intrigue and murder to save the elephant. Present, Bill keeps on writing.

scribd.com

NEW.

Famous LA writer sees Huston and Hefner with others including an “unidentified sex object,” at a backgammon tournament, sometime in 1972. The observation by Smith happened around the time Cici and Huston were married.

Both Hefner and Huston were avid backgammon players. I have never seen a photo of the two men together or Huston at the Holmby Hills mansion.

Allegedly the cast and crew of Chinatown spent relaxation time at the mansion; that cast, of course, includes Huston and Roman Polanski.

This would have been the time that Paige had been hanging out with Hefner at the mansion “scene” such as it was, at least on an occasional if not regular basis. Paige was witnessed at the Playboy mansion near the end of her life as recounted by neighbor Melanie Myers, who herself was invited to the Mansion.

These were the very last years of Paige’s life.

More about John Huston ahead.

Paige appears in some Electrochemical Company photographs, credited to Peter Gowland, probably taken 72/73. NSFW

There is an association between Electrochemical Company and the Ridgid Tool Company, Gowland’s long time clients.

From a series of photos for Electrochemicals clients.

Paige was one model of a few featured in this series which looks like it was a gift for special clients. Ann Cushing and Brook Mills, two Gowland favorites, are the others. Plus one I don’t recognize.

The models all go uncredited including Paige, her “Playmate” status is not indicated.

From the same series. Gowland favorite Ann Cushing on the left.
Paige left, Ann right. Early 70s.