1973 #2: Santa Barbara. Who Is Hon. Desmond Guinness? Diana Mitford. Oswald Mosley. 1969 Flashback. Suzy Knickerbocker.

LAT Oct 10 1973. Paige is the date of Desmond Guinness from Ireland at a party given in his honor by Santa Barbara society.
October 10, 1973 LAT

Hard to believe Paige had only 6 more months to live after this article appeared.

I e-mailed with Beverley Jackson who is pictured to the left of Mrs. Louis-Dreyfuss above. Jackson was the new society writer for the Santa Barbara paper at that time. She remembered Desmond but not Paige.

She wrote that Desmond “was always very discreet in these matters.”

What you see in the third column above, is the only mention of Paige Young in this article, besides her photo.

The elderly Mrs. Louis-Dreyfuss is probably Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ grandmother. Julia is famously from a wealthy Santa Barbara family.

The rest of the article by Jody Jacobs, society writer for the LAT, discusses the Santa Barbara society and VIPs who attended this party for Desmond Guinness.

Page 3 coverage of the Desmond Guinness parties in Santa Barbara. Carmen Alexander grew up to be a beloved teacher at a Santa Barbara Open Alternative school. Tragically she died of a sudden bacterial infection in 2012.

Who is this Desmond Guinness, Paige’s date in Santa Barbara, Oct of 1973

? I find his name most often written as “the Hon. Desmond Guinness.”

Usually written with the Hon. before his well known last name.

Let’s start with his family of origin.

Desmond is, of course, an heir to the Guinness brewery fortune.

His father was Bryan Guinness, titled the 2nd Baron Moyne; also a poet and playwright.

His mother was the controversial Diana Mitford, from the equally controversial English society family with 6 eccentric and beautiful sisters, their parents and grandparents. There are several books published about the Mitford family, the sisters in particular.

Desmond and his brother didn’t grow up with their mother Diana Mitford; she left her sons and their father when the boys were toddlers. Her reason for this was to marry British politician turned extremist Oswald Mosley, in 1936.

Mosley founded the British Union of Fascists (BUF), after visiting both Mussolini and Hitler. Hitler attended the wedding of Mitford and Mosley and the reception took place at the home of Joseph Goebbels.

You can see why Diana Mitford is considered controversial, and she wasn’t the only Mitford sister acquainted with Hitler.

During WW 2, Mitford and Mosley were considered a threat and placed under British house arrest. 3 years in Holloway Prison.

I read that Desmond did visit his mother in prison, at least once.

Diana went on to have more children: two sons with Mosley.

The couple lived out their years in France after the war; they were highly disliked in England.

Desmond Guinness grows up and in 1954, married the beautiful Hermione Maria-Gabrielle Von Urach, who had German royalty and titles on her father’s side. Her English mother was institutionalized when “Gabrielle” was only 6 years old. At age 18, Gabrielle became known as “Mariga.

Evening Standard, London, Nov. 25, 1957 Body language!

This young and socially connected couple shared a love of architecture and history. They had no need to work for a living.

Desmond and Mariga purchased the decaying Leixlip castle of Ireland, restored it and made it their primary residence.

The couple founded the Irish Georgian Society in 1957/58, dedicated to preservation of Irish Georgian castles and Irish castles in general.

Mariga and Desmond restored several more historic castles in Ireland and published books on the topic.

The couple were known for giving fabulous high society parties in Leixlip Castle and produced two beautiful children: Marina and Patrick.

Slim Aarons has taken an iconic photo of Desmond Guinness with Marina and Patrick; all three share the same icy-blue gaze.

I found in my research that Desmond toured the US extensively to fundraise for the IGS from about the mid 1960s through the 1980s. I read dozens of articles about his visits in the newspaper archives.

Desmond was warmly welcomed at numerous US high society and historical gatherings; he would present lectures, slideshows and promote his books about Irish architecture, history and design. His visits were covered by local newspaper society columnists, who would write about the VIPs who attended the lecture/party/luncheon/cocktail party/dinner, in honor of the Hon. Desmond Guinness.

I’m including a only a few newspaper examples from 1969.

From the Palladium Item Richmond, Indiana March 16, 1969

I picked 1969 out of the many years Desmond travelled the US because it’s the same year Paige Young was touring the US for Playboy promotion.

March 25, 1969
the Miami-Herald April, 24, 1969

“Suzy” aka Suzy Knickerbocker, was a syndicated “society” columnist for over 50 years and worked for many different newspapers.

Top of the Suzy column. A classic of the era.

She clearly had a “specialty” for featuring European society types with titles. Suzy K. wrote adoringly about Desmond (mainly) and Mariga several times.

This is from the Suzy Gossip column in the NY Daily News Nov. 1969.

Here is an article about Suzy from March 15, 1969. Probably at the height of her influence (and salary) for writing about international high society’s activities.

November 11, Philadelphia Inquirer

More on Desmond Guinness in 1969

Ithaca, New York Feb. 21, 1969

Desmond visited towns one may not have expected him to, like Des Moines, Shreveport, and the Corning Glass Center in Ithaca, New York.

Desmond Guinness had a schedule of traveling to fundraise for IGS for decades.

Back to 1973 Santa Barbara

Desmond had already been the houseguest of Douglas Campbell in Los Angeles for 2 week of weeks when:

Paige appeared as the date of Desmond Guinness at a high society party in Santa Barbara. It was described as a season of cloudy, grey and rainy weather.

This Suzy nationally syndicated column below, appeared just 2 days later on October 12.

San Fran Examiner Oct. 12, 1973

It is quite interesting timing; Desmond is seen out with a date Paige, and his divorce is “announced” in these Suzy articles only two days later.

Philadelphia Inquirer OCT 12. 1973.

I conjecture that Desmond was “feeling free” that evening knowing his pending divorce would soon be out in the open.

1973 cont. Desmond was busy travelling the USA fundraising and promoting his latest book as we see from these two Suzy columns.

March 21, 1973 Suzy column NY Daily News. Mariga is mentioned. Before separation announcement
Suzy column April 13, 1973 NY Daily News
LAT Sept. 23, 1973 Desmond is a guest in the LA home of Douglas Campbell only two weeks before the Santa Barbara soiree. Did Desmond and Paige spend time in Los Angeles together at this time in Los Angeles?

See next chapter.

1972. 1973 # 1. John Huston. Celeste Shane. Ireland. St. Clerans. Columnist Jack Smith Sees Huston and Hefner at Trendy Backgammon Club. Modeling for Gowland.

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

Yet the photos were taken back in 68 /69, Paige’s most active modeling years.

The image on left looks is from the 69/70 Ridgid Tool company calendar photo session.

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

1972/73 cont...

Paige complains to neighbor Melanie about her relationship with famed film director John Huston.

From the Daily Mail Dec. 2014

“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.”

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.

Therefore:

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

These are the years of John Huston’s marriage to Celeste Shane Green, 1972-1975. Huston’s 5th marriage and CiCi’s 2nd.

Celeste or 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 Paige and Celeste from Sepulveda Stables.

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

 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.

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.

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.   One of the women 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 a good manager of 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 told Paige about Sepulveda Stables. I happen to know that Paige had kept a horse there since grade school when she was Diana Cotterell. She gave her school photos to the owners and they were published on the website about SS, now taken down.

John Huston and Paige were also both painters, these factors may have played a role in their “connection”.

I have read several John Huston biographies.

He 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 is the story Melanie tells of Huston hiding Paige’s shoes.

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 much more in-depth look at larger than life John Huston.

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 Meyers, Huston enjoyed that kind of thing.

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.

NEW. From the famous LA writer Jack Smith, he 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 time at the mansion during the filming. That cast of course includes Huston.

And these were the last few years of Paige’s life.

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.

More about John Huston ahead.

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

From a series of photos for Electrochemicals clients.

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