Margaux Hemingway (February 12, 1954 – July 1, 1996) was an American fashion model and actress.
Margot Louise Hemingway was born in Portland, Oregon, and was the older sister of actress Mariel Hemingway and the granddaughter of writer Ernest Hemingway. When she learned that she was named for the wine, Château Margaux, which her parents, Puck and Jack Hemingway (eldest son of Ernest), were drinking the night she was conceived, she changed the original spelling from 'Margot' to 'Margaux' to match. In addition to Mariel, she had another sister, Joan. She grew up on her grandfather's farm in Ketchum, Idaho. She struggled with a variety of disorders in addition to alcoholism, including bulimia and epilepsy. She allowed a video recording to be made of a therapy session related to her bulimia and it was broadcast on television. Due to dyslexia, she did not read many of the books her famous grandfather wrote. She once said, "I am not a Hemingway aficionado."
Early career as a model
At six feet tall, Hemingway experienced success as a model, including a million-dollar contract for Fabergé as the spokesmodel for Babe perfume in the 1970s. Her lucrative contract with Fabergé was the first million dollar contract ever awarded to a fashion model. She also appeared on the covers of Vogue, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar, and appeared on the June 16, 1975 cover of Time dubbed as one of the "new beauties". The September 1, 1975 cover issue of American Vogue christened Hemingway as "New York's New Supermodel."
In an E! True Hollywood Story that profiled Hemingway's life, her mentor and close friend Zachary Selig discussed how he helped launch Hemingway's early career with his initial marketing and public relations work as she became a global celebrity, and he introduced her to yoga and the Solar Kundalini "Codex Relaxatia" paradigm as tools for success and to overcome some of her debilitating mental disorders. Selig and Hemingway spent time with the Hemingway family at their property in Ketchum adjacent to Sun Valley, where they both studied Solar Kundalini, yoga and meditation together. Hemingway would continue using these relaxation skills for the rest of her life.
During the height of her modeling career in the mid-to late 1970s, Hemingway was a regular attendee of New York City's exclusive discothèque Studio 54 - often in the company of such celebrities as Liza Minnelli, Halston, Bianca Jagger, Andy Warhol and Grace Jones. It was at such social mixers that Hemingway began to experiment with alcohol and drugs.
She made her film debut in the 1976 Lamont Johnson-directed drama Lipstick alongside her then fourteen year-old sister Mariel.
Personal life and later career
Her first marriage, to Errol Wetson, ended in divorce. They met when, at 19, she accompanied her father to the Plaza Hotel in New York City on a business trip, and four months later she moved from Idaho to New York City to live with Wetson as a guest at Selig's apartment at 12 East 72nd Street, a residence that was owned by heiress Gloria Vanderbilt. It was there that Selig made Hemingways's business and social introductions to his friends, such as Marian McEvoy, fashion editor at Women's Wear Daily; photographer Francesco Scavullo; fashion designer Halston; Vogue magazine fashion editor Francis Stein; and Jon Revson, Selig's cousin. Revson, a scion of the Revson family that created Revlon cosmetics, declined Selig's offer for Hemingway to endorse Revlon, whereas later Fabergé signed her on with the largest salary of its day. Revson did come to visit both Selig and Hemingway (with the Hemingway family in Ketchum, Idaho) to congratulate her after Hemingways's Time magazine cover appeared in June 1975. Marion Macelvoy quickly interviewed Margaux at a party given by Selig, which resulted in Hemingway's Women's Wear Daily front- and back-page story that launched Hemingway into the fashion limelight.
On the rebound, Hemingway married Venezuelan Bernard Fauchier, and they lived in Paris for a year. She also divorced him in 1985 after six years. Like her grandfather, she experienced occasional bouts of clinical depression all through her life. After a skiing accident in 1984, she gained 75 pounds and became more and more depressed. In 1987, she checked into the Betty Ford Center. Making a comeback, Hemingway appeared on the cover of Playboy magazine in May 1990, and she asked Playboy to hire Selig as the creative director for her cover story. It was shot in Belize.
Hemingway experienced familial dramas throughout her life. Her relationship with her mother, Puck, was fraught with tension, but they did reconcile prior to Puck's death from cancer in 1988. She also experienced intense competition with her younger sister Mariel, who received greater accolades for her acting. In the 1990s, Hemingway went forward with allegations that her godfather had molested her as a child; her father, Jack, and stepmother, Angela, resented the allegations and stopped speaking to her. Angela told People magazine, "Jack and I did not talk to her for two years. She constantly lies. The whole family won't have anything to do with her. She's nothing but an angry woman."
She supported herself later in life by appearing in a few direct-to-video films, autographing her nude photos from Playboy magazine, and endorsing a psychic telephone hotline owned by her cousin Adiel Hemingway. Shortly before her death, she was set to host the outdoor adventure series Wild Guide on the Discovery Channel.
On July 1, 1996, one day before the anniversary of her grandfather's own suicide, Hemingway was found dead in her studio apartment in Santa Monica, California at age 42. She had taken an overdose of phenobarbital, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's findings one month later. Though her death was ruled a suicide, family members disputed this finding. Steve Crisman, Mariel Hemingway's then-husband in 1996, told People magazine that year, "This was the best I'd seen her in years. She had gotten herself back together." On a December 22, 2005 edition of Larry King Live, however, Mariel said she now accepts the fact that Margaux committed suicide.
Her remains were cremated and buried in the Hemingway family plot in the Ketchum Cemetery in Ketchum, Idaho.
Killer Fish (1979)
They Call Me Bruce? (1982)
Over the Brooklyn Bridge (1984)
Inner Sanctum (1991)
Double Obsession (1992)
Deadly Rivals (1993)
Dangerous Cargo (1996)
Vicious Kiss (1996)
4.^ Entertainment Weekly: Papa's Little Girl
5.^ Psychology Today. What Killed Margaux Hemingway?
6.^ Time Magazine Archives
7.^ Vogue cover scan. September 1, 1975 edition. Archived from Ebay.co.uk.
8.^ E! True Hollywood Story. Margaux Hemingway, season 1, episode 4. 1997.
9.^ Psychology Today: What Killed Margaux Hemingway?
10.^ Hemingway, Margaux "Papa's Girl." Pictorial by Arny Freytag. Playboy Magazine, Vol. 37, Issue 5. May, 1990. Pg. 126-135.
11.^ Schneider, Karen S. (1996-07-15). "A Life Eclipsed". People. http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20141773,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-24.
12.^ "Margaux Hemingway committed suicide, coroner rules". CNN.com. 1996-08-20. http://www.cnn.com/SHOWBIZ/9608/20/hemingway.suicide/. Retrieved 2008-05-24.
13.^ Psychology Today. What Killed Margaux Hemingway?
14.^ Last Act, People, 1996-09-02. Accessed 2008-09-24.
15.^ "Larry King Live: Surviving Suicide of Loved One". CNN.com. 2005-12-22. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0512/22/lkl.01.html. Retrieved 2008-05-24.