Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Celeste Holm (and her leading man)



Celeste Holm's glamorous life began in Chicago, where the newlywed college student began acting in plays.

The blonde beauty was a huge success on the stage, but unfortunately, her personal life was interfering with her work. At 22, she ended up divorcing her husband and giving her two-year-old son to her parents to raise, so she could focus on her acting career.



Giving up her family helped Celeste rise to stardom. By the 1940s, Celeste was a famous Broadway star and a few years later, she began making movies.

In 1947, she won an Oscar for her role in Gentleman's Agreement. She starred in All About Eve, with Bette Davis and Marilyn Monroe. She also starred in High Society with Grace Kelly.



During that time, Celeste had three other husbands and another son.

Her oldest son, Ted Nelson, actually went on to become a legend in his own right. He is an Internet pioneer and a famous sociologist. He has won numerous prestigious awards and is highly regarded around the world. His brother, Celeste's younger son, became a successful businessman.



In 1999, Celeste's life changed forever. The 82-year-old widow was attending a fundraiser when she met Frank Basile, a dashing 36-year-old opera-singing waiter.

Frank was seriously dating another woman at the time, but he started pursuing the legendary actress on the side anyway. He even skipped shifts as a waiter to romance Celeste. He claims he was madly in love and he didn't even realize there was a 46-year age difference.



When Celeste's sons, who are 74 and 64, found out about their elderly mother's new boyfriend, they were suspicious. After all, Celeste is worth $13 million. So, they created a financial trust so Frank couldn't touch her money. But that only pissed Frank off. In 2004 on her 87th birthday, although Celeste was newly diagnosed with Alzheimer's, the couple eloped.



After they were married, Frank got into a nasty disagreement with his new stepsons over his inheritance. He wanted more than the $200,000 they offered. Eventually, he settled for inheriting one-third of Celeste's estate, upon her death.

Then, Frank and Celeste sued her two children so they could regain control of her finances. It was a five-year battle which cost them millions of dollars.



Poor 94-year-old Celeste, who is incredibly confused over the matter, as she is battling Alzheimer's, is now estranged from her two sons over the incident.

But, the Hollywood legend seems to be content with her much younger husband. He stuck by her side as she battled memory loss, a collapsed lung, hip replacements, and bleeding ulcers.



Plus, she still has drive. Just like she didn't allow motherhood to prevent her from working 70-some years ago, she's not letting her ailments prevent her from doing the same now.



Celeste recently finished filming her latest movie, College Debts, a raunchy low-budget comedy about a kid who needs to find a way to pay for acting school.



Above is a photo of Celeste with her hunky new co-star. Should Frank be jealous?!

What are your thoughts on Celeste's scandalous marriage?

36 comments:

Josie said...

How sad that it resulted in her and her sons being estranged... But I can't believe she's still doing movies!
xo Josie
www.winksmilestyle.com

debbiecutieface said...

I must admit I am definitely suspicious of her new husband too...I mean, come on. It's so sad she and her kids are estranged.

Tights Lover said...

What a story. It seems it happens way more often in the opposite direction with the older man and younger woman.

Is her husband the male Anna Nicole Smith? hahahaha. These estate battles are always crazy to watch. Good thing I'll never have that problem!

Joking aside, Alzheimer's is a horrible disease. I really feel for her. It's hard to watch someone succumb to it.

Oh to Be a Muse said...

yeah, Frank should totally be jealous. he sounds like a bit of loser if you ask me.

Mouthwash said...

I am...stunned. I'm so suspicious of her husband too! I mean, Anna Smith didn't get her mans money, why should this guy? Even though the money is HERS and she should have to right to do with it whatever she wants, I think the sons should have it: she practically dumped them on her parents! They should get some form of money from her.

Great writing Jen!

Amber

Bienvenue chez French Girl in Seattle... said...

Great story, Jen. So, let me get this right: Move over Demi Moore. Celeste was the original "cougar" then? ;-) Ah, stars and their complicated but utterly fascinating lives. Always so much pathos and drama. Their lives and careers inspire good stories, though. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

SassyUptownChic said...

Oh my gosh! I saw All About Eve and definitely remember her. I hate to see families split up like that. That is such a huge age difference. If she didn't have money, you would have to ask if he would be with her! Someone that truly loves you, wouldn't want to split up your family like that. It's like he is isolating her. Great post Jen! :)
http://sassyuptownchic.blogspot.com/

David L Macaulay said...

euww - a 32-year-old dating an 80 something year old is kinda gross; it strikes me as an Anna Nicole Smith scenario in reverse.

Arielle said...

I just feel bad for her sons. This guy is obviously a gold digger just waiting for her to die and her sons were only trying to protect her and then she drove them away. Either way, she didn't sound like a good mother anyways, giving them up for her own personal career.

-Arielle
www.humblepievintage.com

Gayatri said...

Wow! I really don't know what I think of her marriage. I mean, Alzheimer's, poor waiter husband, suing for inheritance errr sounds a bit off. But if they're in love and he takes care of her, who are we to say anything? I can see where her kids are coming from though!

Gayatri

Stephanie said...

Did you mean this ironically?

"Plus, she still has drive. Just like she didn't allow motherhood to prevent her from working 70-some years ago, she's not letting her ailments prevent her from doing the same now."

I think it's kind of...well...weird to talk about overcoming health barriers in the same way as motherhood.

That said, this is another interesting story. Now about that book that I've decided you should write...

Alexandria said...

WHAT?! Girl is fierce. Good for her, snagging that young man. But damn. Sad life.

Julie @ ROJ Running said...

I love the old fashioned look of b&w photos that were colored after the fact. You find the most interesting people.

BTW. If you didn't notice and if you're interested, I'm doing a holiday ornament exchange over at my blog http://www.rojrunning.com/2011/11/holiday-ornament-exchange.html

Olga said...

I think that women choose their companion in life, but cannot choose their children. The age difference is a strange thing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Chyrel Gomez said...

This is terrible cause my Grandma's showing signs of Alzheimer's. :(

As for the relationship, it's somehow suspicious but who knows. Maybe he did love her after all. I've always believed there's something good in someone. Or maybe I am just too trusting.

azu said...

She was always so pretty! And still is. I hope I can look that good when I'm old.

I'm not sure about this Frank character. In some of those pictures he seems a little fake. But you never know...he really could have a heart of gold.

Thanks for sharing this lovely actress with us :)

xo

Azu

Esmeralda said...

I love her role in All about Eve, love that movie, and I was shocked reading her life story, I feel sorry for her sons...
Love this kind of post!!!

Cafe Fashionista said...

I say...go after what makes you happy; though it's very sad to see that she is now estranged from her sons. :/

Courtney Erin said...

Honestly, it seems pretty suspicious to me. And weird. And how sad that it's cost her a relationship with her sons.


xoxo ~ Courtney
http://sartorialsidelines.com

Couture Carrie said...

Wow what a juicy bio!
Awesome post, darling!

xoxox,
CC

amy b.s. said...

how lovely is she? and her husband sounds a little suspect...

love jenny xoxo said...

very interesting story! I'm not sure which side I'd fall on, but it's sad split up the family. I'm hoping they really did have a connection...

XOXO

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

He is scum, motivated only by money. Poor Celeste, but the fact that she's still acting and looks amazing through it all - impressive.
xoRobyn

Nicole✗✗ said...

Hey more power to her! If she is happy or actually if they are both happy that is all that matters. However, it is unfortunate that it resulted in tension with her sons. That is something I couldn't let happen. Without specific details it's hard to know who to be suspicious of.

Silver Strands said...

I say "ugh". One can never know the heart of another, but to have a family torn apart - big red flags to me! It seems that if he really loves her, he wouldn't care about the money, and there would still be peace in the family because money wouldn't evne be talked about. Sad.

Meri said...

Is it All about Eve that I recognize her from?

Imogen said...

I didn't know any of this. It is quite an incredible story. I can't believe it. 82 and 30 something that just seems wrong to me. I don't think an age difference like that ever works. It is very sad she became estranged from her children as a result.

Movies on my Mind said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Movies on my Mind said...

Hmm, one gets the impression Hollywood kids are spoiled rotten and simply exist for an eventual inheritance. Anthony Quinn’s kids were the same way too, as not one of his children ever worked for a living and just sponged off the old man.

Guys who go after older women get less of a hard time than girls chasing geriatric sugar daddies. The only difference is that I think older women who prefer younger men are actually young at heart themselves, whereas older men are just plain horny.

This is a difficult area of debate and I’m far too young to understand the complexity of it.

Fashion.MakeUp.LifeStyle said...

Agreed with everyone's comments I am too a bit suspicious of her new husband. This is some sad story.


<3 Marina
Fashion.MakeUp.LifeStyle

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