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Mercedes De Acosta
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Playwright
    (March 1, 1893-May 9, 1968)
    Born in New York City, New York
    Wrote the plays 'Sandro Botticelli' (1923) 'Jehanne d'Arc' (1925) and 'Jacob Slovak' (1927)
    Wrote the autobiography 'Here Lies The Heart' (1960)
    Her mother raised her as a boy, calling her Rafael and dressing her in boys' clothes.
    She was removed from convent school following an incident with two nuns.
    Her chalk-white make-up and slicked-back jet black hair prompted Tallulah Bankhead to call her 'Countess Dracula.'
    She was better known for her love affairs than her writing.
    She became a follower of Meher Baba, who told her that she and Greta Garbo had been married in a previous life.
    Her kiss and tell autobiography upset many of her ex-lovers, with actress Eva Le Gallienne saying it should have been called, 'Here the Heart Lies and Lies and Lies.'
    She was open about her sexuality.
    She wrote, 'Believing only in the eternal value of love, I cannot understand these so-called 'normal' people who believe that a man should love only a woman, and a woman love only a man. If this were so, then it disregards completely the spirit, the personality, and the mind, and stresses all the importance of love to the physical body.'
    Cecil Beaton said, 'In her youth she showed zest and originality.'
    She and Garbo caused a mini-scandal when they wore slacks in public. (Looking back, she noted, 'Considering what walks down Hollywood Boulevard now, it seems strange that Greta and I should have caused such a sensation.')
    Despite financial difficulties, she rejected an offer of $10,000 to sell her correspondence with Garbo, instead donating the letters to a museum that agreed to keep them sealed until ten years after the actress' death.

Credit: C. Fishel


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