Madeleine Astor


Aug 30, 2005
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Vitezslav,

I think i may have found the picture on the website back-to-titanic. com so you dont have to send me the picture. Also i found another picture on marconigraph.com/gota and in there she is wearing a similar coat to the one in Cameron's movie. So u dont have to go through the trouble of sending me the picture, but thanks anyway.

Andy
 
Sep 1, 2004
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Sorry, Andy, that I did not response you - I am at school now and here is no internet - that's terrible :-( I have already sent it to you, even if you have already find it. It was on back-to-titanic.com I did not know I can send you images with a private message.

Vitezslav
 
J

João Carlos Pereira Martins

Guest
I was just wondering why are there so many references of Madeleine and the Colonel near boats 13 and 15 prior their launching! According to some steerage passengers (I can't remind the exact names), Mrs. Astor was distributing blankets and coats to the below deck children, women and men before they board the lifeboat. Is it true? Why would she stand in the middle of a confused crowd of second and third class passengers? I haven't understood the meaning of this situation yet.

Best, João
 

Brian Ahern

Member
Dec 19, 2002
645
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João - It is not true. The Astors were nowhere near boats 13 and 15, which were in second class space. Mrs. Astor left the ship from 1st class space and most indicators point to the Colonel's remaining in that area after she left (in truth, he wouldn't have had much time to go anywhere).

Both Astors - like Major Butt - turned up in numerous survivor accounts and media reports in places and situations they couldn't possibly have been in. They were among the most famous passengers at a time when people's names were probably more famous than their faces, and so people were on the lookout for them and the press jumped on the slightest breath of a hint of a reference to them.

The account that is quite possibly true is that Mrs. A. gave an extra shawl to a woman with a child in boat 4.

Regards,
Brian
 
Mar 20, 2000
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Brian is right about J.J. and Madeleine Astor and Archie Butt. It seems everybody "saw" the Astors or Maj. Butt at some point during the evacuation; account after account mentions them —— it’s almost comical. These sightings were a matter of mistaken identity, wishful thinking or outright fabrications by survivors. Other cases can be attributed to embellishment by headline-happy reporters.

Leah Aks’ claim that Mrs. Astor gave her a scarf for her infant son, Frank, while on deck or in a lifeboat (there are different versions of the tale) is suspicious. Leah’s baby was separated from her in the crowd somehow, he being handed into Lifeboat 11 while she got in No. 13. Nobody knows how they got split up, though Edith Russell (who helped look after little Frank in the boat) posed the sensational explanation that Leah abandoned him, then tried to pretend she didn’t have a child when she got aboard Carpathia. At any rate, mother and son didn’t escape together and the Astors, as Brian says, weren’t in the vicinity of the aft boats anyway.

Also, it should be noted that Leah Aks claimed the millionaire’s bride gave her, in addition to the scarf, a bottle of Chanel No. 5, which couldn’t have happened. That perfume was not available until 1923. Madeleine may have been ahead of fashion but not THAT ahead!
 
J

João Carlos Pereira Martins

Guest
Thanks everybody for the answers but I read many things regarding the facts I presented in the above post! Some passengers said it was a crying woman, others that she was giving them some clothes, that she was Mrs. Astor but the Astors had no reason to be in that area. Quite interesting that story about the perfume Chanel. I didn't know it!

Regards,
João
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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Here.
113405.jpg


And, in case you've wondered what became of her final husband:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0276417

who survived well into the era of Titanic mania leading one to wonder if he was ever interviewed late in life about Madeline in the context of one of his film promotions.
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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The critics were unkind....

113409.jpg


Enzo and Madeline in 1934. To prove he wasn't a "kept boy" he came out of retirement after 18 months and, in a highly publicized championship battle, was defeated by an opponent the sporting press gleefully referred to as "moth eaten." In THAT case, the reviews both personal and professional went beyond nasty and into downright spiteful:

"Fiermonte is a first class drawing card. He can do well even if he can't fight~ just going around the country and being bowled over. Everyone wants to see the handsome creature who had the spunk to leave the drawing room of the rich Mrs. Astor Dick and go out in search of gold and glory in the back busting business.

There is only one thing drawback with such a program. It's AWFULLY hard on finely chiseled features and long eyelashes."


Just because he was only 4 years older than her son doesn't mean that it wasn't a relationship built on mutual admiration....
happy.gif


Both images from copyright lapsed sources, btw.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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He, of course, insisted that it was based entirely on his brains. He granted an interview just after their wedding in which he explained that his lifelong ambition was to become a broker and that his career as a boxer and nigthclub entertainer was just a diversion.....

...however High Society and his vengeful abandoned wife, Tosca, were not buying it. The reviews from both were not kind.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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I'm a fan of society people and showbiz figures making public fools of themselves and have collected on this story for years. The Dick/Fiermonte match was one made in tabloid heaven~ much like Ben and Jennifer the public took an instant dislike ~ and it makes for some hilarious reading a la "Desperate Houswives." To his credit, he DID forge an actual career for himself as an actor after the divorce. And in reading the volumous bad press they fostered, Enzo came across somehwat better than Madeline did.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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The marriage proved such a public embarrassment, and the publicity so negative, that when Mr. Fiermonte travelled to Italy to settle issues with fiery ex wife Tosca in 1935, the Italian Government interceded and withdrew Enzo's passport, trapping him there, safely away from the slings and barbs of an unkind world.....and so Barbara Hutton soon seized the title of "World's least popular heiress" away from Madeline.
____________________________________________

ITALY TO KEEP FIERMONTE

PRIZEFIGHTER GOES BACK TO HOMELAND FOR VISIT WITH WIFE No.2 AND GOVERNMENT WILL RETAIN HIM.

Rome, Feb. 12. Italy today decided to keep her Enzo Fiermonte forever, takling up his passport and forbidding him to leave Italian soil.

The United States has seen enough of Enzo, the government decision intimated. Enzo has seen the last of the United States, and his rich American wife has seen the last of Enzo if she doesn't want to settle down with him in Italy.

Enzo has seen a clever lawyer, but it looks as though the government decision will stand. In effect, Italy has ruled that if Enzo wants his "sweet doing of nothing" he'll have to get it in his homeland.

The ruling is that Enzo is not the kind of representative Italian that il Duce wants abroad.

"Fiermonte is an Italian. When he went to America he acted ina way Italy cannot approve. Italy does not recognize his divorce. Fiermonte has an Italian wife.

Because he is not considered desirable to represent Italians abroad and to make sure he mets his obligations, his passport will not be returned."

Enzo was all the more put out at the turn of events tonight by the fact that his return to Italy was a purely gratuitous visit to the old folks at home.

He came straight from the Hauptmann trial at Flemington where he cut quite a swathy by throwing a big spaghetti dinner for newspapermen. Filled with the pleasant warmth of miles of spaghetti, he boarded the S.S. Roma and sailed for home.

Several days out from New York, Enzo discovered that Mrs. Fiermonte #2 was also aboard. Intuitively he wired a friend:

"Wife is aboard. God help me."

But, on the second thought he effected a reconcilation with the New York society woman and they decided to visit home, settle things with Mrs. Fiermonte #1, take a run over to the Riviera and then return to the United States together.

There were rumors that a snare awaited the returning gladiator at Naples. Enzo grew cautious. He switched to a Dutch ship at Algeria and Mrs. Fiermonte continued on under the Italian flag alone.

As long as he remained aboard a Dutch ship, Enzo argued, he was under the protection of the Dutch flag. But the reception at Genoa was so friendly that Enzo was lured ashore.

There was some solace for the caged lion Enzo was tonight. Should Mussolini need troops for the Abyssinian border, Enzo is not likely to be one of them.
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
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Jul 4, 2000
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There are quite a few New York Times articles about the Astor-Fiermonte marriage that are linked to from Mrs. Astor's bio page.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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The Times was rather staid~ the tabloids, with their love of lurid detail, obvious enjoyment at tormenting the adoring couple and ENDLESS supply of photos that made him look about 18 and her look about 60 to further inflame public opinion, were where the story really found its home. I've yet to find any 'photo recreations' of the final fiasco aboard the Roma, but given the, shall we say, less than dignified "addio" to married life they experienced in 1935, one KNOWS that somewhere out there waiting to be rediscovered is the masterpiece of some ambitious tab editor who hired actors to re-enact key scenes from the sordid domestic drama and then superimposed the heads of Madeline, Enzo, Tosca and Mussolini over those of his models.
 
K

kammi jo casci

Guest
In a post that I had read, it said that J.J. & Madeleine had a party, where she was snubbed. Does anyone have any idea what happened?

~Kammi~
 

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