Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Peter Lawford, 'Ocean's Eleven' actor who died destitute

1923 Peter Lawford (Peter Sydney Ernest Aylen; d. December 24, 1984), English-born actor, member of the so-called Rat Pack, comprising Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr and Joey Bishop who appeared together in Ocean’s Eleven ...

In 1972, Lawford had surgery to remove a pancreatic tumour. By that time, he was in ill health as a result of long-time alcoholism, and he died on Christmas Eve, 1984 of cardiac arrest complicated by kidney and liver failure.

Peter Lawford died a pariah in Hollwood, to whom restaurants refused to deliver food as he was a bad bill-payer. He died penniless, without even enough money for a cemetery plot, and it has been alleged that his last wife, Patricia Seaton Lawford, made a deal with the seedy National Enquirer magazine that it could photograph the ashes-scattering ceremony, in exchange for the cost of the funeral.

Lawford was also a Kennedy clansman. He was uncle of Maria Shriver (wife of Arnold Schwarzenegger) and brother-in-law to President John F Kennedy. He visited Marilyn Monroe with brother-in-law Robert Kennedy the evening she died.

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