“For a time, I was living the life of Ernest Hemingway.” Margaux Hemingway
American model-turned-actress and granddaughter of Nobel Prize winning author Ernest Hemingway, Margaux Hemingway (born in 1954, died in 1996) achieved supermodel status at age 21 as the spokesmodel of the Faberge fragrance Babe. Her face soon graced covers of illustrious magazines like Time and Vogue and she embarked on her film career with a starring role in the thriller “Lipstick” (1976), which also launched the career of her little sister Mariel Hemingway. Not as successful as her sister, Margaux appeared in such vehicles as “Killer Fish” (1979), “Over the Brooklyn Bridge” (1984) and “Goma-2” (1984), but it was her turbulent personal life that kept her in the spotlight. A regular guest at Studio 54 in New York, she became dependent on alcohol and drugs and later entered the Betty Ford Center for treatment. She eventually became sober and made a comeback in 1990 by posing nude for Playboy. Several movie roles followed, including roles in “Mass in C Minor” (1990), “Donna di una sera, La” (1991), “Inner Sanctum” (1991), “Inner Sanctum II” (1994), “Double Obsession” (1994) and “Vicious Kiss” (1995), but none really helped to revive her career.
Stricken by eating disorders, epilepsy and rounds of alcoholism and drug addiction, Hemingway died in her home in Santa Monica at age 41. Prior to her death, she appeared in “Dangerous Cargo” (1996) and “Backroads to Vegas” (released in 1999) and hosted the documentary series “Wild Guide” (1996).
Hemingway had been married twice. She was married to Erroll Wetson from 1975 to 1978 and Bernard Foucher from 1979 to 1987. The marriages produced no children.
Childhood and Family:
Margot Louise Hemingway was born on February 16, 1954, in Portland, Oregon, to Jack Hemingway and Byra Louise Whittlesey. Her paternal grandfather was great American writer Ernest Hemingway. In addition to Portland, Oregon, she was also raised in Havana, Cuba, central California and her grandfather's farm in Ketchum, Idaho. She had an older sister named Joan Hemingway (born in 1950) and a younger sister named Mariel Hemingway (born in 1961), who is an actress.
Also known as Margaux Hemingway, she earned the first name from the renowned Bordeaux vineyard Chateau Margaux. Later, after no longer drinking alcohol, she returned to spelling her name Margot. Apart from her addiction to alcohol and drugs, Hemingway also suffered from epilepsy, bulimia and dyslexia.
In 1975, Hemingway married Erroll Wetson, whom she met at age 19 when she accompanied her father on a business trip to New York City. Four months after the meeting, she left her family home in Idaho to live with Wetson. The couple divorced in 1978. She married Bernard Foucher in 1979 but they divorced in 1987.
On July 2, 1996, one day before the 35th anniversary of the suicide of her grandfather, 41-year-old Hemingway was found dead in her studio apartment in Santa Monica, California. One month after the incident, the L.A. coroner's office announced she died of suicide from an overdose of sedatives. She became the fifth person in her family to commit suicide.
Margaux Hemingway took on various jobs in California before moving to New York City in the mid 1970s. Thanks to her beauty, she soon gained a reputation in the modeling world. In 1975, Hemingway secured a one million dollar contract as the face of the Faberge fragrance Babe and was subsequently shot to national prominence. Her face soon decorated magazines covers around the globe.
After her success as a model, Hemingway launched her movie career the following year with a lead role in the rape melodrama “Lipstick” (1976), which was directed by Lamont Johnson. As the character Chris McCormick, she did not impress Hollywood critics with her performance. However, it was her younger sister Mariel, who received a supporting role in the film after her suggestion, who surprisingly charmed critics and picked up a Golden Globe nomination. Margaux responded to the failure by continuing her modeling career and in 1979 made a second attempt to break into the cinematic industry with a costarring role opposite Lee Majors and Karen Black in the low budget thriller “Killer Fish. “
“I loved to dance and went to Studio 54 at least twice a week but I always felt nervous around the people there. I was in awe of that whole Halston-Liza Minnelli crowd. To me, they were the real celebrities and I was just a girl from Idaho. So I drank to loosen up. I never thought then that alcohol would become a problem. In my grandfather's time it was a virtue to be able to drink a lot and never show it and like him, I wanted to live life to the fullest with gusto.” Margaux Hemingway
Hemingway received a degree of notoriety with her tumultuous social life. She became a frequent attendant at New York's Studio 54 and was easily found at glamorous parties and events. She began drinking heavily and the late 1970s marked the end of her first marriage.
Hemingway resurfaced in 1982 to star with Johnny Yune in “They Call Me Bruce,” an action film by director Elliott Hong. She went on to team up with Elliott Gould, Sid Caesar and Carol Kane for the Arnold Somkin written comedy “Over the Brooklyn Bridge” (1984) and Jorge Rivero in the revenge drama “Goma-2” (also 1984). In 1986, she made her TV film debut with the Italian made “Portami la luna,” alongside Barbara Blanc, Valentina Cervi, Sabrina Ferilli and Massimo Ghini. Despite her occasional acting job, Margaux spent much of her time in the early 1980s traveling and enjoying her new life with second husband Bernard Foucher. She also participated in the making of the documentary “Hemingway: Winner Take Nothing” (1998).
After her second marriage ended in divorce, Hemingway became the center of attention when she checked in to the Betty Ford Center. She eventually recovered from alcohol dependency and tried to resume her career. In 1990, she starred as Sophie in the French movie “Mass in C Minor,” which was written and directed by Jean-Louis Guillermou. She was also seen on the cover of Playboy magazine.
Hemingway next starred as Ellen Foster in the thriller “Donna di una sera, La” (1991), directed by Joe D'Amato. However, it was her next role that earned her notice. Under the direction of Fred Olen Ray, she was required to appear nude for her role of Anna Rawlins in the erotic thriller “Inner Sanctum” (1991), which went on to become a hit on the video rental circuit. Hemingway then received small roles in the low budget thriller “Deadly Rivals” (1993) and the independent drama “Love Is Like That” (1993) before returning to a lead role for the 1994 thriller “Double Obsession,” opposite British actress Maryam d'Abo. She also reprised her role of Anna Rawlins for the sequel “Inner Sanctum II” (1994). It was also in 1994 that Hemingway went to a psychiatric hospital in Idaho to help her with depression. Although she managed to appear in such movies as “Vicious Kiss” (1995, opposite Danny Fendley and Monique Parent) and “Dangerous Cargo” (1996) and served as a host for the documentary series “Wild Guide” (both 1996), in July 1996 she committed suicide by taking an overdose of sedatives. Her last film, “Backroads to Vegas,” was released in 1999. Among her costars in the movie were Casper Van Dien and Janelle Paradee.