Women’s Wear Daily
04.16.2014
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Suzy

Bette Midler is telling her friends that she would be too nervous to stand up and do comic material in front of billions of people as host of the Oscars. Which means forget it. She might be sensational. That walk of hers alone is...

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Bette Midler is telling her friends that she would be too nervous to stand up and do comic material in front of billions of people as host of the Oscars. Which means forget it. She might be sensational. That walk of hers alone is enough to bring down the house. Just leave that hideola red wig from "Gypsy" at home, honey. You're too Divine for that.

You have probably been reading bits and pieces lately about the Vanderbilts and the Whitneys, specifically about the terms of Cornelius Vanderbilt (Sonny) Whitney's will. If you care -- and people usually do when vast amounts of money are involved -- perhaps we can shed a little light. Even if you don't care....

First, the recently deceased (Sonny) Whitney -- he died about a year ago -- had four wives, three of whom he divorced: Marie Norton, who later married Averell Harriman; Gladys Hopkins, who later married Ambassador Josiah Marvel; Eleanor Searle, who later married the Texas oil millionaire James McCullogh, and, fourth and last, his widow Marylou Schroeder Hosford, who, so far, has married nobody. That is not to say she won't. However, Marylou always said she'd be the last Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney -- and when Marylou says something she usually means it. Strike that usually.

In Sonny's will, he left everything, about $100 million, to Marylou, but also upon his death, a trust fund of almost $50 million, created by his father, Harry Payne Whitney for "blood of his issue only" was released to Sonny's three living children, Nancy (whom he had not seen in 30 years); Searle, his son by Eleanor Whitney, and Cornelia, his daughter by Marylou. Also sharing in the trust were the three children of his already-deceased son, Harry Payne Whitney 2nd. So none of these offspring has to go out into the world cap in hand. When Harry died, Marylou and Sonny, then in his mid-'80s, were en route to China. Sonny did not return for Harry's funeral.
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