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Nicolas Louis Alexandre De Gunzburg
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Birth: Dec. 12, 1904, France
Death: Feb. 20, 1981
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA

Actor, producer, magazine editor-in-chief, Russian nobility. Baron Nicolas Louis Alexandre de Gunzburg was born in Paris to a wealthy Russian banking family, with close connections to the Czar. Raised primarily in England his later youth was spent in France. Living the life of a bon vivant in the Paris of the 1920s and 1930s he was popular with the artistic and social elite of Paris. He spent money lavishly, and the parties he gave included extravagant sets designed by architects and artists. His costume balls and parties of pre-war Paris were discussed not for the next week, but the next forty years. Carl Theodor Dreyer, the Danish film director would meet him in 1931. This led to their co-production of the classic horror film Vampyr first released as a silent film in 1932. Loosely based on the Carmilla vampire novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu the hero "David Gray" is played by Baron de Gunzburg under the screen name Julian West. After his father's death he learned that the remaining family fortune proved to be nothing more than an illusion. Left with only the money he had in a checking account and the title "Baron" as an inheritance he purchased his passage to America, and used what was left to throw one last, great party in Paris- "Le Bal de Valses", the party that went down in legend - and then set off for America. The theme was the Imperial Court at Vienna in the late 19th century. Guests came dressed as characters from the Court. He had special sets and costumes designed, and all the guests came in their own costumes designed just for the occasion. Arriving in America in 1934, he settled first in California. One of many European emigrés who sought refuge in the growing colony of artists in Hollywood. Here he met among many performers a young actor, Erik Rhodes with whom he would live for a number of years. He soon headed back east, this time to New York City, which was his home for the remainder of his life. True to his aristocratic and somewhat bohemian lifestyle, his Certificate of Immigration from the French Consulate General in New York listed him as "sans profession", without profession. He soon became a fixture of the American fashion industry and would build a career from his impeccable and unerring eye for fashion. Slim, impeccably dressed, always elegant he looked the part and was often known as just the "Baron" or "Nicki" as he himself often wrote his name. One Vogue writer described him as "A slender, attractive man with a really dry wit, a gift for mimicry, and a sharply developed taste for the simple but cultivated amenities of living." Appointed editor-in-chief of Condé Nast's publication Town and Country in the early 1940s he soon extended his social circle which would include Noel Coward, Cole Porter, the Zizis, Lauren Bacall, the Nordstrom Sisters, Dagmar and Siggie, Diana Vreeland, Coco Channel, photographer Cecil Beaton, Billy Baldwin and too many others to name. Edgar de Evia would often talk of his early work that Nicki de Gunzburg gave him at Town and Country being his entré to all of the Condé Nast publications. After the war Erik Rhodes returned to New York City and the pair would often be seen together at popular watering holes such as the Stork Club and 21 Club. For many years a senior fashion editor of Vogue (he remained with Vogue over two decades through the 1950s and 1960s) and later a fashion editor at Harper's Bazaar. Alexander Liberman, editorial director of Condé Nast publications, called him "One of the most civilized men in Paris." Known to have spotted and groomed at least three young fashion designers who would go on to dominate the industry: Calvin Klein – perhaps de Gunzburg's most famous protegé (whom he met in the mid - 1960's) spoke of him in an interview with Bianca Jagger and Andy Warhol in Interview magazine, published not long after the Baron's death:—"He was truly the greatest inspiration of my life... he was my mentor, I was his protegé..If you talk about a person with style and true elegance-- maybe I'm being a snob, but I'll tell you, there was no one like him. I used to think, boy, did he put me through hell sometimes, but boy, was I lucky. I was so lucky to have known him so well for so long." Recalling one of Calvin Klein's first major fashion shows his mentor said that immediately after the show, a nervous Klein sought out his opinions on his new designs, and on whether the event had been a success or failure. The response to his protegé, a wry assessment -- chilly, but supportive and polite:—"You showed great courage." Bill Blass – Oscar de la Renta were the others. Eventually, the fame of these protegé came to far eclipse his own – indeed, they became household names, while de Gunzburg was famous mainly within the circles of the fashion, literary, and social worlds of New York, London, and Paris. A summer resident of Highland Lakes, in Vernon Township, New Jersey for the last twenty years of his life having searched a wide area for just the right lake. He found and bought an island in Highland Lake, called "Hemlock Island," constructed a causeway to the island, and built a summer house decorated and furnished with extreme care, which showcased his eye for the simple, austere and elegant. At the head of the causeway leading to Hemlock Island was a sign which simply said "N de G". He died died on a Friday in New York Hospital, at 76 years of age. He was buried the following spring near his summer home with a small private service. Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, and Calvin Klein were among the mourners.

Glenwood Cemetery
Sussex County
New Jersey, USA
Created by: D C McJonathan-Swarm
Record added: Nov 14, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12343467
Nicolas Louis Alexandre De Gunzburg
Added by: David DeRitter
Nicolas Louis Alexandre De Gunzburg
Added by: D C McJonathan-Swarm
Nicolas Louis Alexandre De Gunzburg
Cemetery Photo
Added by: D DeWitt
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- Lance
 Added: Oct. 20, 2014
rest in his arms Nicolas you were such a brillant film star
- the father of hymns dr.bonner
 Added: Oct. 9, 2013
We're watching your movie on TCM, and you were very handsome and a good actor. RIP. Anna
- MaryAnn
 Added: Oct. 25, 2010
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