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Mercedes De Acosta
Birth: Mar. 1, 1893
Death: May 9, 1968

Author, folk figure. Born in New York City to wealthy Cuban immigrants, Mercedes often claimed she thought she was a boy named "Raphael" until she was seven. Through her sister Rita, who posed for well-known painters, Mercedes met Rodin, Stravinsky, and other notables in the artistic, musical, and literary circles. She married Abram Poole in what was called at the time a "lavendar marriage," meaning he was a cover for her lesbian affairs. Alice B. Toklas said of her, "Say what you will about Mercedes, she's had the most important women in the twentieth century." Her lovers included Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Isadora Duncan, stage actress Eva Le Galliene, and Tallulah Bankhead. Her one official Hollywood credit was for the screenplay for 1932's "Rasputin and the Empress," although she did screenwriting for many other films, as well as several plays and four volumes of poetry. In 1960 her memoir "Here Lies the Heart" was published, although she glossed over many of her affairs with Hollywood's elite. Dietrich praised the book; Garbo disowned Mercedes and never spoke to her again. Needing brain surgery in 1961, she had to sell her jewelry to pay the bill. She was offered thousands to sell her letters from Garbo, but refused; she instead willed them to the Rosenbach Museum, on the condition that they not be made public until ten years after the death of the last surviving correspondent (the letters were released to the public in April 2000, ten years after Garbo's death). Having alienated many of her friends and lovers by publishing her biography, she died almost penniless and alone in New York. Her friend Cecil Beaton said upon her death, "I am relieved that her long drawn out unhappiness has at last come to an end." After the Stonewall riots and a new interest in gay and lesbian history, "Here Lies the Heart" was republished the mid 1970's and enjoyed great success, making Mercedes a well known name, although more for her love affairs than any of her literary works. (bio by: Jennifer M.) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Micaela Hernandez De Alba Y De Alba De Acosta (1853 - 1921)
 
 Siblings:
  Joaquin Ignacio De Acosta (1870 - 1886)*
  Rita Hernandez de Alba De Acosta Lydig (1875 - 1929)*
  Maria Cecelia De Acosta Chanler (1880 - 1970)*
  Ricardo Miguel De Acosta (1881 - 1945)*
  Aida Marta De Acosta Breckinridge (1884 - 1962)*
  Enrique Jose De Acosta (1886 - 1911)*
  Angela Aloysius De Acosta Shaw (1891 - 1978)*
  Mercedes De Acosta (1893 - 1968)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum
Manhattan
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Jennifer M.
Record added: May 12, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 8744496
Mercedes De Acosta
Added by: Jennifer M.
 
Mercedes De Acosta
Added by: AlongSide
 
Mercedes De Acosta
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Ginny M
 
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- Trisha W.
 Added: Mar. 5, 2016

- mj
 Added: Mar. 1, 2016

- sjm
 Added: May. 9, 2015
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Current ranking for this person: (3.7 after 51 votes)
 

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