Edie Sedgwick: Poor, Little Rich Girl

Edie Sedgwick: Poor, Little Rich Girl

If anyone knows the name Edie Sedgwick, you’re probably thinking, silver hair, the sixties underground, impeccable fashion sense, and Andy Warhol. Yes, she had her 15 minutes of fame, as the NYC underground Queen, but she was a living breathing person, not just a Warhol muse. Edie grew up in Santa Barbara, born from socialite parents, whose background, even the Queen would envy. Cut from blue-blooded cloth, Edie had the best of everything. She didn’t just grow up on a ranch, but 3 ranches. She was the baby doll of the 8-children, family. But, being the bay doll had it’s downside. There are reports of sexual abuse from her father and brother(s), from an early age. When Edie caught her father making love to a mistress, she fled and told her mum. Instead of believing her, she was institutionalized as, delusional. Edie still wanted to be loved and developed a sick, self-conscience. At age 13, she began binging and purging, so her parents sent her to a boarding school. When her “secret” was found out, the school dismissed her and her father sent her to Silver Hill, another institution. At Silver, she had lost even more weight and was moved to NY State Hospital. Finally, having a strict environment, her health improved. In 1965, her brother Minty who was her closest ally, had committed suicide while, institutionalized. This devastated Edie and she blamed her parents, very much. Edie wasn’t just a baby doll, she was very smart. To escape her parents, she moved to Cambridge and studied art. Here she began hanging with the Harvard fringe, mostly gay men, who showed her how to party. Edie had found her niche! Tragically, her other brother, Bobby committed vehicular, suicide on his motorcycle, just 18 months after, Minty died. Edie ran again, this time to NYC. To pass the days, Edie spent lavishly on clothes, make-up, and accessories..about $8,000 in six months and drained the rest of her trust fund on crazy parties, every night. She was inevitably going to run into the diplomat of the NYC party scene, Andy Warhol. Andy was enamored with her…beauty, style, personality, and a rich background. She was the girl, Andy always wanted to be! Andy invited her to his studio, “The Factory” and it was here, she made a famous name for herself. Edie appeared in several of Warhol’s, way-out, films. She cropped her hair like a boy’s and powdered silver, to match Andy’s premature, white hair. Wherever Andy went, Edie was on his arm. The public was starting to see this girl, this waif, and praised her for her style (that she claims she just made up, as she went along!). Vogue featured her as a “youthquaker”, a young person who was hip & now. During this time, Edie had met Bob Dylan and his best friend, Bob Neuwirth. It was never confirmed, but from all accounts Edie most likely had an affair with, Dylan. “Like A Rolling Stone” and “Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat”, are purportedly about Edie. Everything was quite a whirlwind, the social status, the A-list parties, the celebrity friends, and the drugs, came so fast, it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. Edie may or may not have loved Dylan, but she did love drugs. It was the perfect way to escape the mental torture, she had been going through, in her eyes. It was easily accessible and all it did was cost money…and who cared about that!? Andy had begun making $$off of his paintings and his films, which mostly starred, Edie. When Edie had finally hit the bottom of the money well, she began arguing with Andy about getting paid. In one of these arguments, Andy callously said, “You know Bobby Dylan was married, the other night”…Edie trembled and went to make a phone call…when she came back. She said she was done with Andy and The Factory, never saw her again. Edie returned to the West Coast. It was the late ’60’s and it’s was the hippie, hub. Edie seemed to have had a death wishes during this time. She hung with The Hell’s Angels, had multiple lovers, and did a lot of speed, alcohol, and downers. A very deadly, cocktail. Edie decided to try to pull herself together, so she checked into a rehab. She met a fellow patient and they married, in July, 1971. He tried to keep her at least a little sober, until a relapse in October. By November, Edie was found cold and lifeless, next to her newlywed. Edie never lived to see her story told, (in psychedelic fashion..but, hey how else would she have wanted it?) in her last movie, “Ciao, Manhattan”. Edie was probably the pioneer of the “celebutantes”, the do-nothing, divas, but for some reason, to me…she was very real. If only her mind hadn’t been addled with drugs starting at age 13, in those hospitals, who knows what Edie may have done. Now, all we can say is, “Ciao, Edie”. 4/20/43 – 11/16/1971.

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One thought on “Edie Sedgwick: Poor, Little Rich Girl

  1. Pingback: Edie Sedgwick: Poor, Little Rich Girl | famousdames

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