Thursday, January 1, 2015

She wasn't just eye-Mandy, RIP

2014 marked the seventieth, and final year on earth, of one of the principals in the Profumo scandal of 1963--John Profumo died in 2006 after a lifetime of charitable work, Soviet military attache Yevgeny Ivanov in 1994, Stephen Ward comitted suicide while the jury in his trial deliberated his fate--Mandy Rice Davies. The Telegraph obit, as always, had the best summing up;
Within her first year in the capital, she claimed to have been proposed to by the ageing Lord Dudley; she had an affair with the fraudster Emil Savundra; and, still aged 16, became the mistress of Peter Rachman, the notorious slum landlord. Rachman called her “Choochi”, she called him “Chich”, and they lived together for two years. Despite the affectionate nature of their relationship, he never told her he had a wife. This created difficulties after his death from a heart attack in 1962 when his wife, Audrey, reclaimed the Jaguar he had given his 16-year-old mistress.
In between these amorous encounters, with that irrepressible hope of better things to come that had brought her to London, Mandy Rice-Davies continued to pursue a career as a model and actress. She appeared in advertisements for Pepsodent, singing “You’ll wonder where the yellow went”, and for Pepsi, although she always refused to allow herself to be photographed in the nude on the ground that “You never know, you might become prime minister.”
Without the exposure of the hypocrisies of England's upper classes during the Profumo Affair, grocer's daughter Margaret Thatcher--with whom she late in life became a friend--may never have risen to lead the Tory party, so Mandy may have been right, you never know who's going to become Prime Minister.

Of all the participants in the scandal of 1963--the same year the Beatles came to America--Mandy was the one who prospered because of it (her friend Christine Keeler served six months in jail for perjury). She went on to sing in cabarets in Germany, own nightclubs and restaurants in Israel, and have several movie parts over many years.

As well as coining a phrase that survives in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations; 'Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?' That, in reference to the denial of Lord Astor that he'd ever slept with Mandy.

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