Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Celeste Holm (and her leading man)

Celeste Holm's glamorous life began in Chicago, where the newlywed college student began acting in plays.

The blonde beauty was a huge success on the stage, but unfortunately, her personal life was interfering with her work. At 22, she ended up divorcing her husband and giving her two-year-old son to her parents to raise, so she could focus on her acting career.

Giving up her family helped Celeste rise to stardom. By the 1940s, Celeste was a famous Broadway star and a few years later, she began making movies.

In 1947, she won an Oscar for her role in Gentleman's Agreement. She starred in All About Eve, with Bette Davis and Marilyn Monroe. She also starred in High Society with Grace Kelly.

During that time, Celeste had three other husbands and another son.

Her oldest son, Ted Nelson, actually went on to become a legend in his own right. He is an Internet pioneer and a famous sociologist. He has won numerous prestigious awards and is highly regarded around the world. His brother, Celeste's younger son, became a successful businessman.

In 1999, Celeste's life changed forever. The 82-year-old widow was attending a fundraiser when she met Frank Basile, a dashing 36-year-old opera-singing waiter.

Frank was seriously dating another woman at the time, but he started pursuing the legendary actress on the side anyway. He even skipped shifts as a waiter to romance Celeste. He claims he was madly in love and he didn't even realize there was a 46-year age difference.

When Celeste's sons, who are 74 and 64, found out about their elderly mother's new boyfriend, they were suspicious. After all, Celeste is worth $13 million. So, they created a financial trust so Frank couldn't touch her money. But that only pissed Frank off. In 2004 on her 87th birthday, although Celeste was newly diagnosed with Alzheimer's, the couple eloped.

After they were married, Frank got into a nasty disagreement with his new stepsons over his inheritance. He wanted more than the $200,000 they offered. Eventually, he settled for inheriting one-third of Celeste's estate, upon her death.

Then, Frank and Celeste sued her two children so they could regain control of her finances. It was a five-year battle which cost them millions of dollars.

Poor 94-year-old Celeste, who is incredibly confused over the matter, as she is battling Alzheimer's, is now estranged from her two sons over the incident.

But, the Hollywood legend seems to be content with her much younger husband. He stuck by her side as she battled memory loss, a collapsed lung, hip replacements, and bleeding ulcers.

Plus, she still has drive. Just like she didn't allow motherhood to prevent her from working 70-some years ago, she's not letting her ailments prevent her from doing the same now.

Celeste recently finished filming her latest movie, College Debts, a raunchy low-budget comedy about a kid who needs to find a way to pay for acting school.

Above is a photo of Celeste with her hunky new co-star. Should Frank be jealous?!

What are your thoughts on Celeste's scandalous marriage?

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