Libby Holman - Find Me A Primitive Man (1930) Cole Porter
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Uploaded on Jun 3, 2011
Libby Holman & Bob Haring Orchestra. Libby Holman (May 23, 1904 -- June 18, 1971) was an American torch singer and stage actress who also achieved notoriety for her complex and unconventional personal life. Holman enjoyed a variety of intimate relationships with both men and women throughout her lifetime. Her famous lesbian lovers included the DuPont heiress Louisa d'Andelot Carpenter, actress Jeanne Eagels and modernist writer Jane Bowles. Carpenter was to play a significant part throughout Holman's lifetime. They raised their children and lived together and were openly accepted by their theater companions. She scandalized some by dating much younger men, such as fellow American actor Montgomery Clift, whom she mentored .
Holman took an interest in one fan, Zachary Smith Reynolds, the heir to the R. J. Reynolds's tobacco company. He was smitten with her from the start, despite their seven-year age difference. They met in Baltimore, Maryland in April 1930 after Reynolds saw Holman's performance in a road company staging of the play The Little Show. Reynolds begged friend Dwight Deere Wiman, who was the show's producer, for an introduction to Holman. Reynolds pursued her all around the world in his plane. With the persuasion of her former lover, Louisa d'Andelot Carpenter, Holman and Reynolds, who went by his middle name, married on Sunday, November 29, 1931 in the parlor of Monroe, Michigan. Reynolds wanted Holman to abandon her acting career, she consented by taking a one-year leave of absence. During this time, however, his conservative family was unable to bear Holman and her group of theater friends, who at her invitation often visited Reynolda, the family estate near Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Accusations and arguments among them were common.
In 1932, during a 21st birthday party Reynolds gave at Reynolda for his friend and flying buddy Charles Gideon Hill, Jr., a first cousin to Reynolds's first wife Anne Ludlow Cannon Reynolds, Holman revealed to her husband that she was pregnant. A tense argument ensued. Moments later, a shot was heard. Friends soon discovered Reynolds bleeding and unconscious with a gunshot wound to the head. Authorities initially ruled the shooting a suicide, but a coroner's inquiry ruled it a murder. Holman and Albert Bailey "Ab" Walker, a friend of Reynolds's and a supposed lover of Holman's, were indicted for murder.
Louisa Carpenter paid Holman's $25,000 bail in Wentworth, North Carolina, appearing in such mannish clothes that bystanders and reporters thought she was a man. The Reynolds family contacted the local authorities and had the charges dropped for fear of scandal. Holman gave birth to the couple's child, Christopher Smith "Topper" Reynolds, on January 10, 1933.
Journalist Milt Machlin investigated the death of Smith Reynolds and argued that Reynolds committed suicide. In his account Holman was a victim of the anti-Semitism of local authorities, and the district attorney involved with the case later told Machlin that she was innocent.
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