In the gentlest of breezes those new sunshades have to be held on as Miss Edith Beale demonstrates while attending the East Hampton Horse Show. She’s daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Phelan Beale of “Grey Gardens.”
Little Alice Bain Burton, Early-Fifties (but looking ten years younger)
The actor playing Little Alice is likely to find the character through constant motion. Little Alice, after decades of living with her mother, has created her own world through fidgeting, pulling, tying into knots, and adjusting of her stockings, skirts, and head pieces. She doesn’t stop; she literally survives through movement.
Description of “Little Alice,” a character based on Edie Beale, from the play A Few Small Repairs.
“They’re twenty years too late– everybody. Or I’m fifty years ahead. I can’t decide which.” -Edith Beale
Edie Beale at “Cedarcroft,” the home of her brother Bouvier, for the wedding of her nephew Chris to her niece-in-law Pam, 1982.
“Yes, his name was Gould. Mr. Beale chose him originally for my sons to learn French. You see, my nurse went to Ireland, to the Congress of Ireland that summer, and there was nobody to take the boys bathing or teach them French, or put them to bed at night or anything. So Mr. Beale received one hundred letters from all the young people who wanted to take the job.
Gould was a gentleman about twenty-five years old when I met him. He didn’t drink and he was particularly gifted with the piano. Also composition. He wrote me hundreds of songs— French songs and American songs.
We were very religious together. We had the same ideas about the divine cosmos, the afterworld. We agreed about everything. Nicest person that ever breathed. I think he was nicer than anybody I’ve ever known in my whole life. Never disappointed me, never kept me waiting, never lied to me. I was beautifully taken care of by the greatest pianist. I had the best man in America. I did not suffer once. I spent the nights alone but I didn’t suffer.” -Edith Bouvier Beale
Edie Beale poses in the yard of Grey Gardens. | Spring, mid-1950s.
“Daughter,” she was told, “you are a disgrace. You’re not a lady.”
“Of course I’m not a lady, Mother,” Little Edie told her, “I’m an entertainer.”
At 10:00 this morning, the family of Edie Beale auctioned off this Andy Warhol Polaroid at Christie’s Auction House. Taken in 1976 and signed by Warhol himself, this was one of Edie’s prized possessions until her death in 2002. Estimated to sell between $5,000 and $7,000, it finally sold for $9,375.