Big Edie and Little Edie were the aunt and first cousin, respectively, of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Also known as the Beale women, they were the two stars of the 1975 Emmy-award winning documentary entitled Grey Gardens.
Despite the fact that they were related to one of the most famous women of the 20th century, the two were living in extreme poverty in a once-glamorous East Hampton, New York estate that had been allowed to fall into horrendous disrepair.
Big Edie was born Edith Bouvier Beale in 1895, the daughter of an elite New York family. After an unsuccessful first marriage to a Wall Street man, she married Phelan Beale and the couple moved to Grey Gardens.
Little Edie was Edith’s daughter by Phelan, born in 1917. During her mother’s second marriage, Little Edie was sent by her mother to school in France, but ultimately chose to return to Grey Gardens and live there with her mother – Big Edie.
The documentary gives an inside look at their unusual living arrangement as well as their troubled relationship. Little Edie was a wide eyed, fashion obsessed eccentric and aspiring actress, while Big Edie was more content with their more sedate lives.
Despite their differences, their love for each other is evident throughout the film. It is said that Little Edie once remarked about her mother, “If we didn’t have each other, we’d have nothing at all.
Did Little Edie ever marry?
No, Little Edie never got married. Despite her eccentricities, she enjoyed the company of several beaus over the years, including Joe “the Painter” Kennedy, an artist and one of President John F. Kennedy’s cousins.
However, she never actually tied the knot. According to her nephew, Barry Beale, Little Edie was actually open to the idea of marriage in her old age, but it never ended up happening. Even though Little Edie never married, she was kept very busy in her later years with performing, touring, making public appearances, and promoting the documentary.
How many children did Edie Beale have?
Edie Beale did not have any children of her own. She was the mother of four adopted children. She adopted a son, Joseph Marcus “Little Edie” Bouvier Jr. , in 1933; then in 1939, she adopted three more children as siblings for her son: Michael, Carol, and Stevie.
Edie was a loving mother to all of her children, and even though she and her adopted son had a strained relationship later in life, Edie was a devoted mother throughout her life.
Were the Beales mentally ill?
The Beales were not definitively diagnosed with a mental illness; however, their behavior and lifestyle during the time that they were documented in Grey Gardens do suggest that they may have been dealing with mental health issues.
Edith and Little Edie exhibited traits that indicated that they might have been suffering from depression, hoarding disorder, or another mental condition. Specifically, they consistently showed signs of isolation, disorganization, feelings of helplessness, and difficulty expressing themselves.
Little Edie seemed to be particularly dissatisfied with her life and rarely left the house. Edith’s sharp mood swings, abuse of prescription drugs, and disturbed attachment to her daughter appear to be consistent with the signs of a mental health issue.
The Beales’ behavior in Grey Gardens suggest that the two were each struggling with some form of mental illness but it cannot be definitively concluded that they did; only experts who had direct access to them and their full medical history would be equipped to make an accurate diagnosis.
Where did Little Edie go after her mother died?
After Little Edie’s mother, Big Edie, died on January 11, 1977, Little Edie continued to live in Grey Gardens for a few more years. She left the property for the last time in April of 1979 and moved to a small apartment in Westhampton Beach, New York.
She did make a few brief trips back to Grey Gardens, notably for her mother’s funeral in March 1977 and in 1981 for her brother’s memorial service. She remained in Westhampton Beach until the early 1990s, when she moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, eventually settling in an assisted living facility.
She died in 2002 at the age of 84.
Where is Little Edie now?
Little Edie passed away on January 14, 2002 at the age of 84. She had been living in a nursing home in Bal Harbour, Florida for the last few years of her life. Her ashes were scattered over her beloved Grey Gardens in East Hampton, New York.
Edie’s enigmatic spirit and astounding sense of style have been remembered and celebrated in a variety of ways over the years. Grey Gardens has been restored, her fashion and style have been celebrated in art, books, and plays, and her story has been featured in a documentary and a movie.
Her lasting legacy lives on in the countless fans that have been inspired by her courage, individuality and unwavering spirit.
Why did Phelan Beale leave Edie?
Phelan Beale left Edie because the marriage had deteriorated and the two had grown apart. Edie was going through difficult circumstances in her life and Phelan felt helpless to provide a solution. He was also feeling overwhelmed balancing his career, family responsibilities, and a strained relationship.
While Phelan wanted to help her, he felt that his presence was doing more harm than good and he needed to step back in order to give her space. Ultimately, his leaving was an attempt to help Edie get the space and help she needed to cope with the difficult emotions she was going through.
He also wanted to make sure that both of them had an opportunity to consider their future in a healthier and more constructive way.
Who owns Grey Gardens house now?
The Grey Gardens house is now owned by historic preservationist Katie Edelman, who bought the estate in 2016. Edelman has licenses to both reside in and rent the house out, and she often does the renovations herself.
Located in East Hampton, New York, the house was a decrepit estate when the Edelman family acquired it. They got to work on restoring and remodeling it, and now the house appears to look and feel like the Cohen family’s old house – while still offering modern luxuries.
The Grey Gardens house was originally owned by Edith ‘Big Edie’ Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter, Edith ‘Little Edie’ Bouvier Beale. In the 1970s, the two held on to the house and continued to live in it despite its dilapidated condition – even after the area around it had developed significantly.
Their story was made famous in a 1975 documentary, ‘Grey Gardens’, which raised awareness of their situation.
Edelman has spoken of her admiration for the previous residents of the house, and her desire to restore it and pay tribute to their legacy. She has been going back and forth between New York and Palm Beach while making improvements to both properties, and the house at Grey Gardens is now in much better condition than before.
It has been visited by the likes of ex-President Obama and has been featured in numerous publications and shows.
The Grey Garden house is, in effect, a celebration of the two women who lived there, and it is very much in keeping with Edelman’s mission to preserve and celebrate the history of past residences. Her dedication and commitment to the property has made it one of the most sought-after places to visit and stay in all of New York.
Does Edie have a son?
No, Edie does not have a son. And there is no evidence to suggest that she does. Edie is known for her various roles in films and television shows, such as her performance in the movie “Harold and Maude,” and her appearances in the “Cheers” TV series.
However, any information regarding the family of Edie is mostly unknown.
Did Edie sleep with Eli?
No, it is not known if Edie and Eli ever had a romantic or sexual relationship. In David Bowies, the song ‘Eli’s Coming’, which tells the story of the two characters, they never sleep together. The lyrics describe Edie as a young woman who is daydreaming of a potential love interest, Eli, and singing that he is coming to be with her.
However there is no evidence to suggest that their relationship ever progressed beyond the fantasy that Edie had in her mind.
Does Carl marry Edie?
No, Carl does not marry Edie. Carl and Edie were childhood sweethearts, but as they grew older, their paths diverged. Despite the near-decade long relationship, Carl and Edie ultimately drifted apart and ended their relationship before either of them were married.
Though their relationship ended, their fondness for one another endured, and the couple remained friends throughout their lives.
Do Tom and Lynette get divorced?
No, Tom and Lynette never get divorced on the show Desperate Housewives. They remain married throughout the series which spans eight seasons. In the show’s finale, viewers see the couple in their later stages of life, still married and living the quiet life together in the suburbs.
While there were moments of turbulence in their relationship, the couple ultimately stuck together and remained together for the remainder of the series. The finale implies that nothing has changed; and that the couple’s marriage has stood the test of time.
Is Edith Bouvier Beale still alive?
No, Edith Bouvier Beale passed away on February 22, 1977, in a nursing home in New York City at the age of 84. She and her daughter, Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale, were the subjects of the classic 1975 documentary Grey Gardens.
Edith was born in New York City on October 5, 1894 and was a notable figure in the world of high society society. She married Phelan Beale on April 21, 1916, and had her only daughter, Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale, in November of that year.
After a tumultuous divorce, she and her daughter moved to Grey Gardens, an estate in East Hampton, NY, where they lived for many years until their eviction due to poor living conditions.
What did Edie Beale suffer from?
Edie Beale suffered from depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She experienced severe depression prior to her involvement with Grey Gardens, believed to be derived from a difficult upbringing.
She was never formally diagnosed, but after watching Grey Gardens, it became increasingly clear that Edie had PTSD and anxiety stemming from her past traumatic experiences. Her depression and anxiety often caused her to become overwhelmed and agitated at times.
She also believed that she was persecuted and was known to have paranoid episode and delusions. While evidence from Grey Gardens shows that Edie was not as acutely ill as her fame may have suggested, her mental health issues were still present, and she struggled with them throughout her entire life.
How many bedrooms did Grey Gardens have?
The two-story, 28-room Grey Gardens estate in East Hampton, New York had 22 bedrooms when Edith “Big Edie” Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter, Edie (or “Little Edie”), first moved in. The property was originally built in 1897 and was owned by the Bouvier family and served as the childhood home of Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter in the 1930s and 1940s.
In 1953, Big Edie and Little Edie moved there full time, and the number of bedrooms slowly decreased from the original 22 due to lack of maintenance in the house. By the time fine arts photographers Peter Beard and Albert and David Maysles captured Big Edie and Little Edie for their famous documentary Grey Gardens in 1975, the home only had 17 bedrooms.