July 2, 1996 in Nation/World

Margaux Hemingway Found Dead Early Deaths Have Plagued Family Of Literary Great

Associated Press
 

Actress-model Margaux Hemingway was found dead in her studio apartment by the sea on Monday, police said.

The identity of the body was confirmed through dental records, said Santa Monica Police Sgt. Gary Gallinot. An autopsy was scheduled.

“There was no sign of forced entry and not obvious foul play,” Gallinot added.

“No guns or illegal substances were found in the apartment.”

He also said it didn’t appear to be a suicide.

Friends said the 41-year-old granddaughter of literary great Ernest Hemingway had not been seen since Friday.

They went to her building and asked a laborer to get a ladder, then climbed through a second-floor window and found her body, Gallinot said.

Police were called at 2 p.m. to the studio apartment on a tree-lined street less than a block from the beach.

The pink and burgundy house with a white picket fence was cordoned off with police tape as neighbors, media and the curious filled the block.

Hemingway had battled alcohol in the past and was treated at the Betty Ford Center in 1988.

She had recently finished a Westinghouse television series narrating an animal show called “The Wild Guide,” her agent, David Mirisch, told CNN late Monday. But she had been unhappy recently, he said.

“For the past week or 10 days, she hasn’t really been the Margaux Hemingway that we all knew as far as having that ‘up’ personality,” Mirisch said. “We really felt this series was going to bring her back and so until we get this diagnostic report, we don’t know if it was an epileptic seizure or if it was an overdose.”

She became one of the nation’s top models when she was signed to a five-year Faberge contract in 1975, and she made her screen debut in 1976 in “Lipstick,” opposite her younger sister Mariel.

Hemingway, who was born in Portland in 1955, also appeared in the 1979 film “Killer Fish,” “They Call Me Bruce?” in 1982 and the 1991 film “Inner Sanctum.”

A neighbor who lives across the street said the actress moved there two weeks ago.

“She seemed nice,” said Kristina Deutsch. “She had an old bike and rode it around the neighborhood.”

Margaux and her sisters Muffet and Mariel were the daughters of Jack Hemingway, the Nobel Prize-winning author’s son, and Byra L. Hemingway, who died in 1988 at 66.

Alcoholism and early deaths have plagued the Hemingway clan.

For Ernest Hemingway, one of the most widely read American novelists of the 20th century, boozing and physical trauma led to depresion, electroshock therapy, a final mental collapse and suicide by shotgun to the head in 1961. His brother, sister and father also died at their own hands, and two of his granddaughters - Margaux and her cousin Lorian Hemingway - found themselves going through detox at the same time in 1988.

“By a very conservative count, more than 75 percent of my family has been alcoholic,” Lorian wrote in Washington magazine in 1989. “This alcoholism, passed along with the passion to write and the will to survive that passion, is as clearly a heritage to me as are my dark eyes.”

After detox, Margaux Hemingway said that “for a time, I was living the life of Ernest Hemingway.”

MEMO: Cut in Spokane edition

Cut in Spokane edition

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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