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Mercedes de Acosta

From Academic Kids

Mercedes de Acosta (March 1, 1893 - May 9, 1968) was an American poet, playwright, costume designer, and socialite best known for her lesbian affairs with Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Alla Nazimova, Eva Le Gallienne ([1] (http://www.evalegallienne.com)), Isadora Duncan, Katherine Cornell, Maude Adams, Ona Munson ("Belle Watling" in the movie "Gone With the Wind"), and others. It was a reputation not appreciated by everyone. As Alice B. Toklas wrote to a disapproving friend, Anita Loos, "You can't dispose of Mercedes lightly. She had the two most important women in U.S., Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich."

She was born to a Cuban father, Ricardo de Acosta, and Spanish mother, Micaela Hernandez y de Alba, who herself was a descendant of the Dukes of Alba, in New York City.

Mercedes de Acosta married Abram Poole (1882 - 1961) in 1920, a noted painter and socialite. They divorced in 1935. Both the bride and groom were bisexual.

Her memoir, Here Lies the Heart, was published in 1960. Its revelations, though highly sanitized, resulted in the severing of numerous friendships, including that of Garbo. Cut off from many of her friends and increasingly in financial straits, Acosta died in relative poverty and obscurity. She is buried with her mother and sister Rita de Alba de Acosta (a fabled beauty best known as Rita Lydig) at Trinity Cemetery in Washington Heights in New York City.

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