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Vanderbilt, Gloria (1924–)

Vanderbilt, Gloria (1924–)

American actress, artist, and designer. Name variations: Gloria Vanderbilt-Cooper; Mrs. Wyatt E. Cooper. Born Gloria Laura Vanderbilt in New York, NY, Feb 20, 1924; dau. of Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt (1880–1925) and Gloria Mercedes (Morgan) Vanderbilt (1904–1965); m. Pasquale (Pat) De Cicco (1909–1979, actor's agent), 1941 (div. April 24, 1945); m. Leopold Stokowski (1882–1977, the conductor), April 25, 1945 (div. Oct 1955); m. Sidney Lumet (b. 1924, film director), Aug 27, 1956 (div. Aug 1963); m. Wyatt E. Cooper, Dec 24, 1963 (died Jan 5, 1978); children: (2nd m.) Stanley and Christopher Stokowski; (4th m.) Carter Vanderbilt Cooper (died 1988) and Anderson H. Cooper (newsanchor for CNN).

Heiress to the fortune amassed by her great-grandfather Cornelius Vanderbilt, was just 1 year old when her father died (1925), leaving her a multimillion-dollar trust fund from which she received a monthly allotment; became a contested child in an infamous custody battle (1934); made 1st appearance on Broadway in a small role in Time of Your Life (1955); continued to perform in summer stock and regional theater and on tv; wrote Love Poems (1955); had solo shows as an artist at Barbara Shaeffer Gallery in New York (1954), Juster Gallery (1956), Hammer Gallery (1966); as creative director of Gloria Vanderbilt Designs, began transferring the colorful motifs of her paintings to a line of products, including table linens, bathroom accessories, china, and wallpaper (1972); added to business empire with a line of jeans carrying her signature logo: her name and a swan motif (1978). Received Neiman-Marcus fashion award (1969), Fashion Hall of Fame award (1970), and gold medal from Society of Arts and Letters (1976).

See also autobiographies, Once Upon a Time (1985), Black Knight, White Knight (1987) and A Mother's Story (1996); Barbara Goldsmith, Little Gloria … Happy at Last (Knopf, 1980); and Women in World History.

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