(October 16, 2020). She was briefly married to a photographer before marrying philanthropist William Hale Harkness, half-brother of Henry Flagler, in 1945.

Harkness's grants have been channeled through the foundation and the William Hale Harkness Foundation, named after her late second husband, an heir to … The Rhode Island estate sat empty for years, until Swift's arrival. Raised primarily by a series of nannies, Harkness had every advantage money could provide but seemingly lacked warmth and affection. After their marriage, Rebekah and Bill bought an oceanfront home in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, which they named "Holiday House."

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Friends worried, however, that without her father or Bill to guide and protect her, she might be headed for trouble. ", For two years, the Harkness Foundation continued to sponsor the Joffrey Ballet, underwriting its tour of the Middle East, Europe, and Russia. She launched herself into a world of cultural pursuits, turning the estate at Watch Hill into an artist's colony and purchasing the local firehouse for an Art Center. Indeed, the latter designed the $250,000 urn that her ashes were stored in after her death from cancer aged 67 in 1982. She was patron of her own failing ballet company, the Harkness Ballet. Inspired by the Kirov Theater in Leningrad, the finished theater facility boasted a 3,500-square-foot stage with absorption units beneath the floor to give it special resiliency. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Clive Barnes, who accompanied the ballet on the tour, called the first performance "shaky," but was generally optimistic about the future of the new company. Robert Joffrey Town & Country participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. He replied by telling her it was just as well. In 1953, a year after the death of Harkness' father, Bill suffered a serious heart attack. . (Harkness’ great uncle had originally staked John D. Rockefeller in the founding of the company in 1870). Her second husband died nine years later, leaving her a $27 million fortune (worth more than $250 million today), which she reportedly squandered with amazing speed. Managed by: … "It was disorganized and bizarre," recalled Jane Remer , who was made assistant director of the company, but had no clear-cut job description. From 1965, when Harkness replaced original director Skibine with Bertrand Castelli (who later produced the musical Hair), the company began a series of shifts in leadership, although Harkness always retained the upper hand and exercised an iron will. Castelli was eventually replaced by Brian Mac Donald, a Canadian choreographer who, in 1968, was replaced by company soloist Lawrence Rhodes. In October 1947, she married William Hale Harkness, the handsome heir to the Standard Oil fortune, whom she met at Watch Hill, her parents' summer place in Rhode Island. When he died in August 1954, Harkness inherited his vast fortune. Saddest of all, he believes, were her problems as a mother. She met William Hale Harkness, the dashing heir to the Standard Oil empire in 1947 while summering at her parent’s vacation home in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Within a few months, Clive Barnes wrote in The Times that the Harkness Ballet has 'descended beyond the necessity of serious consideration.' On any given morning when she and I had something to talk about, Rebekah would come down in her pink and blue leotards and literally stand on her head, and we would have the conversation with her standing on her head. Of major concern was her health and a growing dependency on drugs that had begun, according to Unger, in the 1960s, when she had started taking "vitamin injections" from Dr. John Bishop, whose practice at the time boasted such luminaries as Truman Capote, Cecil B.

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