I just got this account from a source who was at Celeste Holm‘s sad sendoff, which turned even sadder thanks to lingering hostilities that filled with proceedings:
“Celeste Holm’s memorial was so gossipy!
“One of her sons, Ted, gave a speech saying Celeste made some bad decisions in her life without thinking about the consequences–like leaving Fox and also the men she married!”
This pointed reference obviously was a dig at her last husband, Frank Basile, who all eyes suddenly turned to as the memorial quickly turned into melodrama.
Basile and the kids have battled through the years over money issues and other Celeste-related agendas, and it’s not been pretty.
“No matter what some of you may have heard,” continued the son, “we loved our mother just as much–or more so–than other people with louder voices.”
Again, it was a dis. Basile happens to be an opera singer with a booming bass of a voice.
As a sidebar, my source said Basile and Celeste were singing “They Didn’t Believe Me” when she died; the song was Basile’s unofficial anthem about people who distrusted his motives, though insiders swear he did love her a lot and took good care of her!
Anyway, Basile’s mom then took the pulpit to say, “I don’t have a loud voice, so you’ll have to listen very carefully.”
Much better than your average Oscar winner’s memorial.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 14, 2012