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Betsy von Furstenberg, Broadway Actress and Aristocrat, Dies at 83

Image: Betsy von Furstenberg, Broadway Actress and Aristocrat, Dies at 83
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By    |   Friday, 01 May 2015 09:20 AM

Betsy von Furstenberg, a star of early daytime soap operas who later made a name for herself on Broadway, died last month of complications from Alzheimer's disease. She was 83.

Von Furstenberg performed on the daytime soap "The Secret Storm" as Niele Neeves in 1973-74, played the Duchess of Essex in 1980's "Another World," and starred as Lisa Miller Hughes Eldridge Shea Colman McColl on "As the World Turns" in 1983-84, according to Variety.

A baroness, she was born Elizabeth Caroline Maria Agatha Felicitas Therese von Furstenberg-Hedringen in Germany, the daughter of Count Franz-Egon von Furstenberg.

"For myself, even when I'm working and have an audience to look forward to every night, I still find I perform better at home when there's an eye — preferably approving — to mark my progress as a cook, mother, flower arranger, etc.," von Furstenberg said of her life in an essay published in The New York Times' Arts & Leisure section in 1972. "One of the most frustrating drawbacks of being an actor-parent is to have your children accuse you of acting when you're being perfectly sincere."

The Hollywood Reporter said that von Furstenberg arrived in New York with her parents before World War II and performed in "Second Threshold" in 1951, her first Broadway play. Von Furstenberg went on to perform alongside Tony-winner Maureen Stapleton in 1970 in "The Gingerbread Lady."

She appeared in plays throughout the '60s, like "Dear Barbarian," "Oh, Men! Oh, Women!," "What Every Woman Knows," "The Chalk Garden," "Child of Fortune," "Nature's Way," and "Mary, Mary," according to The Reporter.

Along with von Furstenberg's work on soap operas, she also appeared in the television shows "The Defenders," "Adventures in Paradise," and "Have Gun-Will Travel," along with the series "Alfred Hitchcock Presents."

The New York Times wrote that von Furstenberg was a supporter of the Theater for the New City and Young Concert Artists. She published the novel "Mirror, Mirror" in 1988 about an heiress who befriends her servant's daughter and pursues love and ambition.

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Betsy von Furstenberg, a star of early daytime soap operas who later made a name for herself on Broadway, died last month of complications from Alzheimer's disease. She was 83.
betsy von furstenberg, actress, aristocrat, dies
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2015-20-01
Friday, 01 May 2015 09:20 AM
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