- NAME: Edith Ewing Beale
- BIRTH DATE: October 05, 1895
- DEATH DATE: February 05, 1977
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Nutley, New Jersey
- PLACE OF DEATH: Southampton, New York
- Nickname: "Big Edie"
- Maiden Name: Edith Ewing Bouvier
- Full Name: Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale
- AKA: Edith Ewing Beale
- AKA: Edith Beale
- AKA: Edie Beale
- AKA: Edie Ewing Beale
- AKA: Edie Ewing Bouvier
- AKA: Edie Bouvier
Best Known For
Edith Ewing Beale, also known as "Big Edie," was aunt to Jackie Kennedy, and resident of the decrepit mansion called Grey Gardens.
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Audiences and most critics took to the story of Big Edie and Little Edie. Additionally, both Beale women adored the film.
In the film, Little Edie, dressed in heels, makeshift dresses and head wraps, freely dances as she talks longingly about her missed opportunities to become a star; Big Edie doesn't share the same regrets, but is careful to remind filmmakers, and her daughter, of her past talent as a singer. Around them are the deteriorated remnants of an aristocratic past. In a very real sense,
the film offered a bit of redemption for the Beales, who had both longed to be in show business. In addition to gaining a cult following, the movie inspired a Broadway musical that went on to earn three 2007 Tony awards. It also inspired the creation of an HBO production starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange in 2009.
Sadly, Edie Beale didn't get to experience her new fame for long. Shortly after the original film's debut, Big Edie's health began declining. She was injured after falling in July 1976, and, that December, the Beales' furnace went down for three days. According to her daughter, Big Edie never recovered from the cold. On February 5, 1977, Edie Ewing Beale died at the Southampton hospital. She was 81 years old.
Edie was buried in the Bouvier family plot in East Hampton. Her funeral saw the attendance of her nieces, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill. Fittingly, a portion of a recording that Edie had made decades before was played at the service.
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