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Edie Sedgwick
Edie Sedgwick (center), with Pat Hartley, in the 1972 film Ciao! Manhattan
Edith Minturn Sedgwick

(1943-04-20)April 20, 1943
DiedNovember 16, 1971(1971-11-16) (aged 28)
Santa Barbara, California, U.S.
Cause of deathBarbiturate overdose
Resting placeOak Hill Cemetery
Other namesEdith Sedgwick Post
EducationThe Branson School
St. Timothy's School
Radcliffe College
OccupationActress, model
Years active1965–1971
Michael Post
(m. 1971)
RelativesHenry Dwight Sedgwick III (grandfather)
Henry deForest (grandfather)
Theodore Sedgwick (great-great-great grandfather)
Edith Minturn Stokes (great-aunt)
Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes (great-uncle)
Lilian Swann Saarinen (cousin)
Rosamond Pinchot (cousin)
Kyra Sedgwick (first cousin once removed)
Eric Saarinen (first cousin once removed)
Edie sedgwick autograph.svg

Edith Minturn Sedgwick Post (April 20, 1943 – November 16, 1971) was an American actress and fashion model. She is best known for being one of Andy Warhol's superstars.[1] Sedgwick became known as "The Girl of the Year" in 1965 after starring in several of Warhol's short films in the 1960s.[2][3] She was dubbed an "It Girl",[4] while Vogue magazine also named her a "Youthquaker".[5]

Early life and education

Edie Sedgwick was born in Santa Barbara, California, the seventh of eight children of Alice Delano de Forest (1908–1988) and Francis Minturn Sedgwick (1904–1967), a rancher and sculptor.[6] She was named after her father's aunt, Edith Minturn Stokes, who was famously painted with her husband, Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes, by John Singer Sargent.[7]

Despite her family's wealth and high social status, Sedgwick's early life was troubled.[8] The Sedgwick children were raised on the family's California ranches. Initially schooled at home and cared for by nannies, their lives were rigidly controlled by their parents. They were largely isolated from the outside world, and it was instilled into them that they were superior to most of their peers. It was within these familial and social conditions that Sedgwick by her early teens developed an eating disorder, settling into an early pattern of bingeing and purging. At age 13 (the year her grandfather Henry Dwight Sedgwick died), Sedgwick began boarding at the Branson School near San Francisco. According to her older sister Alice "Saucie" Sedgwick, she was soon taken out of the school because of the eating disorder. Her father severely restricted her freedom when she returned home.

All the Sedgwick children had conflicted relationships with their father (whom they called "Fuzzy"). By most accounts, he was narcissistic, emotionally remote, controlling, and frequently abusive. He also openly carried on affairs with other women. On one occasion, Edie walked in on him while he was having sex with one of his mistresses. She reacted with great surprise, but he claimed that she had imagined it, slapped her, and called a doctor to administer tranquilizers to her.[9] As an adult, Sedgwick told people that he had attempted to molest her several times, beginning when she was seven.[8]

In 1958, her parents enrolled her at St. Timothy's School in Maryland. She was eventually taken out of the school due to an eating disorder that had progressed to anorexia.[10]

In the fall of 1962, at her father's insistence, Sedgwick was committed to the private Silver Hill psychiatric hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut. As the regime was very lax, Sedgwick easily manipulated the situation at Silver Hill, and her weight kept dropping. She was later sent to Bloomingdale, the Westchester County, New York division of the New York Hospital, where her anorexia improved markedly. Around the time she left the hospital, she had a brief relationship with a Harvard student, became pregnant, and procured an abortion, citing her present psychological issues.[11]

In the fall of 1963, Sedgwick moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts and began studying sculpture with her cousin, artist Lily Saarinen. According to Saarinen, Sedgwick "was very insecure about men, though all the men loved her."[12][13] During this period, she partied with members of an elite bohemian fringe of the Harvard social scene, which included many gay men.

Sedgwick was deeply affected by the loss of her older brothers, Francis Jr. (known as "Minty") and Robert (known as "Bobby"), who died within 18 months of each other. Francis Sedgwick, who had a particularly unhappy relationship with their father, suffered several breakdowns, eventually dying by suicide in 1964 while committed at Silver Hill Hospital. Her second oldest brother, Robert, also suffered from mental health problems and died when his motorcycle crashed into the side of a New York City bus on New Year's Eve 1965.

Family background

The Sedgwick family was long established in Massachusetts history. Her seventh-great grandfather, English-born Robert Sedgwick,[14] was the first Major General of the Massachusetts Bay Colony settling in Charlestown, Massachusetts, in 1635.[15] Sedgwick's family later moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts where her great-great-great grandfather Judge Theodore Sedgwick had settled after the American Revolution. Theodore married Pamela Dwight of the New England Dwight family[16] who was the daughter of Abigail (née Williams) Dwight. Ephraim Williams, the founder of Williams College, was Sedgwick's fifth-great grandfather.[17] Judge Theodore Sedgwick was the first to plead and win a case for the freedom of a black woman, Elizabeth Freeman, under the Massachusetts Bill of Rights that declared all men to be born free and equal.[18] Her paternal great-great-great grandfather, William Ellery, was a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence.[18]

Sedgwick's mother, Alice, was the daughter of Henry Wheeler de Forest, the President and Chairman of the Board of the Southern Pacific Railroad, and a direct descendant of Jessé de Forest, of Huguenot ancestry, whose Dutch West India Company helped to settle New Amsterdam.[19] Jessé de Forest was also Edie's seventh-great grandfather.[20] Her paternal grandfather was the historian and acclaimed author Henry Dwight Sedgwick III; her great-grandmother, Susanna Shaw, was the sister of Robert Gould Shaw, the American Civil War Colonel; and her great-great-grandfather, Robert Bowne Minturn, was a part owner of the clipper ship Flying Cloud and is credited with creating and promoting Central Park in New York City.[21] She was the first cousin once removed of actress Kyra Sedgwick. Kyra is the daughter of Henry Dwight Sedgwick V (Edie's first cousin), the son of Robert Minturn Sedgwick, who was the older brother of Francis Minturn Sedgwick.

The Factory

On her twenty-first birthday in April 1964, Sedgwick received an $80,000 trust fund from her maternal grandmother. Soon after, she relocated to New York City to pursue a career in modeling. In March 1965, she met artist and avant-garde filmmaker Andy Warhol at a party at Lester Persky's apartment, and began frequently visiting The Factory, Warhol's art studio in Midtown Manhattan.[22] During one of her subsequent visits, Warhol was filming Vinyl (1965), his interpretation of Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange. Despite Vinyl's all-male cast, Warhol put Sedgwick in the movie. Around this time, she also made a small cameo appearance in another Warhol film, Horse (1965).[23] Sedgwick's appearances in both films were brief but generated enough interest that Warhol decided to cast her in the starring role of his next films.

The first of these avant-garde films, Poor Little Rich Girl (1965), was originally conceived as part of a series of films featuring Sedgwick called The Poor Little Rich Girl Saga. The series was to include Poor Little Rich Girl, Restaurant, Face and Afternoon. Filming of Poor Little Rich Girl began in March 1965 in Sedgwick's apartment; it depicted her going about her daily routines. Sedgwick's next film for Warhol was Kitchen, which was filmed in May 1965 but was not released until 1966. Written by Factory scriptwriter Ronald Tavel, the film stars Sedgwick, Rene Ricard, Roger Trudeau, Donald Lyons and Elecktrah. After Kitchen, Chuck Wein replaced Ronald Tavel as a writer and assistant director for the filming of Beauty No. 2 (1965), which was filmed in June and premiered in July 1965. The film shows Sedgwick lounging on a bed in her underwear with Gino Piserchio and being taunted by Chuck Wein off-screen.[24]

Warhol's films were for the most part shown only in underground film theaters and in viewings held at The Factory, and were not commercially successful. Regardless, Sedgwick began receiving attention from the mainstream media, who reported on her appearances in the films and on her personal style. During this period, she developed a distinct look including black leotards, mini dresses, large chandelier earrings, and heavy eye make-up. Sedgwick also cut her naturally brown hair short and dyed it with silver spray, thus matching her look with Warhol's, who was known for wearing silver-y hair pieces. Warhol dubbed Sedgwick his "Superstar", and they began appearing together at various public events.

Sedgwick and Warhol continued making films together —Outer and Inner Space, Prison, Lupe and Chelsea Girls— throughout 1965. The edited footage of Sedgwick in Chelsea Girls would eventually become the film Afternoon. Their relationship deteriorated by late 1965, and Sedgwick demanded that Warhol stop showing her films.

Lupe is often thought to be Sedgwick's last Warhol film, but she filmed The Andy Warhol Story with Rene Ricard in November 1966, almost a year after finishing Lupe. The Andy Warhol Story was an unreleased film that was only screened once at The Factory. Along with Sedgwick, the film featured Ricard satirically pretending to be Andy Warhol.

Post-Factory years

Following her estrangement from Warhol's inner circle, Sedgwick began living at the Chelsea Hotel, where she became close to Bob Dylan. Dylan and his friends eventually convinced Sedgwick to sign up with Albert Grossman, Dylan's manager. According to Paul Morrissey, Sedgwick had developed a crush on Dylan that she thought he reciprocated as the start of a romantic relationship. She was also under the impression that she and Dylan would star in a mainstream film together. Unbeknownst to Sedgwick, Dylan had secretly married his girlfriend Sara Lownds in November 1965. Morrissey claimed that Sedgwick was informed of the marriage by Warhol (who reportedly heard about it through his lawyer) in February 1966. Friends of Sedgwick's later said that she saw the supposed offer of doing a film with Dylan as a ticket to a mainstream film career. Paul Morrissey claimed that Dylan likely never had plans to star in a film with Sedgwick, and Dylan "hadn't been very truthful."[25]

Since Sedgwick's death, Bob Dylan has routinely denied that he ever had a romantic relationship with her, but did acknowledge knowing her. In December 2006, several weeks before the release of the controversial film Factory Girl,[26] the Weinstein Company and the film's producers interviewed Sedgwick's older brother, Jonathan, who said that Sedgwick told him she had aborted a baby she claimed was Dylan's.[27] Jonathan Sedgwick claimed that Edie had the abortion soon after she was injured in a motorcycle accident. As a result of the accident, doctors consigned her to a mental hospital where she was treated for drug addiction. No hospital records or Sedgwick family records exist to support this story. Nonetheless, Sedgwick's brother also claimed "Staff found she was pregnant but, fearing the baby had been damaged by her drug use and anorexia, forced her to have the abortion."[28][29]

Throughout most of 1966, Sedgwick was involved in an intense but troubled relationship with Dylan's friend, Bob Neuwirth. During this time, she became increasingly dependent on barbiturates. In early 1967, unable to cope with Sedgwick's drug abuse and erratic behavior, Neuwirth broke off their relationship.

Later years

After breaking with Andy Warhol and The Factory scene, Sedgwick attempted to forge a legitimate acting career. She auditioned for Norman Mailer. His stage adaptation of his novel The Deer Park was being produced. But Mailer "turned her down....—She was very good in a sort of tortured and wholly sensitive way—...She used so much of herself with every line that we knew she'd be immolated after three performances."[30]

As fast as Diana Vreeland of Vogue had been to cast aside Edie the young American aristocrat, she now pounced on a teen-age working-class girl from England, Twiggy, whose arrival in New York in March 1967 caused close to riotous events among young American followers of style and fashion.[31] In that same month, March 1967, Sedgwick began what may have seemed propitious but in fact began her torturous and final decline: the shooting of Ciao! Manhattan, a semi-autobiographical underground film co-directed by John Palmer and David Weisman. During this, she accidentally set her room on fire in the Chelsea Hotel and was briefly hospitalized with burns. Due to Sedgwick's rapidly deteriorating health from drug use, the film was suspended. After further hospitalizations for drug abuse and mental issues in 1968 and 1969, Sedgwick returned to her family's ranch in California to recuperate. In August 1969, she was hospitalized again in the psychiatric ward of Cottage Hospital after being arrested for drug offenses by the local police. While in the hospital, Sedgwick met another patient, Michael Brett Post, whom she would marry in July 1971.[32]

Sedgwick was hospitalized again in the summer of 1970 but was let out under the supervision of a psychiatrist, two nurses, and the live-in care of filmmaker John Palmer and his wife Janet. Determined to finish Ciao! Manhattan and have her story told, Sedgwick reconnected with Ciao! Manhattan filmmakers and began shooting in Arcadia, California and Santa Barbara in late 1970. She also recorded audio tapes reflecting on her life story, which accounts Weisman and Palmer used to incorporate into the film's dramatic arc. Filming completed in early 1971, and the film was released in February 1972.

Marriage and death

Sedgwick married Michael Post on July 24, 1971, whom she met in the summer of 1970 when they were patients at the Cottage Hospital. During this time, she reportedly stopped abusing alcohol and other drugs for a short time. Her sobriety lasted until October 1971, when she was prescribed pain medication to treat a physical illness. Sedgwick soon began abusing barbiturates and alcohol.[citation needed]

On the night of November 15, 1971, Sedgwick went to a fashion show at the Santa Barbara Museum, that included a segment filmed for the television show An American Family.[33] After the fashion show, she attended a party where she drank alcohol. She then phoned her husband to pick her up. On the way home, Sedgwick expressed thoughts of uncertainty about their marriage.[34] Before they both fell asleep, Post gave Sedgwick the medication that had been prescribed for her. According to Post, Sedgwick started to fall asleep very quickly and her breathing was "bad – it sounded like there was a big hole in her lungs", but he attributed it to her heavy smoking habit and went to sleep.[35]

When Post awoke the following morning at 7:30 am, Sedgwick was dead. The coroner ruled her death as "undetermined/accident/suicide". Her death certificate states the immediate cause was "probable acute barbiturate intoxication" due to ethanol intoxication. Sedgwick's alcohol level was registered at 0.17% and her barbiturate level was 0.48 mg%. She was 28.[36]

Sedgwick was not buried in her family's Sedgwick Pie cemetery plot but in the small Oak Hill Cemetery in Ballard, California. Her epitaph reads "Edith Sedgwick Post – Wife Of Michael Brett Post 1943–1971".[37]

In popular culture


Year Title Role Notes
1965 Vinyl Non-speaking role
1965 Beauty No. 2
1965 Space
1965 Restaurant Short
1965 Prison[57] Alternative title: Girls in Prison
1965 Kitchen
1965 Horse Non-speaking role; first appearance in a Warhol film
1965 Afternoon
1965 Outer and Inner Space Short
1965 Bitch
1965 Screen Test No. 1 Herself
1965 Screen Test No. 2 Herself
1965 Poor Little Rich Girl Poor Little Rich Girl Credited as Mazda Isphahan
1965 Factory Diaries
1966 Lupe Lupe Vélez
1966 Face
1967 Four Stars**** Alternative title: The Four Star Movie; uses footage of Sedgwick from previous Warhol films
1967 The Andy Warhol Story final film with Warhol
1969 Walden Herself Alternative title: Diaries, Notes and Sketches
1972 Ciao! Manhattan Susan Superstar Released posthumously, (final film role)


  • Victor Bockris and Gerard Malanga: Uptight: The Velvet Underground Story
  • Victor Bockris: Andy Warhol
  • Michael Opray: Andy Warhol. Film Factory
  • Jean Stein: Edie: American Girl
  • Andy Warhol: The Philosophy of Andy Warhol
  • Melissa Painter and David Weisman: Edie: Girl on Fire Book and Film
  • Steven Watson: Factory Made: Warhol And the Sixties
  • Nat Finkelstein and David Dalton: Edie: Factory Girl
  • John Sedgwick: In My Blood: Six Generations of Madness and Desire in an American Family

See also


  1. ^ Watson, Steven (2003), "Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixties" Pantheon Books, pp. 210-217
  2. ^ Bockris, Victor (2003). Warhol: The Biography. Da Capo Press. p. 243. ISBN 0-306-81272-X.
  3. ^ Girl on Fire Review from Enjoy Your Style.
  4. ^ Reid-Walsh, Jacqueline; Mitchell, Claudia (2008). Girl Culture: An Encyclopedia. Greenwood Press. p. 467. ISBN 0-313-33910-4.
  5. ^ Benoit, Tod (2003). Where Are They Buried? How Did They Die?: Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places Of the Famous, Infamous and Noteworthy. Black Dog Publishing. p. 479. ISBN 1-57912-287-6.
  6. ^ "Francis Minturn "Duke" Sedgwick (1904–1967)". Retrieved September 22, 2009.
  7. ^ Heyman, Stephan (March 23, 2012). "The Haves Who Gave".
  8. ^ a b Anolik, Lili (December 6, 2017). "Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick: A Brief, White-Hot, and Totally Doomed Romance". Vanity Fair. Condé Nast. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  9. ^ Stein, Jean; Plimpton, George (1982). link to >. Edie – An American Biography.<. Knopf. p. 105. ISBN 0-394-48819-9.
  10. ^ "Edie Sedgwick: The It girl who was inspiration to Dylan and Warhol". The Independent. February 5, 2006. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  11. ^ Koenig, Rhoda (January 9, 2007). "Edie Sedgwick: The life and death of the Sixties star". The Independent. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  12. ^ "Arts & Architecture Collection: Lily Saarinen". Retrieved August 10, 2014.
  13. ^ Sedgwick, John (January 2007). "Elegy for an It Girl". Boston. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
  14. ^ CHS Sedgwick Family Archived February 11, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Sedgwick, Dennis. "SEDGWICK.ORG - Major General Robert Sedgwick (1613 - 1656)".
  16. ^ Benjamin Woodbridge Dwight (1874). The history of the descendants of John Dwight, of Dedham, Mass. 2. J. F. Trow & son, printers and bookbinders. pp. 735–739.
  17. ^ Sedgwick, Hubert M. "A Sedgwick Genealogy", New Haven Colony Historical Society, 1961, p.167
  18. ^ a b A Sedgwick Genealogy, Descendants of Deacon Benjamin Sedgwick, New Haven Colony Historical Society, 1961
  19. ^ New York Times, article "Henry de Forest, Lawyer, dies at 82", May 28, 1937
  20. ^ A Walloon Family in America, de Forest, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1914
  21. ^ "".
  22. ^ Watson, Steven (2003), "Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixties" Pantheon Books, pp. 210-217
  23. ^ Watson, Steven (2003), "Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixties" Pantheon Books, pp. 210-217
  24. ^ Watson, Steven (2003), "Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixties" Pantheon Books, pp. 210-217
  25. ^ Stein, Jean; Plimpton, George (1982). Edie – An American Biography. Knopf Doubleday. p. 284. ISBN 0-394-48819-9.
  26. ^ Lee, Nathan (January 30, 2007). "Edie Made Easy". The Village Voice.
  27. ^ Sedgwick, Jonathan (January 2, 2007). "My Sister Edie Loved Dylan". New York Post. Archived from the original on January 4, 2007.
  28. ^ Cole, Olivia (January 7, 2007). "Warhol muse lost baby by Dylan". The Times. London, England. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  29. ^ "Gone in 15 minutes". The Times. London, England. January 14, 2007. Retrieved May 1, 2010.[dead link]
  30. ^ Stein, Jean; Plimpton, George (1982). link to .> Edie – An American Biography .<. Knopf. p. 314. ISBN 0-394-48819-9.
  31. ^ Documentary, Twiggy, the 1960s [1]
  32. ^ Milliard, Coline (October 30, 2014). "Movie Producer Sues Warhol Superstar's Widower Over Image Rights". ArtNet News.
  33. ^ Stein, Jean; Plimpton, George (1982). Edie. Knopf. p. 410. ISBN 0-394-48819-9.
  34. ^ Stein, Jean; Plimpton, George (1982). Edie. Knopf. pp. 415–417. ISBN 0-394-48819-9.
  35. ^ Stein, Jean; Plimpton, George (1982). Edie. Knopf. p. 418. ISBN 0-394-48819-9.
  36. ^ Stein, Jean; Plimpton, George (1982). Edie. Knopf. p. 421. ISBN 0-394-48819-9.
  37. ^ Stein, Jean; Plimpton, George (1982). Edie. Knopf. pp. 424–426. ISBN 0-394-48819-9.
  38. ^ Trager, Oliver (2004). Keys To the Rain: The Definitive Bob Dylan Encyclopedia. Billboard Books. pp. 347–348. ISBN 0-8230-7974-0.
  39. ^ Creswell, Toby (2006). 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time and the Artists, Stories and Secrets Behind Them. Thunder's Mouth Press. p. 534. ISBN 1-56025-915-9.
  40. ^ Bockris, Victor (1994). Transformer: The Lou Reed Story. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 107. ISBN 0-684-80366-6. Andy said I should write a song about Edie Sedgwick. I said 'Like what?' and he said 'Oh, don't you think she's a femme fatale, Lou?' So I wrote 'Femme Fatale' and we gave it to Nico. (Lou Reed)
  41. ^
  42. ^ "'Factory Girl' mythology".
  43. ^ Hutchings, David (March 24, 1986). "Molly Ringwald Goes to the Head of the Teen Class with Pretty in Pink, but She'd Rather Play Grown-Up". People. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  44. ^ Hruska, Bronwen (October 8, 1995). "Ever Hopeful Davis". The San Francisco Chronicle.[permanent dead link]
  45. ^ Bernard, Sarah (December 12, 2003). "She'll Take Manhattan".[permanent dead link]
  46. ^ "offoffonline – off-off-Broadway reviews, listings, and more". Archived from the original on October 27, 2004.
  47. ^ "Corrections". The New York Times. December 20, 2006.
  48. ^ Stein, Joel (November 29, 2004). "Movies: A Fantasy You Can Bring Home to Mother". Time. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  49. ^ "Miller denies Dylan 'defamation'". BBC News. December 31, 2006. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  50. ^ "Factory Girl (song for Edie Sedgwick), by Tal Cohen-Shalev". Tal Cohen-Shalev.
  51. ^ Alizée
  52. ^ Keith, Kelsey (July 31, 2009), "Exclusive: Pop Duo Dean & Britta Sing Along with The Factory", Flavorwire, The song we did for Edie Sedgwick — “It Don't Rain in Beverly Hills” — the lyrics were written by our artist friend, Jack Early, and had nothing to do with Edie, but worked so well for her tragic life.
  53. ^ "Taylor Momsen Tries to Dress Like Edie Sedgwick". The Cut. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  54. ^ Insanally, Karenna (January 16, 2015). "Exclusive: G-Eazy talks Downtown Love | Milk". Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  55. ^ Lin, Summer (May 11, 2018). "Beach House's Victoria Legrand on Eternal Muse Edie Sedgwick". CR Fashion Book. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
  56. ^ Bassil, Ryan (May 1, 2018). "The Enduring Brilliance of Beach House". Vice. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
  57. ^ Kern, Lauren (May 3, 2004), "Andy's Baby: A Warhol screen-test subject watches her celluloid debut for the first time.", New York Magazine

External links

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