Betsy von Furstenberg, born August 16, 1931, is a German-born American radio, television, film, and Broadway actress.
Birth and childhood
Betsy was born as Elizabeth Caroline Maria Agatha Felicitas Therese, Freiin von Fürstenberg-Hedringen in Arnsberg. Her parents were Franz-Egon, Graf (Count) von Fürstenberg-Hedringen (1896–1975) and his first wife, Elizabeth Foster Johnson (1899–1961), a native of Memphis, Tennessee. Her stepmothers were Gloria Rubio, Clara Ghyczy, and Joan Siegel.
She has two half siblings from her father's marriage to Gloria Rubio: Franz-Egon, Freiherr von Fürstenberg-Hedringen (b.1939), and Dolores Maria Agatha Wilhelmine Luise later know as Mrs. Patrick Dolores Guinness, Freiin von Fürstenberg-Hedringen (1936-2012).
Though some published sources have described Betsy von Furstenberg as a countess, she is in fact a Freiin (baroness) by birth, according to the last published issue of theAlmanach de Gotha. Children of the counts von Fürstenberg-Hedringen are known as Freiherr (baron) or Freiin (baroness), and the sons only move up in rank to Graf (count) if they inherit the primary title.
She does not use the umlaut of her family surname in her professional career nor its compound hyphenation.
She attended the Gardner School and graduated from Miss Hewitt's Classes.
Betsy von Furstenberg has appeared on Broadway in Second Threshold (1951), Oh, Men! Oh, Women! (1953), The Chalk Garden and Child of Fortune (1956), Nature's Way(1957), The Making of Moo (1958), Step on a Crack (1962), The Frog Pond (1965), The Paisley Convertible (1967), Avanti! (1968), The Gingerbread Lady (1970), and Does Anybody Here Do the Peabody? (1976).
On television in the mid-1950s, she memorably starred opposite Robert Horton played a double-crossing young widow in an episode entitled "The Disappearing Trick" directed byArthur Hiller on the anthology series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents. As well she appeared in the Have Gun - Will Travel episode "Girl from Piccadilly" (1958). Later, she played the role of Lisa Grimaldi on As the World Turns from late 1983 into early 1984, when Eileen Fulton temporarily left the show in a contract dispute.
In 1950, Furstenberg's parents announced her engagement to Peter Stewart Howard, a stepson of socialite George Vanderbilt and a grandson of Charles S. Howard, the owner of the racehorse Seabiscuit. The marriage did not take place.
She married, on 16 June 1954, Guy Vincent Chastenet de la Maisonneuve, a French-born mining engineer who changed his name to Guy Vincent. The couple had two children, a son, Glyn Douglas, and a daughter, Gay Caroline, Mrs. William Gerry.
Betsy von Furstenberg remarried, in 1984, to John J. Reynolds, a New York real-estate broker, who died in 1994.