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Apparently not much if you were in the right social circles. Time magazine had an article about Rose in 1939 and was quite civil about the situation.

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That is interesting, Bill. That was a time when divorce could be a scandal that could ruin Hollywood as well as political careers.

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Rose's divorce from Fanny Brice may have been packaged as civil-- and he and Holm may have been all smiles when this picture was taken-- but a few years later, when they proceeded to sink into an acrimonious and extremely public split up-- it was often described as the "War of the Roses."

Here's a link to a 1952 Time Magazine article of the same name which chronicles some of the nastiness:

The War of the Roses

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Rose's comments about Holm's accusations that he was "a tightwad" are wonderful. His comments are incredibly sarcastic and very funny. In any event, all this goes to prove how wonderful true love can be!

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Rose's comments about Holm's accusations that he was "a tightwad" are wonderful.

He didn't count pennies on his own tomb....

300px-Billy_Rose_800.jpg

There's a story behind that too...

Billy Rose was an immensely wealthy man when he died of lobar pneumonia at his vacation home in Montego Bay, Jamaica at the age of 66. Billy Rose fans impatiently waited for the reading of his will. His earnings made from Broadway, Clubs and songwriting were invested in real estate and the stock market. He was the largest single stockholder with AT&T and the New York Central Railroad. His holdings also consisted of his residence, the former William Goadby Low mansion on E. 93rd and an estate in Mount Kisco housing a large collection of modern art. He was the owner/operator of the Billy Rose Theater which at the time of his death housed four plays. In the wings were waiting a full compliment of would be benefactors including former ex-wives from his many trips to the altar including Fannie Brice, Eleanor Holm as well as members from his own immediate family. The reading was a bombshell as most of the fortune went to a museum...The Israel Museum located in Jerusalem for creation of a five acre sculpture garden which also was intended to be his burial place. However...the Museum denied him burial among the futuristic sculpture he had donated. Jewish Orthodox religious customs forbid such showplace burials. His two sisters contested the will wanting themselves declared sole heirs. For two years his remains lay in a temporary vault. A compromise was reached and a free standing mausoleum was constructed in Westchester Hills Cemetery and Billy was permanently entombed. Beneath a stain glass window in the crypt is a tribute to New York's showman.

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Somebody get a hold of the May 9, 1939 issue of Look magazine.

There's an article titled 'Feud of the Worlds Fairs - Eleanor Holm vs. Sally Rand'.

That ought to make for some interesting reading. :P

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`CHAMPAGNE GIRL' GETS FINAL TOAST

Source: LINDA ROBERTSON, Herald Sports Writer

Eleanor Holm Whalen's friends held a luncheon in honor of the former swimming star Wednesday at the Surf Club after her funeral. It was not a solemn affair. ``Another round for everyone! Let's lift our glasses to Eleanor,'' said Dorothy St. Jean, a friend and MC of the celebration of Holm's rich life. With that, everybody toasted the ``Champagne Girl'' with more champagne. Holm would have loved it. Her ....

Published on February 8, 2004, Page 14C, The Miami Herald

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Rose's divorce from Fanny Brice may have been packaged as civil-- and he and Holm may have been all smiles when this picture was taken-- but a few years later, when they proceeded to sink into an acrimonious and extremely public split up-- it was often described as the "War of the Roses."

Here's a link to a 1952 Time Magazine article of the same name which chronicles some of the nastiness:

The War of the Roses

The Billy Rose/Fanny Brice/Eleanor Holm triangle was touched upon in the movie "Funny Lady." There are also a few expo related mentions, primarily the Texas Centennial Exposition if I remember correctly.

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Eleanor Holm Whalen's friends...

I wonder if her last husband Thomas Whalen (an oil executive) was related in any way to Grover Whalen?

Meanwhile, for the record, here's her NY Times obit:

Eleanor Holm Whalen, 30's Swimming Champion, Dies

Eleanor Holm Whalen, an Olympic swimming champion who was expelled from the 1936 Berlin Games in a headline-making drinking episode that brought her a second career as a slightly notorious but glamorous show-business figure, died Saturday at her home in Miami.

The cause was kidney failure, said her sister-in-law, Mary Ann Flotron.

By her own account, she would have been 90 at her death, but her sister-in-law said she was 91.

When she boarded the S.S. Manhattan in New York Harbor on July 15, 1936, with some 330 fellow Olympians bound for the Berlin Olympics, Eleanor Holm Jarrett, as she was then known, stood at the pinnacle of the swimming world. She had captured the 100-meter backstroke at the 1932 Los Angeles Games and had set world records in that event and the 200-meter backstroke. She had not lost a race in seven years and was the first female swimmer to be chosen for three American Olympic teams.

But when the ship docked at Hamburg, Germany, she was no longer a member of the Olympic team. The American Olympic Committee and its president, Avery Brundage, had expelled her from the Games for carousing and breaking curfew, an incident that became one of the most publicized flaps in Olympic history.

Her actions seem tame by modern standards, when sports pages have no shortage of accounts detailing drug abuse, criminal behavior and narcissism. But the tale of Olympic partying and drinking that emerged in 1936 enthralled readers who were hardly used to hearing about athletes' lives beyond the playing fields.

Eleanor Holm was born in Brooklyn, the daughter of a New York Fire Department officer, and learned to swim at the pool near her family's summer cottage in Long Beach, N.Y.

She finished fifth in the 100-meter backstroke at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam. Having won a gold medal in the backstroke at the Los Angeles Games in 1932, she was favored to repeat at the Berlin Olympics. But that was before she incurred the wrath of Brundage, the powerful American Olympic chief.

Holm was both a world-class swimmer and eminently worldly. She had married Art Jarrett, a bandleader, singer and fellow graduate of Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, in September 1933. She had appeared with his band, wearing a white bathing suit and white cowboy hat with high heels, singing ''I'm an Old Cowhand.'' She had bit parts in several Warner Brothers movies.

Two days after the Olympians' ship left for the Berlin Games, Holm was invited to an all-night party for sportswriters on the first-class deck. Her drinking there and her violation of curfew brought a warning from Olympic officials.

Then, during a stopover in Cherbourg, France, she won a couple of hundred dollars playing dice with sportswriters aboard the ship during the afternoon. That night, she attended another party with them.

In an interview for ''All That Glitters Is Not Gold,'' by William O. Johnson, she remembered the moment:

''This chaperone came up to me and told me it was time to go to bed. God, it was about 9 o'clock, and who wanted to go down in that basement to sleep anyway? So I said to her: 'Oh, is it really bedtime? Did you make the Olympic team or did I?' I had had a few glasses of Champagne. So she went to Brundage and complained that I was setting a bad example for the team, and they got together and told me the next morning that I was fired. I was heartbroken.''

According to ''The Complete Book of the Summer Olympics,'' by David Wallechinsky, the Olympic team doctor had reported that she was suffering from acute alcoholism, but Holm denied it.

Holm maintained that many of her fellow athletes had also been drinking on the voyage because there was no ban on alcohol, and some 200 team members petitioned Brundage to reverse the ban. But Brundage, who ruled amateur athletics in the United States for decades, stood fast.

''I was everything that Avery Brundage hated,'' Holm said in ''Tales of Gold,'' by Lewis H. Carlson and John J. Fogarty. ''I had a few dollars, and athletes were supposed to be poor. I worked in nightclubs, and athletes shouldn't do that. I was married.''

She went on to recall: ''But he rained on my parade for only a very short time. He did make me famous. I would have been just another female backstroke swimmer without Brundage.''

While Nida Senff of the Netherlands was winning Holm's specialty, the 100-meter backstroke, with American entries finishing third and fourth, Holm joined her sportswriter friends. Hired by the International News Service to file reports on the Games, she became a celebrity presence in the press area, although her articles were ghostwritten.

She also attended receptions held by Hitler and other Nazi leaders. Hermann Goering, the Luftwaffe chief, gave her a silver swastika he took off his uniform. When Holm married Billy Rose, who was Jewish, she had it copied in gold and then placed a Star of David set in diamonds inside it.

After the Olympics, Holm continued in her singing act and was co-featured in the 1938 20th Century Fox movie ''Tarzan's Revenge,'' playing alongside Glenn Morris, the 1936 Olympic decathlon champion, who was cast as Tarzan.

After her divorce from Jarrett in 1939, Holm married Rose, who had obtained a divorce from the comedian Fannie Brice. Co-featured with Johnny Weismuller and then Buster Crabbe, Holm did 39 shows a week at Rose's Aquacade in the New York World's Fair of 1939-1940.

''I thought I'd never be dry,'' she recalled in ''Tales of Gold.''

''My hair turned green from the chlorine, and swimming on those cold October and November nights in New York was awful.''

Holm lived with Rose in a five-story, 14-room house on Beekman Place in Manhattan. They were divorced in 1954. She later married Tom Whalen, a retired oil executive, and settled in the Miami area.

She had no children and is survived by two nieces. Whalen died in 1984.

''I don't swim anymore, I just play tennis,'' she told Dave Anderson of The New York Times in 1984. ''But I still have my 1932 Olympic bathing suit. It's blue with a red, white and blue shield on the front. It's long-waisted with a little skirt. And I don't drink Champagne anymore. Just a little dry white wine.''

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I tried to find Holm's burial information on the Find A Grave site and it states that her burial is unknown. It also lists her as Eleanor Holm Whalen. Any idea of the date of her obituary?

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Does anyone know whether Billy Rose had any children?

Based on my research, it seems like Billy Rose had lots of money, wives and affairs on the side....

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