Monday, July 22, 2024

Celeste Holm, Star of “All About Eve,” Oscar Winner, 95, Passes Away


Celeste Holm was still attending events a month ago–at 95 she and husband Frank Basile came to the Tony Awards. Celeste was in a wheelchair, but she was happy to get out of the house be with her Broadway people. A theater star for her whole career, Celeste also had a big film resume–she won an Oscar for “Gentleman’s Agreement” with Gregory Peck. She was also very well known and popular as the elegant, beautiful, wisecracking Karen Richards, wife of producer Lloyd Richards (Hugh Marlowe) in “All About Eve.”

For years she was married to another popular theater, Wesley Addy, who was also a star of the New York soap operas. They were married from 1961 to 1996, when Addy died. He was her fourth husband. In 1994, Holm married opera singer Frank Basile, 45 years her junior. Their marriage caused a permanent rift with her family.

There were a lot of questions about Basile’s motivations. The family sued him, and cut Holm off from her own financial resources. Most people thought Basile must be a golddigger. But an article in the New York Times last year really exonerated him from all wild speculation, and sort painted a picture of a family that wasn’t so interested in taking care of an elderly person.

At least in person, Basile always seemed to be taking excellent care of Holm. She loved being out and about, and not forgotten. I ran into them in the Palm Court of the Plaza Hotel having afternoon tea a few months ago, and Celeste was cogent, alert, and thrilled to meet Aretha Franklin, who was at the next table.

Ninety five–it’s a good life. And she had a great life, that’s for sure, right up to the end. But for her family and for Frank Basile, the end is stillĀ  very sad. RIP, Celeste. It was lovely having you in our midst all these years.

Read more about her at You can ever hear her sing!


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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