Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Rupert Murdoch Upstages “Succession”: At 92 Getting Married for Fifth Time, to 66 Year Old Widow of Media Mini-Mogul Country Singer


The great Cindy Adams reports this morning that Rupert Murdoch is getting married again.

The 92 year old coot media mogul, head of a company that he says lies for a living, is just a romantic at heart. So he’s wooed a 66 year old named Ann Lesley Smith and popped the question. What’s she going to say: No? He’s very, very rich.

Rupert just recently wiggled out of marriage number 4, to famed model Jerry Hall, mother of four of Mick Jagger’s children. She herself is now age 66. Previously he was married to Wendi Deng, and before that Anna Murdoch, and before that someone else.

His mother lived to be 103, so Rupert does not want to be lonely,

The announcement is timed with coincidence. Tonight HBO has a premiere in New York for “Succession,” which is loosely based on Murdoch and his adult children. Logan Roy, head of a media empire, fights with his kids and top employees and treats them like pawns on a chess board. All the kids are messed up. Sound familiar?

So who is Ann Lesley Smith? She’s been married a couple of times. Divorced from her first husband, she said in an interview, who abused her. Second husband was Chester Smith, who died in 2008 at age 78 after just three years of wedded bliss. He was born in 1930, which makes him the same age as Rupert — if he’d lived. Chester Smith presumably had a lot of money. He was a former country singer who had a hit somewhere called “Wait a Little Longer, Please, Jesus.”

Chester Smith was a mini-Murdoch. He started buying up TV stations in the 60s and made a mini-fortune. Ann Lesley branded herself a songwriter. More recently she’s called herself “Reverend Ann” and became a volunteer police chaplain. She inherited a lot from Smith although it’s unclear what his three daughters from his first marriage had to say about that. (Presumably they’ve talked to the Murdoch kids.)

I kid you not.

Those Murdoch kids — er, Roy kids — must have hammered out quite a pre-nup. And to think “Succession” is ending with season 4. It could certainly go on now!


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
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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