Known for movies

Short Info

DiedNovember 1, 1963, New York City, New York, United States
FactCredited with introducing Rita Hayworth to Prince Aly Khan in the summer of 1948.
PaymentsEarned $500 /week from Our Betters (1933)

Elsa Maxwell was a popular American gossip columnist, radio personality, and actress. She was known for her lavish parties and celebrity guests.

Maxwell was born in Keokuk, Iowa, on May 24, 1893. Her parents were William and Elsa Meinecke. She had two older sisters, Lillian and Edna. Maxwell’s father died when she was four years old, and her mother remarried soon after.

Maxwell was educated at a convent school in New York City. She began her career as a professional singer, but soon turned to writing gossip columns for newspapers and magazines. Maxwell also worked as a radio personality and hosted her own television show, “The Elsa Maxwell Show,” from 1954 to 1955.

Maxwell was married three times. Her first husband was Harry Crosby, a member of the wealthy Crosby family. They were married from 1920 to 1929 and had no children. Her second husband was Collin Kemper, an American businessman. They were married from 1930 to 1935 and had one child, a daughter named Pamela. Maxwell’s third and final husband was Robert Levitt, an American businessman and socialite. They were married from 1936 until Levitt’s death in 1972. They had no children together.

Maxwell was known for her lavish parties, which were often attended by celebrities and other members of high society. She was also known for her charitable work. Maxwell died of natural causes on November 1, 1963, at the age of 70.

General Info

Full NameElsa Maxwell
DiedNovember 1, 1963, New York City, New York, United States
ProfessionSongwriter, Gossip columnist


MoviesPublic Deb No. 1

Social profile links


Our Betters (1933)$500 /week


1Under pressure, people admit to murder, setting fire to the village church or robbing a bank, but never to being bores.
2Seeing unhappiness in the marriage of friends, I was content to have chosen music and laughter as a substitute for a husband.
3I make enemies deliberately. They are my sauce piquante to my dish of life.
4Giving parties is a trivial avocation, but it pays the dues for my union card in humanity.
5[describing herself] A short, fat, homely piano player from Keokuk, Iowa, with no money, no background . . . who decided to become a legend, and did just that!


1Short, stout American hostess and celebrity tattle-tale columnist.
2Famed as hostess of lavish parties for royalty and high society and credited with the introduction of the scavenger hunt and treasure hunt for use as party games.
3Credited with introducing Rita Hayworth to Prince Aly Khan in the summer of 1948.
4Introduced Maria Callas to Aristotle Onassis.
5Probably the only gossip columnist who could ever boast of an eponymously titled movie: Hotel for Women (1939) (in which she also appeared).



Main Street to Broadway1953Elsa Maxwell - First Nighter (uncredited)
Rhapsody in Blue1945Elsa Maxwell (uncredited)
Stage Door Canteen1943Elsa Maxwell
Throwing a Party1941ShortElsa Maxwell
The Lady and the Lug1941ShortElsa Maxwell
Hotel for Women1939Mrs. Tilford


Hotel for Women1939lyrics: "Whistle a Little Old Melody" / music: "Whistle a Little Old Melody"


Hotel for Women1939story


Our Betters1933technical advisor


The Merv Griffin Show1963TV SeriesHerself
The DuPont Show of the Week1961TV SeriesHerself
The Jack Paar Tonight Show1957-1961TV SeriesHerself
I've Got a Secret1952-1959TV SeriesHerself - Guest / Herself - Mystery Guest
The 12th Annual Tony Awards1958TV SpecialHerself - Presenter
The Mike Wallace Interview1957TV SeriesHerself
Playhouse 901957TV SeriesHerself
What's My Line?1950-1957TV SeriesHerself - Mystery Guest / Herself - Guest Panelist
Panorama1955TV Series documentaryHerself
Producers' Showcase1954TV SeriesHerself
Person to Person1953TV Series documentaryHerself - Gossip Columnist
Penthouse Party1950-1951TV SeriesHerself
Public Deb No. 11940Herself
The Cavalcade of Academy Awards from 1928-19391940Documentary shortHerself
Hollywood Goes to Town1938Short documentaryHerself (uncredited)

Archive Footage

Pioneers of Television2008TV Mini-Series documentaryHerself
Callas assoluta2007DocumentaryHerself
Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage1983DocumentaryHerself (uncredited)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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