Thursday, November 17, 2011


Vittoria Marisa Schiaparelli Berenson (born February 15, 1947, New York City)
 is an American actress and model.

Early life

She is the elder daughter of Robert L. Berenson, an American diplomat turned shipping executive, who was of Lithuanian Jewish descent; his family's original surname was Valvrojenski. Her mother was born Countess Maria Luisa Yvonne Radha de Wendt de Kerlor, better known as Gogo Schiaparelli, a socialite of Italian, Swiss, French, and Egyptian ancestry.

Berenson's maternal grandmother was the fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli  and her maternal grandfather was Count Wilhelm de Wendt de Kerlor, a Theosophist and psychic medium. Her younger sister, Berinthia, became a model, actress, and photographer as Berry Berenson. She also is a great-grandniece of Giovanni Schiaparelli, an Italian astronomer who believed he had discovered the supposed canals of Mars, a great-grandniece of art expert Bernard Berenson (1865–1959) and his sister Senda Berenson (1868–1954), an athlete and educator who was one of the first two women elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Personal life
In the early 1970s, Berenson was the companion of the French banking heir Baron David René de Rothschild, the younger son of Baron Guy de Rothschild.
Berenson's first husband was James Randall, a rivet manufacturer. They married in Beverly HillsCalifornia, in 1976 and divorced in 1978. They have one daughter, Starlite Melody Randall (born 1977).

Her second husband was Aaron Richard Golub, a lawyer, whom she married in 1982 and divorced in 1987. In the divorce proceedings, the judge ruled that "the increased value of Ms. Berenson's acting and modeling career [during the marriage] were marital property" and therefore subject to consideration in any settlement agreements.

On September 11, 2001, Marisa's younger sister and sole sibling, Berinthia "Berry" Perkins, widow of actor Anthony Perkins, was killed in the first flight to hit the World Trade Center. Marisa was also in an airplane during the terrorist attacks, flying from Paris to New York. In an interview with CBS, she told of the experience and how hours later she landed in Newfoundland (flights were diverted to Canada), and was told of her sister's death by a phone call with her daughter. Said Berenson: "I have hope and tremendous faith. I think that's what gets you through life ... through tragedies is when you have faith."
Granddaughter of famous fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli.
Older sister of Berry Berenson.
Aunt of actor Oz Perkins and musician Elvis Perkins.
Marisa's sister, actress/photographer Berry Berenson, was one of the 58 victims of the terrorist-hijacked plane that crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Former sister-in-law of actor Anthony Perkins.
Marisa and Jim Randall lived in a million-dollar mansion in Beverly Hills he bought from Debbie Reynolds. The house had a private movie theater with 35mm projectors fitted with Cinemascope lenses. It also included his and hers bathrooms, the floors and walls of which were marble and granite. It had three swimming pools with waterfalls one into the other on the side of a hill. It had a private barbershop with regulation barber chair, sauna and gym. The house was fitted with state-of-the-art security devices which included TV camera, motion detectors and wireless "panic buttons" which they carried with them in the house, and which were wired directly into the Beverly Hills Police Dept. A security guard lived on the premises and manned a control room in the basement where he monitored the TV cameras, etc. The wedding of Randall and Berenson was held in this house, and George Hamilton was Randall's best man. The reception turned into a brawl when some of the guests got into a fight.

Before entering films, she was one of the top fashion models of the 1960s, a favorite at "Vogue".
Measurements: 34B-23-35 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
Her daughter, Starlite Melody Randall, appears on the reality show "Gastineau Girls" (2005) on E!.
Is of Lithuanian, Italian, Egyptian, Swiss, and French ethnicity.
Her father was Robert L. Berenson, a U.S. diplomat of Lithuanian-Jewish descent (original family name Valvrojenski). He was related to legendary art critic Bernard Berenson, an expert in Italian Renaissance. Her mother was Countess Maria Luisa (Marisa) Yvonne Radha (aka "Gogo") de Wendt de Kerlor. Gogo was the daughter of Swiss-French Count Wilhelm de Wendt de Kerlor and fashion designer ElsaSchiaparelli. Born in Rome, Schiaparelli was the daughter of Celestino Schiaparelli (1841-1919), of Italian stock, and wife, of Egyptian stock. (Her great-uncle was Giovanni Schiaparelli, an astronomer who discovered the canals of Mars). When Schiaparelli married Count Wilhelm, they relocated to Greenwich Village where Gogo was born. He soon fled, and Elsa's career in fashion designing began. She was hugely successful in Paris, second only to Coco Chanel and she even collaborated with Salvador Dalí and Jean Cocteau. (Marisa herself maintained the tradition, becoming a top model in the 60s both in Europe and in New York).

Best friend of Cabaret (1972) co-star Liza Minnelli.
She and ex husband Jim Randall have a daughter Starlite Melody Randall born in 1977.
Berenson is chairman of the board of Culture Project, an organization that sponsors the theater.
Berenson appeared on the cover of the July 1970 issue of Vogue as well as the cover of Time on 15 December 1975.
Yves Saint-Laurent dubbed her "the girl of the Seventies".
In the early 1970s, Berenson was the companion of the French banking heir Baron David René de Rothschild, the younger son of Baron Guy de Rothschild.
In the late 1970s, it was announced she would star as Vivien Leigh in a biographical film. Unfortunately, the plans eventually fell.
Personal Quotes
She was just this angel that landed on this planet for a short amount of time. - On her late sister Berry Berenson
I hope she didn't suffer. It's hard to take in. I have hope and tremendous faith. I think that's what gets you through life...through tragedies is when you have faith. -- MB commenting on the plane crash death of her sister Berry during the 9/11 attacks.
My ultimate goal is to become a saint.

Mykie's Note:
Ever so attractive & ubber Glamorous, She  sometimes seemed to be more famous for her striking beautyand her social status of the time, one of the pretty jet set crowd, pedigree darling,  and she had pedigree in abundance. At the same time she was a serious talented actress.Cast on the more decorative parts in American films, but in international productions she was given better opportunities to showcase her talent.
I have seen many of her films and she does have an amazing grace on film. I wish she would have done more American films. 


  1. Thank you for the great presentation!
    One other comment: you have a picture of Christy Turlington instead of Marisa (right under the text "(Marisa herself maintained the tradition, becoming a top model in the 60s both in Europe and in New York")

  2. thank you.... and thanks for the note, it was christy, So funny.....thanks again!

  3. Great post. Do you by chance know what magazine the image of Marisa wearing that fantastic "ear" cuff is from? Or who it's made by? Perhaps Elsa Peretti?

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