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    Slim Keith

    The recently deceased Keith, born Nancy Gross in Salinas, Calif., in 1916, invented her persona as a teenager, growing into a chic woman who became known among the socially elite as Slim. Film director Howard Hawks and Broadway entrepreneur Leland Hayward divorced their wives to marry her; and although she was pursued by the likes of Clark Gable and Ernest Hemingway, the one love of her life, she writes, remained Hayward, who in turn left her for another woman. Her next and last husband was British banker Kenneth Keith, who provided her with a title and whom she left in 1972 after a 10-year marriage. Her “memoirs of a rich and imperfect life,” written with freelancer Tapert, is compulsively readable, an account of a determined striving up from the middle class to join the Beautiful People. Keith, a woman of style, is revealed also as boastful and betraying, as a gossiper who spared few friends–the real-life Lady Coolbirth of Truman Capote’s infamous Answered Prayers

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    Alpha

    Echo

    India

    Mike

    Quebec

    Uniform

    Yankee

    Bravo

    Foxtrot

    Juliet

    November

    Romeo

    Victor

    Zulu

    Charlie

    Golf

    Kilo

    Oscar

    Sierra

    Whiskey

    Delta

    Hotel

    Lima

    Papa

    Tango

    X-Ray