Wednesday, October 7, 2009

History of Claudine Longet: Demure Entrance, All Too Dramatic Exit

Gentle Claudine, who sings in a lilting whisper. (She did what?!)
I first learned about the incident from someone when discussing "The Party" back in 2001. He said, "You know the songbird in it, Sellers' love interest, killed someone in real life?" I couldn't believe it. After that, I gathered whatever info I could about Claudine Longet. It occurred to me this could be a fascinating biopic to write, after investigating it a bit. And to think what today's tabloids would have done with her back then. Being a fan of "The Party" and quickly becoming a fan of her recordings –– and out of respect for her 'victim'/then-boyfriend, the skier Spider Sabich –– I couldn't bring myself to want to do it. I'd want it to be a first-hand account, if anything. Not some skewed perspective from what little information there is about it. 
What I know is this: Claudine Longet started out as a showgirl and became a rather demure chanteuse and actress who married Andy Williams, had kids with him and sang lullaby cover versions of pop songs in the 1960's. She later broke off their marriage to live in Aspen with celebrated Olympic skier Sabich. This was the 1970's, and drugs were definitely involved. One day, she 'accidentally' shot him. Tragically, he died. The trial must have been rough but she was exonerated for the most part. People have and always will suspect her of a drug-infused measure of foul play although she claims that the gun went off by mistake. Ever since, she's disappeared and still living on in Aspen -- not alone, but with the man who was her defense attorney for the trial... which amounts to a bit of good fortune for her, I would think, since she was considered a social leper after the incident and still today. A dramatic story, indeed.
Personally, I have been satisfied to leave it alone and listen to her sweet songs. I'm already considering taking down this post. Does anyone need to know about this really? I actually like Claudine Longet and her music a great deal, so I wanted to write about her -- and this is what happened. Maybe I'll do another post focusing on her albums.

One of my favorite cinematic moments, from Blake Edwards' "The Party" -- here's Claudine singing Mancini's "Nothing To Lose", while Sellers' Hrundi Bakshi desperately waits to relieve himself...! :-)
My friend Rebecca shared this next wonderful video with me. Fits with this, as well as one of my earlier posts, Please Don't Stop The Moog Or The Modness.


  1. It's so sad that Claudine is living a good life, while spider is in the grave. She should be in prison for the rest of her life. she is a jealous vindictive women. I think she's attractive, but definitely not Beautiful. She has a protruding mouth or teeth and that takes away from her looks .But, that's only physical, inside she's rotten and has no soul, if she did she would confess to murder and ask for forgivness.

  2. I agree with you. It is sad. I don't believe we can ever really know how intentional that moment was. However, it is unfortunate that Spider Sabich's life had to end in that moment of fury, whatever the provocation. It's been documented that their life was cocaine-fueled and that she had bouts of jealousy. However, I doubt she is living a 'good life' as she has little to no contact with anyone and has presumably lived with the guilt -- over her actions on that day long ago -- every single day of her life. Presumably.

  3. What a crock of both are bleeding heart losers.

  4. Confusing comment! Who are the 'both' you refer to? The anonymous commenter and I -- or Claudine Longet and I? What is your personal take? Mine is that the shooting should never have happened and it's very unfortunate that she took someone's life. I believe it's her fault, even if unintentional. Which part of any of this post is someone being a 'bleeding heart loser'? I'm just curious.

  5. I really think it was an accident