From Rags to Riches and back to Rags aptly describes the life of Actor Peter Lawford. He ran with the "A" crowd and got fried being too close to the sun. As a member of "The Rat Pack" Lawford was placed in the center of the Hollywood/Las Vegas elite. Lawford took it to another Level by marrying President John F. Kennedy's sister Patricia (Pat).
Peter Sydney Vaughn Aylen (Lawford) 7 September 1923 – 24 December 1984 grew up under the iron fist of his highly abusive Mother Lady May Lawford. This "lady" was a trip! She dressed poor Peter in girl's clothing and much more.
She was married to another man (Vaughn Aylen) and when she became pregnant he promptly divorced her. She very shortly thereafter married Sir Sydney Lawford. No wonder Lawford turned to booze and drugs and had low self-esteem issues.
Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, May Britt, Pat Kennedy Lawford, Peter Lawford at the Lawford's Santa Monica Home c. 1960 © 1978 Bernie Abramson
Peter was a famous leading man in Hollywood and certainly when an arm injury kept him out of WWII. He defined suave and debonair. Women flocked the charming English actor.
After marrying into the Kennedy clan. Peter was a pawn used by Joe Kennedy to get celebrity support to elect Jack as president. Peter was often used to wrangle women for Jack Kennedy, he was then used by Frank Sinatra as an "in" with the Kennedys.
Who killed JFK, he knew why Robert Kennedy went after the mob, and knew who killed Marilyn Monroe and why... they believe what Peter knew ended up killing him. As Peter was sinking and drinking and drugging more and more.. he was ignored by the Kennedy's, banned by Frank Sinatra, and rarely had good film roles. He began working in television and doing camp shows like Love Boat and Love American Style etc.
Peter set up the infamous Happy Birthday Mr. President serenade for John Kennedy's birthday..
After Joe Kennedy banned Sinatra from JFK access, Lawford was banned from the Rat Pack and his life tumbled from there. Then JFK was assassinated...he was persona non grata in Hollywood.
His body was cremated, and his ashes were interred at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. Due to a legal dispute, the cemetery, Lawford's ashes were removed and scattered in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California by his widow, Patricia Seaton Lawford, who invited the National Enquirer tabloid to photograph the event.
A plaque bearing Lawford's name was erected at Westwood Village Memorial Park.