|Subject: Capote's longtime friend was Joanne Carson, who cared for him in his last drunken and ill years. He died living with her, and she kept half his ashes, given other half to his former lover. ...
She couldn't let the ashes go, until her death, then actioned off...uggh.
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Date Posted: Sunday, August 25, 11:03:39pm
In reply to:
She died in 2015
's message, "Died at the home of Joanna Carson, Johnny's third ex" on Sunday, August 25, 06:08:27pm
Excerpts from Vanity Fair 2016 article …
Just how did he come to be auctioning off the ashes—which Capote left to his good friend
Joanne Carson, the late wife of former Tonight Show host Johnny Carson, who died in 2015? …
“Basically, the estate didn’t know what to do with them,” Julien explained. And yes, before figuring out a conservative estimate of what they might go for—$4,000 to $6,000—the auction house did mull over the ethical implications of selling off Capote’s remains to the highest bidder.
“We contemplated doing it, but because they are Truman Capote’s,” Julien said, “this is probably what he would have wanted done. I’ve never heard of ashes being sold before, but between us and Christie’s and some other auction houses, we’ve sold some crazy other things. But I think this will be at the top of the list.”
“Is there any kind of ethics issue with selling these ashes?” we asked. “They are human remains.”
“Yeah, but it’s really body parts [that you have to worry about],” Julien said. “You can’t sell things like that. But, I will say, Christie’s sold Napoleon’s penis years ago. And we sold William Shatner’s kidney stone for $75,000. There’s all kinds of precedents for this. Like I said, if it wasn’t Truman Capote, we would pass because we wouldn’t want to be disrespectful. And the antics he was always up to, and how much he loved press—it’s no question that that is something he would have wanted done.”
Granted, the ashes themselves have had their own wild life.
Capote died in 1984 while inside Carson’s Bel-Air home, and Capote’s remains were reportedly divided between Carson
and the author’s companion Jack Dunphy. According to Page Six, Carson kept the ashes in an urn in the room where he died.
The remains were stolen twice, however—once during a 1988 Halloween party (before being mysteriously returned), and again at a party Carson hosted (with the urn in attendance) for a play about Capote. The culprit, however, did not make it out the door with the remains. In 2013, the ashes were even invited to the opening-night gala of Broadway’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. (“We did try to get him here,” a Breakfast rep confirmed at the time. “Joanne says he always wanted to (see) Holly Golightly open on Broadway, and we thought it would have been poignant for the entire company.”) Alas, Carson did not want to risk another theft.
Of the auction, Julien explained, “It’s kind of a conclusion to the crazy adventures that they’ve been on.”
Per Julien’s, “Carson has noted that having Capote’s ashes brought her great comfort.” The cardboard box—which measures three-by-four-by-four inches—is affixed with a label from Grand View Memorial Park Crematory guaranteeing that the ashes inside are indeed Capote’s. The cardboard box is “housed in a carved Japanese wooden box,” and the ashes—again, the remains of one of the greatest writers and most fascinating society figures in American history—are expected to sell for between $4,000 and $6,000.
The auction took place September 23 and 24, 2016, selling to unpublished buyer for $65,000.
Joanne Carson ashes are interred at Westwood Memorial Cemetery, where Capote's ashes once rested. The portion of Truman Capote’s ashes in Dunphy's possession would eventually be mixed in with Dunphy’s when they were scattered on Long Island in 1992. Their ashes taken down an unassuming path off Widow Gavits Road south of Sag Harbor deep in the Long Pond Greenbelt —a clearing with an unobstructed view of Crooked Pond, where they were scattered. …