Betsy von Furstenberg was born Elizabeth Caroline Maria Agatha Felicitas Therese, Freiin von Fürstenberg-Herdringen in Arnsberg. Her parents were Franz-Egon, Graf (Count) von Fürstenberg-Herdringen (1896–1975) and his first wife, Elizabeth Foster Johnson (1899–1961), a native of Memphis, Tennessee. Her stepmothers were Gloria Rubio, Clara Ghyczy, and Joan Siegel. She has two half siblings from her father’s marriage to Gloria Rubio: Franz-Egon, Freiherr von Fürstenberg-Herdringen (b. 1939), and Dolores Maria Agatha Wilhelmine Luise (Mrs. Patrick Guinness, Freiin von Fürstenberg-Herdringen; 1936–2012). Though some published sources have described von Furstenberg as a countess, she is in fact a Freiin (baroness) by birth, according to the last published issue of the Almanach de Gotha. Children of the counts von Fürstenberg-Herdringen are known as Freiherr (baron) or Freiin (baroness), and the sons only move up in rank to Graf (count) if they inherit the primary title. She did not use the umlaut of her family surname in her professional career nor its compound hyphenation. She attended the Gardner School and graduated from the Hewitt School. Betsy von Furstenberg has appeared on Broadway in Second Threshold (1951), Oh, Men! Oh, Women! (1953), The Chalk Garden and Child of Fortune (1956), Nature’s Way (1957), The Making of Moo (1958), Step on a Crack (1962), The Frog Pond (1965), The Paisley Convertible (1967), Avanti! (1968), The Gingerbread Lady (1970), and Does Anybody Here Do the Peabody? (1976). On television in the mid-1950s, she memorably starred opposite Robert Horton played a double-crossing young widow in an episode entitled “The Disappearing Trick” directed by Arthur Hiller on the anthology series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents. She also appeared in the Have Gun – Will Travel episode “Girl from Piccadilly” (1958). Later, she played the role of Lisa Grimaldi on As the World Turns from late 1983 into early 1984, when Eileen Fulton temporarily left the show in a contract dispute.
She married, on 16 June 1954, Guy Vincent Chastenet de la Maisonneuve, a French-born mining engineer who changed his name to Guy Vincent. The couple had two children, a son, Glyn Douglas, and a daughter, Gay Caroline, Mrs. William Gerry. Von Furstenberg remarried, in 1984, to John J. Reynolds, a New York real-estate broker, who died in 1994. Von Furstenberg died on April 21, 2015 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease in Manhattan. She was 83.
- August, 16, 1931
- Arnsberg, Germany
- April, 21, 2015
- Manhattan, New York, New York
Cause of Death
- Alzheimer's disease