Sante, Liz & Meryl
Sante Kimes, with little talent or beauty and no money, wished she were Liz Taylor and, growing crazy and dangerous, believed she was, and often made others to their sorrow share her belief. She was a cruel and cunning con artist. Like a rich Arab or Liz in Cleopatra, Sante kept female slaves. Her slaves were from Mexico not Nubia. She served her only prison term for this peccadillo. She and her son finally moved their act from Vegas to New York and grifted an old lady, Irene Silverman, out of her Upper East Side townhouse.
I became captivated at the photos of Sante Kimes in her biography Son of a Grifter (by Kent Walker and with Mark Schone; HarperCollins, New York; 2001). Ms Kimes did indeed resemble Elizabeth Taylor. But she also resembled my sister. All my life I have heard my sister proclaim Taylor’s beauty and genius. But my sister is older than me and essentially from a different generation. She is from the Fifties and I am from the Sixties. Generally people from my generation disdain Elizabeth Taylor. Meryl Streep is more our actress.