We try to avoid the word “cool” around here, particularly when referring to Lamborghini owners. (And Lamborghini smartphone owners.) So it’s safe to say we rolled our eyes at this custom-camouflaged, “check-me-out-I’m-like-a-Swedish-playboy-slash-ski-jumper” Lamborghini Gallardo LP560.
In last night’s Mad Men episode, it seemed quite apropos that during a gratuitous afternoon of speeding through town in a Jaguar and playfully sentimental bar talk between Don and Joan (it was a fully immersive test-drive) the name “Aly Khan” was batted around. Those of you quick on the uptake might have noticed the well-placed reference to one of our 12 Original Playboys of the Jetset 60s.
As the bar scene played out, the conversation led to talk of old times, Joan’s many suitors and how Don was practically the only man in New York who hadn’t sent her flowers. He admits that he was intimidated—plus, the sheer number of flowers arriving for her daily gave him the impression she was being courted by Aly Khan, nicknamed “The Love Prince.” It was high praise—Aly was a member of an elite group of men so impossibly charming and worldly that they’d become famous for it. You can check out his resume (which included starlets and models) here.
Part One -- Death of The Original Playboy: Gunter Sachs, Porfirio Rubirosa Part Two -- Style & Grace: Gianni Agnelli, “Baby” Pignatari, Alessandro “Dado” Ruspoli, 9th Prince of Cerveteri. Part Three – The Americans: Howard Hughes, John. F. Kennedy Part Four -- Easy on the Curve: Alfonso de Protago and Prince Aly Khan
Part Five: The Party’s Over
As we conclude our series on The 12 Original Playboys of the Jetset Sixties, we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge that much of our intrigue on the subject stemmed from Graydon Carter’s timely, eloquent memorial of Gunter Sachs in the July 2011 edition of Vanity Fair. “For it’s a subtle craft,” writes Carter, “the art of the playboy – the creation of a life of tasteful public and private pleasure – and it’s one that is completely lost on the rich of today.”
We also owe Taki Theodoracopulos (a renowned Playboy in his own right) a well-made cocktail for gracing us with his kaleidoscopic obituary of Sachs and recollection of a typical day spent with Porfirio Rubirosa…
Part One -- Death of The Original Playboy: Gunter Sachs, Porfirio Rubirosa Part Two -- Style & Grace: Gianni Agnelli, “Baby” Pignatari, Alessandro “Dado” Ruspoli, 9th Prince of Cerveteri. Part Three – The Americans: Howard Hughes, John. F. Kennedy
Part Four: “Easy on the Curve”
In this five-part series, Kempt celebrates “The Original Playboys” of the jet set era – a self-proclaimed ‘elite breed of professional pleasure seekers’ who fascinated the world. Part four highlights two men who went hard and fast right up until the very end (which came all too soon): Alfonso de Protago and Prince Aly Khan.
Part One -- Death of The Original Playboy: Gunter Sachs, Porfirio Rubirosa Part Two-- Style & Grace: Gianni Agnelli, “Baby” Pignatari, Alessandro “Dado” Ruspoli, 9th Prince of Cerveteri.
Part Three: The Americans
"Haven't you ever worked?" Prince Dado Ruspoli was once asked. "No," he responded, "I've never had time." The 12 Original Playboys gallivanted within the eye of a perfect pleasure storm. They wanted for nothing because they could have seemingly anything – or anyone – thanks to a never-ending stream of old, old money.
And yet plenty of men have mighty bank accounts. These twelve seemed to have much more, like the ability to speak a dozen languages, the bravado to race Ferraris with every intention of one day wrapping one around an apple tree, and the possession of manhood that led to twelve-inch pepper grinders being named for them in Parisian restaurants.
With that in mind, it’s not surprising that only two Americans made this list.
As we introduced yesterday, The 12 Original Playboys were a self-proclaimed ‘elite breed of professional pleasure seekers’ who fascinated the world in the 1950’s and ‘60s. They did so with exceptional genes, unparalleled wealth and, as we learn from today’s batch, exquisite style and grace.
When 78-year-old Gunter Sachs killed himself with a single gun shot to the head in May of this year, the world not only lost an accomplished marksman, but also a fine bobsledder, photographer, and manufacturer of ball-bearings. Of greater concern, though, was the fact that Gunter was widely considered to be the world’s last remaining “Original Playboy,” of which there were twelve. “Twelve, and no more,” Gunter said of his bronzed, international jet-setting comrades. “The golden age when an elite breed of professional pleasure seekers fascinated the world is over. We were charming and spoke languages and behaved well with women. To go with a girl to Tahiti was incredible. Now everybody goes to Tahiti.”
In January of 1943, Flynn was aquitted of statutorily raping 17-year-old Betty Hansen, a Nebraska farmgirl, and 15-year-old Peggy Satterlee, a night club dancer, aboard his yacht, the Sirocco. Several groups were formed in support of Flynn, one of which was named The American Boys' Club for the Defense of Errol Flynn (ABCDEF). According to jurors, Hansen and Satterlee’s stories’ changed constantly and their details of Flynn's yacht were wildly inaccurate.