Talitha Dina Getty-Pol (1940-1971)

Talitha Getty was an Indonesia-born Dutch actress and regarded as a style icon of the late 1960s.
Talitha was born October 18th, 1940 in Indonesia, to artist Willem Jilts Pol (1905-1988) and Arnoldine Adriana Mees (1908-1948), then part of the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia).
After a brief sentence in a Japanese prison camp during WWII, her parents split, so young Talitha and her mother moved to the United Kingdom.
Shortly thereafter (1948) her mother died and the then eight-year-old Talitha was raised by her father and stepmother, Poppet John
Her father was a painter who subsequently married Poppet John (1912-1997), daughter of the painter Augustus John (1878-1961), a crucial figure in the world of "Bohemian" culture and fashion.
So she was the step-granddaughter of both Augustus John and his muse and second wife, Dorothy "Dorelia" McNeill (1881-1969), who was a fashion icon in the early years of the 20th century.

Talitha went on a dance study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London..
Writer and journalist Jonathan Meades, who was at RADA several years later, recalled that, after first coming to London in 1964, he saw Pol with her stepmother at Seal House, Holland Park (home of Poppet John's sister, Vivien).
Meades thought her "the most beautiful young woman I had ever seen ... I gaped, unable to dissemble my amazement".

In 1988, a former Labour Member of the British Parliament Woodrow, Lord Wyatt recalled, with reference to the "success with women" of Anthony, Lord Lambton, former Conservative Government Minister, that ...there was that Talitha Pol who was very pretty and had a little starlet job in Yugoslavia; and he went and stayed at the hotel and sent her huge bunches of flowers about every two hours and showered her with presents.

Another to come under Pol's spell was the dancer Rudolf Nureyev, who first met her at a party in 1965.
According to Nureyev's biographer, Julie Kavanagh, the two were in thrall to each other, to the extent that Nureyev "had never felt so erotically stirred by a woman" and told several friends that he wished to marry Pol.
Because of other obligations, Nureyev was unable to attend a dinner party given by Claus von Bülow, at which he and Pol were to have been seated next to each other, and so Bülow invited instead John Paul Getty, son of his employer, the oil tycoon Paul Getty.
Pol and Getty Jr forged a relationship that led to their marriage at December 10, 1966, Talitha Dina Pol became the second wife of John Paul Getty (1932-2003) on December 10, 1966. She was married in a white mini-skirt, trimmed with mink.

 
The Gettys became part of "Swinging" London's fashionable scene, the two shared a fabulous rooftop apartment in Rome, where they presumably had parties to match – crawling with the stunning models, bizarre artists, affluent socialites and unkempt rock stars of the '60s, including Diane von Furstenberg, Valentino, fellow couple Marianne Faithfull and Mick Jagger, Yves Saint Laurent, and members of the Beatles.

Faithfull has recounted her apprehension, through "ingrained agoraphobia", about an invitation to spend five weeks with the Gettys in Morocco (but for Mick this is an essential part of his life) and how, after splitting from Jagger, she took up with Talitha Getty's lover, Count Jean de Breteuil, a young French aristocrat (1949-1971).
Breteuil supplied drugs to rock stars such as Jim Morrison of the Doors, Keith Richard, and Marianne Faithfull, who wrote that Breteuil "saw himself as dealer to the stars".

Print designer Celia Birtwell, who married designer Ossie Clark, recalled Talitha Getty as one of a number of "beautiful people" who crossed her threshold in the late '60s, while couturier Yves Saint Laurent likened the Gettys to the title of a 1922 novel by F.Scott Fitzgerald as "beautiful and damned".
John Paul Getty, who has been described as "a swinging playboy" who drove fast cars, drank heavily, experimented with drugs and squired raunchy starlets, eschewed the family business, Getty Oil, during this period, much to the chagrin of his father.

However, in later years, he became a philanthropist and (as a US citizen) received an honorary British knighthood in 1986.
His luxury yacht, built in 1927 and renovated in 1994, was the MY Talitha G.

In July 1968, the Gettys had a son, Tara Gabriel Gramophone Galaxy.
Talitha Getty is probably best remembered for an iconic photograph taken on a roof-top in Marrakesh, Morocco in January 1969 by Patrick Anson, see below.

Their son, Tara Gabriel Gramophone Galaxy Getty, as it was officially declared at the Civil Registry, became a well-known ecological conservationist in Africa.
He dropped his third and fourth first name and assumed Irish citizenship in 1999, calling himself Tara Gabriel Getty.
He and his wife Jessica (a chalet assistant he had met in Verbier, Switzerland) have three children, including a daughter named Talitha.
With her hooded husband in the background, this image (now part of the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London) portrayed her in a slightly anxious, crouching pose, wearing a multi-coloured kaftan, white harem pants and white and cream boots.
The look seemed to stylishly typify the hippie fashion of the time and became a model over the years for what, more recently, has been referred to variously as "hippie chic", "boho-chic" and even "Talitha Getty chic".
Although, in her lifetime, Talitha Getty, who was only thirty when she died, was not much known to a wider public, fashion gurus of the late 20th and early 21st centuries have often written of her and Marrakesh (a major destination for hippies in the late 1960s, as illustrated by the song, "Marrakesh Express" (1969) by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young) as virtually synonymous.
 

Film career

As an actress, Pol appeared in several films, including Village of Daughters (1962) (as a daughter, Gioia Spartaco); an Edgar Wallace mystery, We Shall See (1964) (as Jirina), The System (1964) (as Helga); Return from the Ashes (1965) (as Claudine, alongside Maximilian Schell, Ingrid Thulin and Samantha Eggar); and Barbarella (1968), a sexually charged science-fiction fantasy starring Jane Fonda, in which she had the minor uncredited role of a girl smoking a pipe. les than 3 seconds!
 

Passing away

Talitha Getty died of a heroin overdose in Rome, Italy on July 14, 1971, while attempting to patch up her marriage because they were went apart for a while.
She died within the same twelve month period as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Edie Sedgwick and Jim Morrison, other cultural icons of the ''60s.

His wife's death marked the end of John Paul Getty's period of hedonism and its circumstances initially drove him to ground in England.
He remained reclusive for several years, being described by the critic Kenneth Tynan as the "Hermit Millionaire".

His rehabilitation was assisted by a growing passion for cricket, which was nurtured by, among others, Mick Jagger and a former England captain and future MCC President, Gubby Allen, whom he met in the London Clinic during a long period of illness.
In 1985, when Getty was receiving extended treatment for phlebitis, a Sunday Times journalist reported "an almost visible pain" in his life and that he still mourned Talitha. Getty remarked that "the pain does not evaporate".
 
 
 
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