Alice Ormsby-Gore
Daughter of 5th Baron Harlech, fiancee of Eric Clapton
Alice Ormsby-Gore
Alice Magdalen Sarah Ormsby Gore was a British socialite. She was the youngest daughter of William David Ormsby-Gore, 5th Baron Harlech and his first wife Sylvia Thomas. She became engaged to guitarist Eric Clapton but they never married. She died of a heroin overdose in 1995.
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  • 1995
    Age 42
    She died of a heroin overdose in 1995.
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    The Independent (London) reported on 21 April 1995, the day before her 43rd birthday:
    More Details Hide Details Lord Harlech's sister, Alice Ormsby Gore, 42, who was once engaged to the rock guitarist Eric Clapton, died after taking a drug overdose at her flat, an inquest in Bournemouth, Dorset, heard.
  • 1985
    Age 32
    Ormsby Gore's father (William) David Ormsby Gore died in a car accident in 1985.
    More Details Hide Details He was succeeded by his youngest son Francis Ormsby Gore, 6th Baron Harlech as his eldest, Julian Ormsby Gore, committed suicide in the 1970s, see above. Alice Ormsby Gore died in poverty, found dead in a bedsit in Bournemouth, Dorset, having taken six times the fatal dose of heroin. The syringe was still in her arm.
  • 1974
    Age 21
    In 1974, aged 22, Ormsby Gore found her elder brother, Julian Ormsby Gore (33), dead in his apartment from gunshot wounds, an apparent suicide.
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  • 1970
    Age 17
    In 1970 Ormsby Gore moved into Hurtwood Edge with Clapton.
    More Details Hide Details Clapton had started using heroin quite heavily in an attempt to get over his continuing obsession with George Harrison's wife Pattie Boyd and Alice inevitably also became hooked on the drug. In his autobiography Clapton says “Alice came back to live with me, and she started using too”. Time magazine reported their intention to marry on Monday, 16 March 1970 “Rock Guitarist Eric Clapton, 25, son of a bricklayer, may soon marry Alice Ormsby Gore, 17, daughter of former British Ambassador to the U.S. Lord Harlech—with her father's blessing. "She has gone to see him in New York," said Harlech, "and if they want to get married it is entirely their own affair.” The couple did not marry but stayed together for five years. Clapton maintains he was not in love with Ormsby Gore but she was deeply in love with him. In Ray Coleman's book CLAPTON she says, “Maybe because I was only seventeen I wrongly thought of it as mutual. My extreme youth made any rational analysis of the situation impossible.”
  • 1969
    Age 16
    The couple announced their engagement on 7 September 1969.
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  • 1968
    Age 15
    Later in 1968, Ormsby Gore was to encounter guitarist Eric Clapton.
    More Details Hide Details There is some speculation as to how they met. One account gives credit for the introduction to Ian Dallas in 1969 when Alice was 17. However, Clapton in his autobiography gives the credit to interior designer David Mlinaric in 1968. Mlinaric was completing some work on Clapton's house, Hurtwood Edge, and had taken Ormsby Gore along with him. David Mlinaric was part of a group of aristocratic hippies who hung out around London in the 1960s and was friends with Alice's siblings, Jane, Julian and Victoria Ormsby Gore, the older children of Lord Harlech, who had been British ambassador to Washington during the Kennedy era.
    Time magazine reported on Friday, 12 April 1968 that Lord Harlech would be sending his "15-year-old daughter, Alice Ormsby Gore, to Manhattan's Dalton School for the coming spring term.
    More Details Hide Details Alice will stay at the East Side apartment of a family friend, John Hay Whitney, former U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James's."
  • 1952
    Born in 1952.
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