22 January 2015

Leatrice Gilbert Fountain (1924 - 2015)

Leatrice Gilbert Fountain, daughter of John Gilbert and Leatrice Joy, died on Tuesday, aged 90.

She recalled that “Marlene Dietrich was just incredible to my mother and me. She was so kind, considerate and sweet to me. She loved my father truly and was his last girlfriend. 

“In fact, she was with him when he died. A lot has been written about this supposed meeting with John Gilbert and Garbo with Dietrich the day when he died, and it's all lies ... 

“Anyway, back to Marlene. She was wonderful and very stylish and beautiful. She was so sweet to mother and me when father passed on. She also knew of a will that my father made (she saw it with her own eyes!) leaving everything to me. His last wife, Virginia Bruce, hired his last crooked attorney and the two of them destroyed or repressed it or whatever. Whatever, Marlene kept up the good fight and encouraged my mother to fight Miss Bruce and the crooked attorneys. Mother dropped it, and Marlene was furious. She was looking out for me and my dear departed father's last wishes. 

“I'm sure Marlene's daughter, Maria Dietrich Riva [sic], has some legitimate gripes about her world-famous mother, but she was always fantastic to me, my mother, and of course John Gilbert.”

— from Children of Hollywood: Accounts of Growing Up as the Sons and Daughters of Stars  by Michelle Vogel (McFarland, 2005).

Fountain wrote  Dark Star, a biography of her father, in 1985.

“Angel — keep on loving me, rush home to me, I love you ever so. Jack.”


  1. wow, talk about a tenuous connection to another time......

  2. I had the privilege of interviewing Leatrice twice in her later years. She was a lovely woman - articulate, intelligent and witty. A real delight. Whenever she spoke of Marlene it was always with great admiration and gratitude. So sorry to learn of her passing, but I'm happy to have known her, if only briefly, and to know firsthand that she enjoyed a very full and fascinating life.