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Ethel Merman, Mother Teresa...and Me: My Improbable Journey from Châteaux in France to the Slums of Calcutta

Ethel Merman, Mother Teresa...and Me: My Improbable Journey from Châteaux in France to the Slums of Calcutta

by Tony Cointreau

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Overview

How many people can count among their closest friends Ethel Merman (the Queen of
Broadway), Mother Teresa (beatified by the Vatican in October, 2003), Lee Lehman, (wife of Robert Lehman, head of Lehman Brothers), Pierre Cardin (legendary couturier and major show-business force in Europe), and many others?

Well, Tony Cointreau, a scion of the French liqueur family, can. After a successful international singing career, and several years on the Cointreau board of directors, he felt a need for something more meaningful in his life. His voice had taken him to the stage, and his heart took him to Calcutta. Tony’s childhood experiences with an emotionally remote mother, an angry bullying brother, a cold and unprotective Swiss nurse, and a sexually predatory schoolteacher left him convinced that the only way to be loved is to be perfect. This led him on a lifelong quest for love and for a mother figure.

His first “other mother” was the internationally acclaimed beauty Lee Lehman. Then, after Tony met the iconic Broadway diva Ethel Merman, she became his mentor and second “other mother.” His memoir describes in detail his intimate family relationships with both women, as well as his years of work and friendship with Mother Teresa, his last “other mother.”

Tony’s memoir voices his opinion that he had no special gifts or talents to bring to Mother Teresa’s work and that if he could do it, then anyone could do it. In the end, all that really matters is a willingness to share even a small part of oneself with others.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935212348
Publisher: Easton Studio Press, LLC
Publication date: 02/15/2014
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Tony Cointreau is an heir of the French liqueur family. His voice took him to the stage, and his heart took him to Calcutta. After a successful international singing career and several years on the Cointreau board of directors, he felt a need for something more meaningful in his life.

Tony’s childhood experiences with an emotionally remote mother, an angry bullying brother, a cold and unprotective Swiss nurse, and a sexually predatory schoolteacher left him convinced that the only way to be loved is to be perfect. This led him on a lifelong quest for unconditional love and for a mother figure.

His first “other mother” was the internationally acclaimed beauty Lee Lehman. Then the iconic Broadway diva Ethel Merman became his mentor and second “other mother.” His memoir describes his close family relationships with both women, as well as his years of work and friendship with Mother Teresa, his last “other mother.”

Tony believes that he had no special gifts or talents to bring to Mother Teresa’s work and that if he could do it, then anyone could do it. All that really matters is a willingness to share even a small part of oneself with others.

Table of Contents

Part I The First Mothers

Prologue

Dotie and Jacques 1

The War 6

Hello, Little Baby 12

Escape 14

"Mother Only Loves You When You're Perfect" 18

Mémé 22

Maman Genevieve 28

Family Battles 41

My Annus Horribilis: Winter 1949-Summer 1950 48

Tata 63

Panic Attacks 65

My First "Other Mother" 68

Boarding School 78

Being Different 101

Arthur 105

The Gossip Columns 112

My Second "Other Mother" 115

The Runaway Heiress 125

Another Nervous Breakdown 130

Summer Stock 134

Ethel, Judy, Mr. Sinatra-and Jim 137

A Tragic Mistake 145

My Beautiful Friend 151

"They Found My Navel" 154

The Unimaginable 159

"And Who Are Tow?" 162

Hooray for Hollywood 165

Lavender Tulips 175

"Le Tout Paris" 183

The Family Pact 190

The Best of Friends 196

Part II The Last Mother

Calcutta 201

Gift of Love 214

Tony the Volunteer 218

"My Kids" 226

The Man in Black 233

Not My Fault 237

Meeting Mother Teresa: My Third "Other Mother" 240

Choices 246

"A Light That Leads Home" 251

Back to Calcutta 253

Mother Teresa's Last Easter 265

Agnes Bojaxhiu 277

Between Two Worlds 279

Goodbye, My Beautiful Friend 281

"That Was Your First Mistake" 284

Our Wedding 286

Epilogue 289

A Tribute to "My Kids" 291

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