From Studio 54 to Jackie O to Andy Warhol, the debutante who knew everyone announces plans to write her life story
There was no one quite like 1982’s Deb of the Year Cornelia Guest. Once called the first “celebutante” by The New York Times, she counted among her family friends her godparents, the Duke of Windsor and his wife Wallis Simpson, Truman Capote and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
The daughter of socialite C.Z. Guest and her husband, Winston Guest (the polo champion cousin of Winston Churchill), Cornelia’s life as a deb once made headlines. She danced at Studio 54, moved to Hollywood to try acting, and briefly dated Sly Stallone.
In later years, she found her passion by turning her lifelong love of animals into animal rights activism and founded Artemis Rescue, a non profit animal sanctuary in Ancram, New York. She also became a vegan caterer and published a cookbook and entertaining guide: Cornelia Guest’s Simple Pleasures: A Healthy Seasonal Cooking & Easy Entertaining.
Never one to follow an expected path, Guest is now ready to tell her story in a memoir, Then and Now, to be published next year by Rare Bird Books.
“I was so fortunate to have a childhood that was truly extraordinary,” Guest tells PEOPLE. “When I was little, my parents had a wonderful group of friends that I stayed close to throughout my teen and adult years. I remember coloring with Andy Warhol and then later, hanging out with him at Studio 54, trying on dresses with Oscar de la Renta, getting into mischief and traveling the world with so many notable friends and family.”
“I’ve always wanted to write a book about the wonderful people I met and learned from over the years; the people who profoundly influenced and impacted my life,” she adds. “I’m so thankful to my parents for everything they taught me and this book, about my life then and now, is a tribute to them.”