Noteable Hampton Waters Residents
Hampton Waters has been home to a United States Attorney General, a Pulitzer Prize winner, a ground breaking voice in American publishing, (Hampton Waters founder, Barney Ross) who took his fight to publish authors deemed obscene to the Supreme Court and won, and the first woman East Hampton town supervisor, who went on to many other leading roles. From the accounts of long time residents, we learned of numerous celebrities, movie stars, artists, writers and public figures who have visited and partied in Hampton Waters including Marilyn Monroe.
In 1961, Barney Rosset hosted a now famous beach party on the little island off our community beach. Larry Rivers band played and many local artists attended. A temporary bridge was built to allow partygoers access to the island. During the festivities, the bridge broke and fell in the water. Fortunately Rosset had invited the carpenters to the party and they immediately set to work, repairing the bridge.
Judith Hope was elected East Hampton Town Supervisor in 1973, the first woman on Long Island elected to the office. She was also the first woman Appointments Officer to a New York Governor, under Governor Hugh Carey. During her tenure the number of women serving in high level and cabinet positions tripled. Hope was twice more elected town supervisor in 1983 and 1985. Hillary Clinton credits Judith Hope as the first person to suggest she run for U.S. Senate. During the administration of New York Governor Mario Cuomo, Judith Hope served as first vice chair of the New York State Democratic Committee and as the chief fund-raiser for the state party. In 1995, she was elected chair of the committee, becoming the first woman to head a major political party in New York State. She served in that capacity for seven years. Judith Hope founded the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee as a project to encourage pro-choice Democratic women to run for state and local office. She was married to Thomas A. Twomey Jr., a Long Island attorney and environmental leader and active member of the East Hampton community. Mr. and Mrs. Twomey were long time residents on Oyster Shores Road.
Thomas A. Twomey, Jr. was the founder of the largest law firm on the East End of Long Island. Mr. Twomey was the founding partner in 1973 of a firm that grew into the Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin, and Quartararo firm, the largest law firm on the East End of Long Island, which is based in Riverhead. Tom divided the early years of his legal career between building his private practice, acting as counsel to local municipal boards and spear-heading numerous local, County and Statewide public interest efforts. Twomey organized a civic organization, Halt The Highway, and led the fight to prevent the proposed extension of the Sunrise Highway from Shinnecock Hills to Amagansett. Working with County Legislator Joyce Burland and other local activists, Tom convinced the Suffolk County Legislature to pass the landmark Farmland Preservation Program in 1975. In 1977, Tom was retained by a group of local farmers to oppose the Long Island Lighting Company’s proposal to build four nuclear power plants in Jamesport, on the North Fork. Twomey built a broad, Statewide coalition of environmental, civic and political groups in opposition to the Jamesport plants and ultimately to the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant, all of which were defeated. As the Chairman of Governor Cuomo’s East End Economic and Environmental Institute, Tom Twomey was instrumental in extending farmland preservation through all of New York State with the passage of the New York State Farmland Preservation Program. His other accomplishments on that Commission included increased State support for the local tourist and wine industries as well as the recreational needs of the East End.
Mr. Twomey served as a co-chairman of the East Hampton Town 350th Anniversary Committee, for which he produced a multivolume edition of books on local history. Tom’s leadership role resulted in his being named Town Historian. An able fund-raiser, he led a lengthy, sometimes hard-fought effort to expand the East Hampton Library, lining up private donations for a $6.5 million addition for a new children’s room and meeting space which was successfully completed in 2014. Dennis Fabiszak, the library’s director said Mr. Twomey was “An extraordinary leader who was dedicated to making this one of the greatest small libraries in America.” He served numerous terms as the President of the Library. Tom was a leading supporter of many East Hampton charitable and public institutions. Tom also served on the Executive Committee of the Guild Hall Cultural Center and was actively involved in raising funds each year for Guild Hall’s annual operating budget. In collaboration with Tom Clavin, Tom wrote a full-length screenplay about the pirate, Captain Kidd, which garnered two prestigious screenwriting awards.
Alan Manson, an actor who appeared in ‘’This Is the Army,’’ ‘’The Tenth Man’’ and other Broadway shows, was a warmly remember neighbor in our community. Alan Manson was one of the 310 real-life soldiers chosen to be in ‘ This Is the Army,’' Irving Berlin's star-spangled 1942 tribute to the American forces. He played a stiff interlocutor in the first half of the show, but in the second half he came out in drag as Jane Cowl to lead the Stage Door Canteen number, in which celebrities served ordinary G.I.’s. Mr. Manson was also in the 1943 film version of the show, with Ronald Reagan. The show was enormously successful, running on Broadway and touring around the world, often to soldiers near the front line. By the time it closed in October 1945, ‘ This Is the Army'' had raised $15 million for the Army Emergency Relief Fund. After the war Mr. Manson played in the hit revue ‘ Call Me Mister,'' whose cast was made up of former soldiers and U.S.O. performers, as well as in Rodgers and Hammerstein's ''Allegro'' and ''Angels Kiss Me.'' In 1955, Manson was called before a House Un-American Activities panel in New York set up to investigate Communists in the theater. In a hearing on Aug. 18, Mr. Manson refused to answer questions about his party membership, citing the First, Fifth and even Ninth Amendments and his belief in privacy. ‘'I feel that these matters lie within a province that is hallowed,'' he said, ''and that I spent five years in the Army for.'' His comments caused him to be blacklisted. In 1959 he was in Paddy Chayefsky's drama ''The Tenth Man,'' starting in a minor role and eventually moving up the cast into the lead. He was also in Chayefsky’s ''Gideon'' and played Ziegfeld in ''Funny Girl,'' opposite Barbra Streisand. From the 1960’s on, he played a variety of character parts in television and film, often a judge, doctor or other authority figure. Alan Manson, often in front of his house on Oyster Shores Road in a white chair, always greeted you with a warm, friendly, “Hello”, when you walked by his house and recalled interesting stories if you stopped to chat.
David Frost, the English talk show host, journalist and writer who was known for his interviews of public figures. Under Frost’s skillful questioning, former President Richard Nixon apologized for the Watergate scandal. Frost rented a waterfront house in Hampton Waters and would fly out every weekend in a helicopter equipped with pontoons and land in the harbor. A neighbor across the way told us, “He would fly right over our house very low and scare the life out of us.”
Pulitzer Prize winning author/actor James Kirkwood called Hampton Waters home after his success as the co author of A Chorus Line and felt his creative juices flow when he looked out at his beautiful view over Three Mile Harbor. Kirkwood was born to silent screen movie star parents in California. His mother was actress Lila Lee, a leading lady in over 90 films, making the transition from silents to talkies. Lila Lee played Rudolf Valentino’s bride in the 1922 classic, Blood and Sandand his father, James Kirkwood, Sr., acted on the stage and in pictures and also directed films including 13 films with Mary Pickford. Before taking up a writing career Mr. Kirkwood was one half of the comedy team Jim Kirkwood and Lee Goodman. They played engagements in New York and London as well as making regular appearance on The Garry Moore Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, and had a radio show on WOR for several years. In addition to numerous television appearances, Mr. Kirkwood appeared on the late CBS-TV daytime soap Valiant Lady for four years. He was also featured on Broadway in Small Wonder and played opposite Tallulah Bankhead in Welcome Darlings. Mr. Kirkwood's novels include There Must Be a Pony! which he dramatized for the stage starring Myrna Loy, and the made-for-TV movie version starring Elizabeth Taylor and Robert Wagner; Good Times/Bad Times; P.S. Your Cat is Dead! which was also adapted for the stage with Keir Dullea and Tony Musante and made into a motion picture by Steve Guttenberg; Some Kind of Hero, which was made into a motion picture starring Richard Pryor; and Hit Me With A Rainbow. In addition, he wrote a nonfiction book, American Grotesque. As co-author with Nicholas Dante of A Chorus Line, he won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award, among other honors. His play U.T.B.U. (Unhealthy to be Unpleasant) starred Tony Randall, Thelma Ritter and Alan Webb on Broadway. His last non-fiction book, Diary of a Mad Playwright: Perilous Adventures on the Road with Mary Martin and Carol Channing was about the road tour of his play Legends, with those two ladies. Legends toured in 2007 starring Joan Collins and Linda Evans. Mr. Kirkwood was nearly finished with the first draft of a new novel, I Teach Flying, when he passed away in 1989. There was a biography of Kirkwood, "Ponies & Rainbows: The Life of James Kirkwood", by Sean Egan published in 2011.
Former Hampton Waters resident, Michael Mukasey, a lawyer and former federal judge was appointed the 81st Attorney General of the United States by George W Bush in 2007 to replace Alberto Gonzales. Four years earlier, in June 2003, Democratic New York Senator Charles Schumer submitted Mukasey’s name, along with four other Republicans or Republican appointees, as a suggestion for Bush to consider for nomination to the Supreme Court. Before he was appointed by Bush, Mukasey had been the judge in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing case and lived in Hampton Waters at the time. Hampton Waters was the most secure neighborhood in the Hamptons in the summer of 1995 when the terrorist trial against Omar Abdel Rahman (the blind sheik) and nine other defendants took place. You would see bodyguards jogging around the neighborhood with walkie talkies. Labor Day weekend of that year there were so many bodyguards outside his house it looked like a mob convention. It turned out then mayor, Rudy Giuliani, was visiting Mukasey that weekend.
Notable people are not uncommon in East Hampton, but a fair share have lived, visited or partied in Hampton Waters including actress, Marilyn Monroe and playwright, Arthur Miller, film producer, David O. Selznik, actor Robert Walker, The Lovin’ Spoonfuls, actors, Rod Steiger and Claire Bloom, writer, Arthur Laurents, columnist, Liz Smith, columnist, Radie Harris, cookbook author, Lee Bailey, Mayor Rudy Guilliani, writer, Barbara Goldsmith, director, Frank Perry, playwright, Terrence McNally, Bess Myerson, playwright, Edward Albee, AIDS activist, Larry Kramer, Joan Hackett, Dina Merrill and Cliff Robertson, Farley Granger, singer Neil Diamond, Anne Jackson and Eli Wallach, actor, Jason Beghe, autho,r Marya Mannes, Jim Lowe, the last heir to bear the name of the family that has owned Gardiner's Island, Robert Lion David Gardiner, and more.