11 May 2011

A Code of One's Own

Minouche Le Blanc and Taki Theodoracopulos,
Palace Hotel, Gstaad, 1975
'The veteran Riviera man and journalist Taki Theodoracopulos, who first met Gunter [Sachs] onboard the late shipping magnate Stavros Niarchos’s yacht Creole, once described Sachs to me as “a great gambler, a good skier, and bobsleigher.” I was questioning Theodoracopulos for a film I was trying to make at the time about playboys. One of the themes that emerged in our conversation was the playboy’s capacity to savor life’s pleasures in an unqualified way. Theodoracopulos explained that for these men life was purely about living for the delight of good times without distraction. That achievement became the highlight of a satisfying existence.

I was reminded of that exchange with Theodoracopulos when I learned of Sachs’s death. Life was of a piece for men of his type, where things like grace under pressure, for better or worse, were more than old-fashioned notions. They became values that evolved from what Theodoracopulos called the rules of being a gentleman. “You had to be a gent,” he told me. “You had to treat a lady as a lady should be treated. Manners were very formal...nobody came in and started spilling secrets you would tell a shrink. We didn’t know about shrinks.” The essential thing for these men was always to be true to their own code, and the accounts of Sachs’s final chapter suggest that he was faithful until the end.'

- Death of a Riviera Playboy: Gunter Sachs Departs the Party, by Jamie Johnson, VF Daily, 10 March 2011


© 2011 Condé Nast Digital


Vernon said...

Are we sure this is Taki in the picture? Don't remember him being this good looking. Looks like a cross between William Holden and David Niven!

I cannot miss one of his columns, although Bill Buckley always said to only believe half of what he says.

Vern Trotter

Bourbon&Pearls said...

I love Taki, such an old school bon vivant and ladykiller, I would love to go out for cocktails with him.

v. Braun. said...

I'm not an all-out propagator of suicide but I think that in the case of Gunter Sachs it was an understandable decision: he was already 78 and his Alzheimers'-decease would have put an unaesthetical smirch on an otherwise well-rounded life.