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The Real Reason Peter Lawford Got Kicked Out of the Rat Pack

While Peter Lawford might the least well-known member of the Rat Pack, he is sometimes referred to as the “Man Who Kept The Secrets” due to his secretive efforts to connect Marilyn Monroe and his brother-in-law JFK. Throughout Monroe and Kennedy’s alleged affair, Lawford supposedly acted as a liaison for the President. Some theorists even suggest that Lawford somehow involved in Monroe’s death.

You might recall that Peter Lawford was a handsome and charismatic film star. But besides Ocean 11, can you even think of a single film that he appeared in? After joining the Rat Pack, Lawford’s movie career pretty much stalled. Even so, he did appear in quite a few respected films, including Little Women, Exodus, It Should Happen To You, and Advise and Consent.

He exclusively worked as a supporting actor and never really got a chance to be a lead in any of these films. That’s not to say that he wasn’t a decent actor, but if he hadn’t been a member of the Rat Pack or had those connections to JFK, he likely would be all but forgotten today.

Even his Rat Pack involvement inevitably came to an end – which brings us to the topic of this video. Join Facts Verse as we discuss the real reason why Peter Lawford got himself kicked out of the Rat Pack. Sit back and relax because this is one video that’s going to include a lot of unexpected twists and turns.

Peter Lawford’s Early Film Career And Political Ties

English-born Lawford seemed destined from the beginning for debonair roles. He managed to land his first major role in 1942 alongside Mickey Rooney in the film A Yank At Eton. By the late 1940s, Peter had become a full-fledged film star. The critics applauded his work, and the public couldn’t seem to get enough of him.

One of his most notable early roles includes his portrayal of quarterback Tommy Marlowe in 1947s Good News – a musical set in the roaring 20s at the fictional Tait College.

In 1953, Lawford and Patricia Kennedy, the sister of then-senator John F. Kennedy, romantically involved. Two years later, the couple married. Lawford would then campaign for his brother in law in the 1960 Presidential election. Since he had just recently received American citizenship, he was able to vote for JFK later that year.

Lawford and his wife, Patricia, had four children together. Their marriage, however, would end in 1966. It’s speculated that the couple divorced after Patricia had learned of Peter’s extramarital affairs and had grown tired of his rampant alcoholism.

For the next several years, Lawford continued to work steadily in show business, landing roles in films such as Segeants 3 and Ocean’s Eleven alongside his fellow Rat Pack brothers. He would also go on to marry on three more occasions.

Not to get too side-tracked, but if you’re enjoying this video so far, do us a favor and give it a like and subscribe to the FactsVerse channel. Stay put because we still haven’t revealed why Peter Lawford ultimately kicked out of the Rat Pack by Frank Sinatra.

The Origins Of The Rat Pack

Humphrey Bogart is typically the man credited with forming the original incarnation of the Rat Pack. The group’s membership expanded to include some of the biggest names in entertainment history. The Bogart-led Rat Pack was a group of drinking buddies that included the likes of some the era’s top actors such as Spencer Tracy, Cary Grant, Errol Flynn, Katherine Hepburn, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole.

After Bogart died, this original group went their separate ways. Frank Sinatra then informally called together a group of his peers to form what he dubbed as ‘The Clan’. Eventually, they would adopt the name the Rat Pack and turn it into what we think of today.

Dean Martin was one of the top-selling singers of his day, and he also known for appearing in the occasional film. Sammy Davis Jr was a man of many talents. Joey Bishop was the witty comic of the bunch who wrote the scripts for the Rat Pack’s films and stage shows. With all of that talent, it seems a bit puzzling why Peter Lawford, a middle-of-the-road actor at best, would invited to become a member of the elite group.

Well, Lawford offered membership probably because he married to Kennedy’s sister. JFK was quite the glamourous star of the Democratic Party back then. He exuded cool in a political sense, just as Sinatra did on stage.

Lawford Knew His Place

Because of his association with the Rat Pack, Lawford became a much more prominent star in Tinsel Town than he would have been otherwise. That was a fact that Frank Sinatra wouldn’t let him forget. Giving him the nickname ‘Brother-in-Lawford’, Peter constantly reminded by his Rat Pack Brethren why they kept him around.

Kennedy and the Rat Pack enjoyed a pretty good relationship with each other, and they used each other’s fame and pull to increase their respective glamour and visibility. This resulted in Lawford becoming a significant player at the intersection of politics and Hollywood.

Through Sinatra with Lawford as the intermediary, JFK met Marilyn Monroe. Peter also known to have arranged additional affairs for the future President with other Hollywood bombshells. These connections that Lawford arranged made him quite powerful.

Sinatra’s campaigning, fundraising, and endorsement for JFK likely contributed to him getting elected. And it through Lawford that members of the Hollywood community given access to Kennedy.

When JFK prepared for his debate with Nixon, he turned to none-other than Lawford for advice. Through him, Kennedy learned how to present himself on camera, what to wear, and even what kinds of gestures he should use. In fact, it’s been said that Lawford’s influence a major contributing factor in Kennedy’s famously stellar debate performance.

Peter Lawford’s Downfall

Even though Kennedy ended up winning that election and the Rat Pack were enjoying incredible success, raking in millions with their films, concerts and endorsements, the presidents brother Robert F. Kennedy grew increasingly concerned about Sinatra’s Mafia ties.

The Mob had long known to interfere with the careers Italian-American stars and public figures. One of Sinatra’s Mafia buddies was Sam Giancana – the leader of the Chicago Mafia. Giancana also had unparalleled involvement with the Kennedy family.

Lawford’s chumminess with various mobsters and film stars ultimately led him to arrange that meeting between Marilyn Monroe and Kennedy.

1n 1962, Lawford arranged for the President to stay at Sinatra’s Palm Springs home. Sinatra even had a helipad built for his guest of honor. At the last minute, however, Robert Kennedy managed to convince the President to not visit Sinatra. The official reason given was a matter of security. In reality, however, it was Robert’s worries about Sinatra’s connections to the Mafia and Giancana.

Lawford had to be the one to break the news to Sinatra, and it humiliated him. JFK instead ended up staying with Bing Crosby. Sinatra was so angry at Lawford that he had his role written out of their subsequent Rat Pack films. The two never spoke with each other ever again.

Peter Lawford’s Final Years

During his later years, he developed intense problems with drugs and alcohol, and repeated attempts at getting treatment didn’t yield any success.u

Even though he was a man of many vices, his reputation in the public eye remained glowing as many considered him to be something of a suave playboy. It’s been said that Lawford the first star to share a kiss with Elizabeth Taylor onscreen and the last person to talk to Marilyn Monroe before her untimely death.

Even though he displayed quite a bit of charm throughout his life and career, his vices and hard living ultimately ended his life. He passed away in 1984, drowning in debt, after going into cardiac arrest complicated by liver and kidney failure.

Some have wondered if Lawford gave any kind of deathbed confession before his demise. After all, he was the keeper of all of the secrets, right? Unfortunately, after putting his body and mind through so much abuse with drugs and booze, he wasn’t very competent in the days leading up to his death. When he finally passed away, he had been on life support and was non-communicative. So, whatever secrets he had, he took those with him to the grave.

Peter Lawford cremated and his ashes interred at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetary in Los Angeles. Because of a dispute between his widow, Patricia Seaton, and the cemetery, his ashes removed in 1988. They’re then spread at sea in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California. The National Enquirer tabloid newspaper was there to document the event.

For his many contributions to the entertainment industry, Lawford given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Despite the dispute with his widow, a plaque featuring his name also erected at the Westwood Village Memorial Park.

Peter Lawford may not be the Rat Pack member that most people first mention when discussing the influential group of elite entertainers, but his story is certainly one of the most interesting. His political ties and close association with figures such as John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe will likely speculated about for years to come. It’s a shame that he never opened up and revealed the secrets that he held. It’s likely that he knew a lot more about the death’s of JFK and his alleged blonde bombshell mistress than he let on. Plus, he had all of that intel on the Mafia’s close-ties with the Kennedy family. If only he had written a tell-all memoir or something….

Anyway, we’re just about out of time. That means now it’s your turn to let your voice be heard.

Who do you think was the most captivating member of the Rat Pack? And do you think that Peter Lawford’s association with the infamous boys-club has been historically understated? Let us know in the comments down below.

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And as always, thanks for watching! We’ll see you soon with more videos covering some of your favorite Hollywood stars, films, and television shows.

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