Jackie Kennedy had served as first lady, wed a Greek billionaire and spent a decade on the arm of an international diamond dealer by the early 1990s, when she suddenly found herself besotted with another male specimen - an actor from Long Island.
Carly Simon writes in her book Touched By the Sun that Jackie enjoyed one ‘magical night’ with Alec Baldwin, with the pair joining the singer and her then-husband for a night out on the town.
And Baldwin did not disappoint writes Simon, who says that her friend called the next morning to rave about her 'divine' theater companion.
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Jackie, then 62, chose Baldwin, who was 31 at the time, to accompany her to see Dancing at Lughnasa in place of her partner Maurice Templesman, who was unable to join her due to a business commitment that required him to be out of the country.
Baldwin was actually the third choice too, after documentarian Ken Burns, 38, and beloved media executive Joe Armstrong, 48, who was often called in when Jackie needed a plus one.
It was Simon’s now-ex-husband James Hart who arranged the date, after first running the idea by Jackie.
‘We’ll have to go undercover,’ said Simon at the time.
This delighted Jackie, who replied: ‘What about wigs? I can be Jean Harlow!’
Simon then suggested they use some of her wigs, prompting Jackie to say: ‘Oh, do get Jim to ask Alec.’
Baldwin, who had been in a relationship with future wife Kim Bassinger at the time was shocked by the invite, writes Simon.
‘Jackie Kennedy wants to go on a date with me?’ he said at the time.
‘Are you kidding?’
He then asked what to wear, and for more details about the play they would be seeing - a tale of five spinster sisters living on the Irish coast.
When the big night rolled around, Simon cooked for everyone and before dessert handed out the wigs.
Hart wore a ‘long, curly Eddie Van Halen wig,’ Baldwin a ‘short brown one’ and Simon one that was ‘Grand Ole Opry-esque.’
Last to pick was Jackie, who selected a wig ‘befitting Madame de Pompadour.’
The wigs did not serve any real purpose in the end however writes Simon, since the person whose identity they were trying to conceal - Jackie - dashed out in her limo ahead of the group and was wigless in the theater when they arrived.
Photos suggest however that the other three had their fun, and that Carly gave Baldwin her wig and grabbed Jackie’s on the way out.
‘First thing next morning, Jackie called to tell me what a magical evening it was, how divine Alec was, and how important she felt it was to think and act and cavort like a child now and again,’ writes Simon.
A few years later, Baldwin married Bassinger. And a few decades later, he too found himself besotted with someone half his age.