wr davies

Mandy Rice-Davies

Mandy Rice-Davies (born 21 October, 1944) is famous mainly for her minor role in the Profumo affair which discredited the Conservative government of British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in 1963.

Background and link to Stephen Ward & Christine Keeler

She was born Marilyn Rice-Davies in Pontyates near Llanelli, Wales, and later moved to Shirley in Solihull, England. As a teenager, she appeared much older than her actual age and as such, at age 15, she got a job as a clothes model at Marshall & Snelgrove, a department store in Birmingham. At age 16 she came to London and appeared as 'Miss Austin' at the Earls Court Motor Show. She then got a job as a dancer at Murray's Cabaret Club in Soho where she met Christine Keeler who introduced her, on one evening, to her friend, the well-connected osteopath Stephen Ward, and to an ex-lover, the notorious slum landlord Peter Rachman. Rice-Davies subsequently became Rachman's mistress and was set up in the same house where he had previously kept Keeler, at 1 Bryanston Mews West, Marylebone. Rice-Davies often visited Keeler at the house she shared with Ward at Wimpole Mews, Marylebone, and, after Keeler had moved elsewhere, briefly resided there, herself, between September and December 1962. On December 14 1962 whilst Keeler was visiting Rice-Davies at the Wimpole Mews house, one of Keeler's boyfriends, John Edgecombe, attempted to gain entrance and fired several times at the door with a gun in his possession. The subsequent trial of Edgecombe brought attention to the girls' involvement with Ward's social set, and intimacy with many powerful people, including the then Viscount Astor at whose stately home of Cliveden Keeler met the War Minister John Profumo. Profumo's brief relationship with Keeler was at the centre of the affair that caused him to resign from the government in June 1963, though Rice-Davies, herself, never met him.

"He would, wouldn't he?"

While giving evidence at the trial of Stephen Ward, who was charged with living off the immoral earnings of Keeler and Rice-Davies, the latter made the quip for which she is most remembered and which is frequently used by politicians in Britain. When the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied having an affair or having even met her, she replied, "Well, he would, wouldn't he?". She traded on the notoriety the trial brought her, comparing herself to Nelson's mistress, Lady Hamilton. She converted to Judaism and married an Israeli businessman, Rafi Shauli, going on to open a string of successful nightclubs and restaurants in Tel Aviv. The restaurants and nightclubs, which bore her name, were called: Mandy's, Mandy's Cherry and Mandy's Singing Bamboo. Rice-Davies also parlayed her minor fame into a series of unsuccessful pop singles for the Ember label in the mid-'60s, including Close Your Eyes and You Got What It Takes.

In 1980, with Shirley Flack she co-wrote her autobiography, Mandy. In 1989, she wrote a novel titled Communism and You.

In the 1989 film about the Profumo affair titled Scandal, actress Bridget Fonda portrayed Rice-Davies.

"I want Mandi"

At the height of the Profumo scandal, the first prime minister of independent Malaya (now Malaysia) Tunku Abdul Rahman arrived in London for a visit. At a reception party at London Airport when asked what he wanted to do first, he replied "I want Mandi" which shocked the reception party because they did not know that "Mandi" means "take a bath" in Malay.

Once in an interview she once described her life as " one slow descent into respectability".


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