Friday, May 16, 2008

Fabiolo and Fabiolo ( Jaime de Mora y Aragon, A Noble Spanish Bon Vivant)

Marguerita and Fabiolo,the canary,1966

Jaime de Mora y Aragon, a flamboyant Spanish aristocrat whose amiable antics made him the toast of the Costa del Sol, died on Wednesday at a hospital near his home in Marbella, Spain. He was 70.His doctors said the cause was the latest of a series of a heart attacks he had suffered in recent years.
Whether he was playing the piano in a Marbella cabaret or wrestling in Argentina, Mr. de Mora cut a memorable figure. With his tall, slender build, slicked-back hair, waxed mustache, monocle and cane, he was once likened to a blue-blooded Salvador Dali.
As a fixture in Marbella since the early 1960's, Mr. de Mora, or Jimmy as he was widely known, became such a favorite among the wealthy and wellborn who make the resort their summer playground that he was named by the city's tourist office as its official greeter.
The role suited him. For although he was at various times a waiter, bullfighter, taxi driver, model and movie actor, Mr. de Mora was primarily a promoter, one who provided the public face for an assortment of business ventures from nightclubs to theatrical productions financed with other people's money.
Even his lavish annual parties were someone else's extravagance, that of the Saudi financier Adnan N. Khashoggi.
The son of a wealthy count and a member of a collateral line of the Spanish royal family, Mr. de Mora was born in Madrid with an array of advantages, most of which he promptly put behind him.
Dropping out of school at the age of 17, he entered the bohemian life of Paris, learned to play the piano and married a Mexican actress and later a Swedish model.
His role as an international gadabout was curtailed somewhat in 1965, when he was convicted in asbentia in Italy for passing bad checks.
For all his popularity in Spain, Mr. de Mora was apparently considered a bit much by the Belgian royal family. In 1960, when his sister, Fabiola, married King Baudouin, he was excluded from the weddingMr. de Mora secured some revenge of sorts. Cast as the Belgian Ambassador in an Italian film, he played the diplomat in drag.
Even in his official role with the tourist office, Mr. de Mora tended to go over the top. Last August, for example, to publicize an annual gathering of motorcyclists, he put out the word that Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley had chosen Marbella for a belated honeymoon.
The announcement drew a horde of gullible photographers as look-alikes enlisted by Mr. de Mora were escorted by 50 motorcycles.
He is survived by his wife, the former Margit Ohlson, and his adopted son Fernando, who as Fernando Diaz Santiago had been his longtime personal secretary before a legal adoption in 1992.B
y ROBERT MCG. THOMAS JR.Published: July 28,1995.

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