Byline: Aileen Mehle

The story going the rounds in the upper reaches of international society involves Spiro Niarchos, one of three sons of the great shipping tycoon Stavros Niarchos, and his pretty blonde wife, Daphne, flower of the Guinness family of Ireland. Their friends are saying that the marriage is in trouble, maybe trouble too deep to repair. The couple have two children and residences in New York and London.

Ever since the Vanderbilt family reunion at St. Bartholemew's Fifth Avenue Church in May, described at length in this column, the Vanderbilts, like some rich souffle that won't quit, are rising all over the place. Gloria, perhaps the best-known, present-day Vanderbilt, is promoting her new novel, "The Memory Book of Starr Faithful," from sea to shining sea, and lately other family heirs have become, willy-nilly, more conspicuous and less camera-shy.
Dominick Dunne is writing an extensive piece on today's Vanderbilt descendants slated to appear in Vanity Fair at the beginning of the year, and Arts & Entertainment Cable has been working for several months on a TV biography on this extraordinary clan whose progenitor, Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, who rose from ferryboat captain to railroad tycoon, was the richest man of his era in the Western Hemisphere.
However, the rumor goes that some of the major Vanderbilts are not exactly pleased with the focus of the A&E project and are reticent about being filmed, despite the fact that such of their peers as the Rockefellers and the Morgans plus the Kennedys have to date all been immortalized--if you want to call it that--in this series. Negotiations are still ongoing.
Also, John Davis, the biographer, is now writing a history of the late Cornelius Vanderbilt (Sonny) Whitney and, working on the theory that you can't have too much of a good thing, is throwing in some other V's to boot.
Next summer in Newport at The Breakers, among the grandest of a plethora of 19th-century Vanderbilt palaces, another convocation is being planned. This will also be filmed for TV featuring leading representatives of the family. Just the most visible and attractive ones, you understand. Every family has a doggie or two in its background--and that's the best place to keep them.

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