Rosemary Woodruff Leary 1936 - 2002
The New York Times
The San Francisco Chronicle
The Village Voice
My photos of Tim Leary and Rosemary (separate window)
A day in the life with the Leary's
One of my favorite people on this planet is
Rosemary Woodruff Leary.
This picture was taken at "The First Annual Celebration in honor of Timothy Leary" and held at her new magic cottage, which is settled deep in a Northern California forest. I'll return to Ro in a moment but first let me enlighten you about her pal
Peggy Hitchcock, who flew in from Arizona to be here.
Better yet I'll let
Timothy Learydescribe Peggy (posthumously)...
"The outside support for the next stage of our research appeared in the glamorous person of a twenty-eight year old blond heiress. Peggy Hitchcock was an international jet-setter, renowned as the colorful patroness of the livelier arts and confident of jazz musicians, race car drivers, writers, movie stars. Stylish, with a wry sense of humor, Peggy was considered the most innovative and artistic of the Andrew Mellon family...." from Flashbacks, 1983
In the early seventies I spent some unforgettable time with the Learys. But I got to know and adore Rosemary much more when Tim was incarcerated and I, with the backing of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone, traveled with her and the lawyers to Laredo, Texas in hopes of legally freeing Tim.
When these channels failed and we learned Nixon made an example of Tim by throwing the key away, Ro then surreptitiously sprung Tim from prison and became a wanted fugitive herself. The Learys turned up in Algiers where Eldridge Cleaver, then head of the Black Panther Party and also on the run, befriended them...or so they thought. Cleaver had them put under house arrest "for their own protection."
Rosemary has since made her peace with the government and was very close with Tim in his last years. So too, after a long hiatus, Rosemary and I reunited and are closer than ever. I am very thankful that I have such friends.
Rosemary is currently penning her autobiography which has already stirred up more than casual interest in the film community. Her story is an amazing one including incarnations as a high profile model often seen on national television in the 50's; hanging with the cream of comedians and jazz royalty in the delies, clubs and toney salons of New York and then being courted and wed by Tim.
"I remember so clearly that summer morning when I walked out to the portico terrace, and there she was. The next seven years of my life! A cloud of pheromones floating from her body awakened my off-duty hormones. My knees wobbled. Her name was Rosemary Woodruff. In her hand was a book by Wittgenstein."
Timothy Leary, Flashbacks