Phyllis McGuire of the popular 1950s-’60’s singing group the McGuire Sisters was the last of the three sisters to pass away when she died on December 29th in her Las Vegas mansion, with its 44-foot Eiffel Tower replica. Previously for sale in 2017 at $6.5 million, Phyllis’s home and her collection of art, jewelry, fine furniture and the glamorous costumes used in the sisters’ performances were exceptional. With the house not selling, she lived there until her death at age 89.
The McGuire Sisters were the most popular of the ubiquitous singing-sister groups of the 1950s, which also included the Andrews Sisters, Lennon Sisters and King Sisters. The McGuires, who were actual sisters, consisted of Ruby Christine, Dorothy McGuire and Phyllis McGuire. The star of the group and the entire genre was Phyllis.
The Ohio-born-and-raised sisters started singing for weddings and funerals as children at the church where their mother was pastor, later expanding to local radio and military bases. Discovered by talk-show-host Arthur Godfrey in 1952, they became an overnight sensation performing frequently on the most popular television shows of the 1950s and 60s. Phyllis, who was the youngest of the sisters, was also the wild child of the trio, often mentioned in the gossip magazines. When her affair with mobster Sam Giancana, who in the 1960s allegedly shared girlfriend Judith Exner with President Kennedy, hit the news mags, it caused the breakup of the group. Phyllis continued her high-flying lifestyle while her sisters went home to marriages and raising their families. Their last public appearance of the group was in 1968 when they appeared once again on the Ed Sullivan Show. Two of the best-known McGuire Sisters’ hits were Sugartime and Sincerely.
Phyllis lived a life of glamour in a Las Vegas mansion which was built for her in 1967 by the boyfriend who succeeded Giancana: high-rolling-gambler and oil-man Edward “Tiger Mike” Davis. In addition to her wealthy boyfriends, Phyllis claimed to have made some good investments in the oil business and amassed a fortune in jewels, art, antiques, the mansion, valuable furnishings and an expensive lifestyle, which continued until her death. Married and divorced only once at a very young age, she had no children and never remarried.
Phyllis’s home is a 26,000-square-foot structure on two acres in the city’s upscale Rancho Circle neighborhood with a copy of the Eiffel Tower rising 44 feet in the center of the house. The home has bulletproof windows, a basement disco and electric shutters that close instantly at the touch of a button. There is also a guest mansion, two swimming pools, a lagoon, tennis court, and Phyllis’s Place with grill, ice cream bar and soda fountain. The public part of the interior is sectioned into the French Room, Oriental Room and downstairs Cabaret, all massive to hold hundreds of guests, which included the occasional sit-down dinner for 500 where Phyllis used her own china, crystal and silver. Many of the major stars of the 1960s partied there, a home away from home for them when in Las Vegas.
Phyllis McGuire was the last living member of The McGuire Sisters trio popular in the 1950s and 1960s. She died at her Las Vegas mansion at age 89 on December 29th.
Photo Credit: Synergy Sothebyâ€™s
YouTube Credit: Sean Evans, @evvo1991 backtothemovies.com