Murphy Daughter Passes Away at 81

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Honoria Murphy Donnelly dies at age 81. Mrs. Donnelly, whose book about her parents, Sara and Gerald Murphy, was published in 1982, died of liver cancer Dec. 22 at a hospice in Palm Beach, Fla.

Mrs. Donnelly was described as one of the last links to the generation of writers that included Dorothy Parker, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. Her wealthy parents, who befriended and entertained a steady stream of artists and writers in the south of France during the 1920s, were the models for Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night. The Murphys were close friends of Parker, and she lived with them for a year in Switzerland. In 1926, Parker was a guest of the Murphys with Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda.

The Murphys’ golden expatriate life ended with the 1929 stock market crash, and the family returned to the United States. Mrs. Donnelly later graduated from the Spence School in New York, studied acting and worked for theater production companies in New York.

Mrs. Donnelly, who lived in McLean, Va., from the early 1960s to around 1980, wrote her memoir, Sara and Gerald: Villa America and After, with Richard N. Billings. It described her parents’ relationships with major figures in the arts such as Pablo Picasso, Archibald MacLeish, Cole Porter and Dorothy Parker.

Mrs. Donnelly also lectured before literary societies, academic groups and civic organizations. She volunteered in the 1968 presidential campaign of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and with the Democratic National Committee.

Some obituary information from The Washington Post

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