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- Patricia Campbell Hearst
- San Francisco
- United States
- Actress Urban Guerilla
Patty Hearst Introduction
Patty Hearst, now known as Patricia Hearst Shaw, is an American newspaper heiress, socialite, occasional actress and most prominately, the world's most famous kidnapping victim.
Patty Hearst Kidnapping
On February 4, 1974, the 19-year-old Hearst was kidnapped from the Berkeley, California, apartment she shared with her fiancé Steven Weed, by a left-wing, urban guerrilla group called the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). When the attempt to swap Hearst for jailed SLA members failed, the SLA demanded that the captive's family distribute $70 worth of food to every needy Californian — an operation that would cost an estimated $400 million. In response, Hearst's father arranged the immediate donation of $6 million worth of food to the poor of the Bay Area. After the distribution of food, the SLA refused to release Hearst because they deemed the food to have been of poor quality. (In a subsequent tape recording released to the press, Hearst commented that her father could have done better.) On April 3, 1974, Hearst announced on an audiotape that she had joined the SLA and assumed the name "Tania".
On April 15, 1974, she was photographed wielding an M1 Carbine while robbing the Sunset District branch of the Hibernia Bank at 1450 Noriega Street in San Francisco. Later communications from her were issued under the pseudonym Tania and asserted that she was committed to the goals of the SLA. A warrant was issued for her arrest and in September 1975, she was arrested in a San Francisco apartment with other SLA members. While being booked into prison, she listed her occupation as "Urban Guerilla" and asked her attorney to relay the following message: "Tell everybody that I'm smiling, that I feel free and strong and I send my greetings and love to all the sisters and brothers out there."
In her trial, which commenced on January 15, 1976, Hearst's attorney, F. Lee Bailey, claimed that Hearst had been blindfolded, imprisoned in a narrow closet and physically and sexually abused. The claim that her actions were the result of a concerted brainwashing program was central to her defense. (Hearst's actions have also been attributed to Stockholm syndrome, in which hostages sympathize with the aims of their captors.) Bailey also argued that she had been coerced or intimidated into taking part in the bank robbery.
Legal analysts and Hearst herself later said that Bailey did a poor job defending her. He gave very short and weak closing arguments. Hearst was convicted of bank robbery on March 20, 1976. Her seven-year prison term was eventually commuted by President Jimmy Carter, and Hearst was released from prison on February 1, 1979, having served only twenty-two months. She was granted a full pardon by President Bill Clinton on January 20, 2001, the final day of his presidency.
Patty Hearst Acting Career
Hearst began an acting career when director John Waters cast her in his 1990 film Cry-Baby. She played the mother of the character played by Traci Lords.
She has continued acting with occasional roles in movies such as Serial Mom (1994), Bio-Dome (1996), Pecker (1998), Cecil B. DeMented (2000), and A Dirty Shame (2004). She's also guest starred on TV shows including "Frasier", "Son of the Beach", and "Veronica Mars".
Patty Hearst Personal Life
Patty married her former bodyguard Bernard Shaw on April 1, 1979. They have two children. She is also the aunt of model Amanda Hearst. Her French bulldog, Diva, won a ribbon at the Westminister Kennel Club Dog Show on February 11, 2008.