Patty Hearst

Patty Hearst:

Patricia Campbell Hearst (born February 20, 1954), now known as Patricia Hearst Shaw, is an American newspaper heiress, socialite, actress, kidnap victim, and convicted bank robber.

The granddaughter of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst and great-granddaughter of self-made millionaire George Hearst, she gained notoriety in 1974 when, following her kidnapping by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), she ultimately joined her captors in furthering their cause.

Apprehended after having taken part in a bank robbery with other SLA members, Hearst was imprisoned for almost two years before her sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter. She was later granted a presidential pardon by President Bill Clinton in his last official act before leaving office.

Hearst was born in San Francisco, California, the third of five daughters of Randolph Apperson Hearst and Catherine Wood Campbell. She grew up primarily in the wealthy San Francisco suburb of Hillsborough. She attended Crystal Springs School for Girls in Hillsborough and the Santa Catalina School for Girls in Monterey.

Among her few close friends she counted Patricia Tobin, whose family founded the Hibernia Bank, a branch of which Hearst would later aid in robbing.

Patty Hearst yelling commands at bank customer

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. 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" (inspired by the nom de guerre of Haydée Tamara Bunke Bider, Che Guevara's comrade).

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.) Bailey also argued that she had been coerced or intimidated into taking part in the bank robbery. However she refused to give evidence against the other captured SLA members. This was seen as complicity by the prosecution team.

Hearst was convicted of bank robbery on March 20, 1976. She was sentenced to 35 years' imprisonment, but her sentence was later commuted to seven years. Her prison term was also eventually commuted by President Jimmy Carter, and Hearst was released from prison on February 1, 1979, having served 22 months. She was granted a full pardon by President Bill Clinton on January 20, 2001.

After her release from prison, she married her former bodyguard, Bernard Shaw. She now lives with her husband and two children, Gillian and Lydia in Garrison, New York.

Hearst's daughter, Lydia, and niece, Amanda Hearst, are both models.

Hearst owns French bulldogs; in 2008, CH Shann's Legally Blonde was named Best of Opposite Sex at the Westminster Kennel Club show

Hearst has cultivated a career as an actress.

* Her notoriety intersected with the criminal obsessions and camp sensibilities of filmmaker John Waters, who has used Hearst in numerous small roles in films including Cry-Baby, Serial Mom, Pecker, Cecil B. DeMented, and A Dirty Shame.
* Hearst appeared in the films Bio-Dome and Second Best.
* Hearst supplied the voice for the character Haffa Dozen, an ex-stripper appearing on the October 19, 2005, episode of the Sci-Fi Channel's animated TV series Tripping the Rift.
* She appeared in an episode of The Adventures of Pete & Pete as Mrs. Krechmar, the nicest housewife in the world.
* Notably playing against type, Hearst played a crack-addicted prostitute on an episode of the comedic Son of the Beach.
* Hearst's voice was used as a caller in the Frasier episode, Frasier Crane's Day Off in 1994.
* She appeared as Anthony Clark's mother on the sitcom Boston Common.
* She appeared in a season 3 episode of Veronica Mars portraying Selma Hearst, the granddaughter of the founder of Hearst College and college board member, who had faked her own kidnapping. Although Hearst College is fictional, it strongly echoes the real Stanford family history, with the founder being a railroad tycoon rather than a media baron.

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