|Full Name Geraldine McGee|
Name Geri McGee
|Role Frank Rosenthal's ex-wife|
Siblings Barbara McGee Stokich
|Born May 16, 1936 (1936-05-16) Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
Spouse Frank Rosenthal (m. 1969–1981)
Children Robin L Marmor, Steven Rosenthal, Stephanie Rosenthal
Parents Roy McGee, Alice Pollock McGee
Died November 9, 1982 (aged 46), Los Angeles, California, United States
Similar Frank Cullotta , Anthony Spilotro , Frank Rosenthal
Geraldine "Geri" McGee (May 16, 1936 – November 9, 1982) was an American model, socialite, and Las Vegas showgirl. Her involvement with criminal activity in Las Vegas, along with her husband Frank Rosenthal, was chronicled in the 1995 Martin Scorsese film Casino. The screenplay for Casino was written by Nicholas Pileggi and Scorsese, based on Pileggi's biography about Geri and Frank Rosenthal titled Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas. Sharon Stone portrayed McGee in the film, with her name changed to 'Ginger McKenna', and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.
How Frank Rosenthal Met His Wife Geri
Personal life and career
Geraldine McGee was born in Los Angeles, the daughter of Leona "Alice" (née Pollock 1906–1977) and Roy McGee. Her parents married in 1931, and later divorced. She had a sister, Barbara (McGee) Stokich (1934–2000). She grew up in the Sherman Oaks area, and graduated from Van Nuys High School in 1954. Her aunt, Naomi (McGee) Ingram, inherited a large amount of money upon the death of her husband, O.W. Ingram, whose family owned land in Georgia. Naomi offered to send Geri to Woodbury Business School, where she had sent her sister Barbara. Geri told her aunt she did not want to attend Woodbury, but would rather attend a different school, and her aunt refused to pay for any other school but Woodbury. Geri instead began working in office jobs during the day, and would look for contests and modeling jobs on the side.
In high school she had met a man named Lenny Marmor, and the two became inseparable. Lenny recognized McGee's talent, and he began entering her in swimsuit contests, and dance contests, where she would often take home prizes. After they graduated from high school, they had a daughter in 1958, Robin Marmor. Soon Lenny convinced Geri to move to Las Vegas for more opportunities. Lenny stayed in Los Angeles, and Geri and her daughter moved to Vegas. Her mother Alice, now separated from Geri's father, moved to Vegas to take care of Robin while Geri was working. Around 1960, McGee started working as a cocktail waitress and Tropicana chorus showgirl and continued through the 1960s, making enough money to buy a house for herself and her family. She worked her way up the Las Vegas social ladder, meeting various businessmen. One of the men she met was Frank Rosenthal. Her sister Barbara moved in with her after Barbara separated from her husband. Barbara had two small children and needed a place to stay.
In 1969, she married Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal and had two children with him, a son Steven, and later a daughter, Stephanie. Frank expected Geri to stay at home and take care of the children while he was out at the casino working. She began to resent domestic life and started going out at night and drinking. Frank told her if she didn't straighten up he would divorce her, and take custody of the children, leaving her with little money. The marriage went through a series of break ups and reconciliations through the 1970s. Geri's mother Alice died in 1977. Geri and Frank both began seeing other people, and Geri secretly began seeing Anthony Spilotro, a mob enforcer and caporegime in Las Vegas, and a married friend of Frank's. They would get in physical altercations, and Frank would hire private detectives to track Geri's activities. Geri would often leave Las Vegas, taking trips with the children to Los Angeles, or shopping with wives of other Las Vegas businessmen. Her divorce from Frank was finalized in 1981, when Geri was living in Los Angeles. After the divorce, on October 4, 1982, Frank escaped serious injury when a bomb was placed under his car outside the Tony Roma's Restaurant on Sahara in Las Vegas..
McGee died on November 9, 1982 in Los Angeles at the age of 46. She was found heavily drugged in the lobby of the Beverly Sunset Hotel, on Sunset Boulevard on November 6, and died three days later. Her sister stated she believed Geri had been murdered by the people that had tried to kill Frank just weeks earlier, because perhaps she "knew too much" about the Las Vegas underworld. Another theory is that Frank believed Geri was responsible for the bomb, and in retaliation had her killed. The Los Angeles coroner ruled the cause of her death was an accidental overdose. The coroner found cocaine, valium, and whiskey in her system, a lethal combination. She was interred at Mount Sinai Memorial Park, a Jewish cemetery. Her ex-husband Frank Rosenthal died in 2008 at age 79.
Nicholas Pileggi began working on the script for Casino with Martin Scorsese around 1990, based on the Rosenthal family. Filming began in the fall of 1994, and the film was released a year later, in November 1995. Sharon Stone was cast to portray Geri McGee and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Lead Actress for her performance. The script did make changes to Geri's story. In the film, the Rosenthals only have one daughter named Amy, while in real life Geri had three children. The film also implied that she was a part-time hustler (and perhaps a prostitute), and that her friend and lover Lester Diamond (played by James Woods) was her pimp and mentor. There is no evidence that McGee ever was a prostitute. The script also changed the couple's names from Geri McGee and Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal to Ginger McKenna and Sam "Ace" Rothstein. Sam was played by Robert De Niro in the film.