2019 will bring us the twentieth anniversary of John F. Kennedy Jr’s death. JFK Jr, his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and Carolyn’s sister Lauren all died in July 1999, when John’s plane crashed into the sea. I thought about Carolyn and John too much in 2018, because there were new books and new magazine covers and new articles about them, and it wasn’t even a “big” anniversary of their deaths. But prepare yourselves – this coming year is probably going to be full of tons of documentaries and new books, all about John and his marriage and more. Apparently, ABC is getting a head start on it – they’ve done a documentary called The Last Days of JFK Jr, which will air on January 3rd on ABC. People Mag is promoting it:
A new documentary about John F. Kennedy Jr. is digging into the life of late first son — and exploring his family’s ongoing legacy.
“He was the last glimmer of the fantasy,” says writer Michael Gross of John in the PEOPLE exclusive trailer for ABC’s upcoming documentary, The Last Days of JFK Jr. “He was the last prince.”
The documentary features interviews with several close friends of John and his wife Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, who both died in a plane crash on July 16, 1999.
“I think John F Kennedy Jr. summed up the fascination and attachment many have with him when he spoke to ABC News in 1992. When asked about his father, he said, ‘One of the reasons why he remains a figure that captures our imagination is that his life was uncompleted and his work was uncompleted and there was that sense of promises that were left by circumstances undone,’ ” says executive producer Terri Lichstein. “Our documentary is an intimate and personal look at the life of JFK Jr. through new interviews with close friends, and extremely rare footage of his life, and life with Carolyn in those final years and days,” says Lichstein. “I believe it will be a lasting emotional and unforgettable journey for the viewer.”
The interviews paint an intimate portrait of the man and his marriage to Carolyn.
“That was definitely a deep love affair,” Chermayeff tells ABC. Yet, also one plagued by stressful circumstances. In the last few weeks of their lives, both Carolyn, 33, and John, 38, were under intense pressure. John’s political magazine, George, was under financial strain and John was looking for a buyer. On top of that, the relentless media attention had added stress to their marriage.
I know this is the kind of thing aimed at me, my generation, and the generation above me. I was too young to be truly obsessed with John, and then Carolyn. But I remember that time very clearly, and I do think that John was probably “America’s Last Prince,” or the last of that very particular kind of celebrity/political-entertainment-figure. No one else will be able to combine the good-looks, the tragedy, the glamour, the normal-life-struggles, and the circumstances could never be mimicked either. Here’s my question though – in the parallel universe in which John and Carolyn had lived, what would the last 20 years have looked like? I think they probably would have gotten divorced. And I think people really would have pushed him to run for office too, and it would have been disastrous.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.