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Author, actor, Kennedy scion Christopher Lawford dead at 63
Author and actor Christopher Kennedy Lawford, who was born into political and Hollywood royalty, sank into substance abuse and addiction and rose to become a well-known advocate for sobriety and recovery, has died. Lawford died of a heart attack Sept. 4 in Vancouver, Canada, his cousin, former U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, told The Associated Press. He was 63. Lawford's mother was Patricia Kennedy, sister of John, Robert, and Ted Kennedy, and his father was Peter Lawford, the English actor who was a member of Frank Sinatra's "Rat Pack." "I was given wealth, power, and fame when I drew my first breath," Lawford wrote in his 2005 book, "Symptoms of Withdrawal: A Memoir of Snapshots and Redemption," the first of several books he wrote about his substance struggles. He spent his youth frolicking with Hollywood stars on one coast and rubbing shoulders with political stars on the other. He wrote that he once got a lesson in doing "The Twist" from Marilyn Monroe, and the cover of his books shows him sitting poolside as a child with his uncle and soon-to-be-president John F. Kennedy looming behind him.