Anthony "Tony" Dryden Marshall

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Anthony "Tony" Dryden Marshall (Kuser)

Also Known As: "Anthony Dryden Marshall"
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Death: November 30, 2014 (90)
New York, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Dryden Kuser and Roberta Brooke Astor
Ex-husband of Elizabeth Cryan
Father of Alec Russell Marshall and Private User

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Anthony "Tony" Dryden Marshall

Anthony Dryden Marshall (born Anthony Dryden Kuser, New York May 30, 1924) is an American theatrical producer who is a former U.S. Marine, C.I.A. intelligence officer, and ambassador. He also is the former vice president of the Vincent Astor Foundation, which was established by his stepfather, Vincent Astor. He is currently in the process of appealing a criminal conviction stemming from charges of scheming to improperly retain funds from the estate of his famous mother, Brooke Astor, toward the end of her life.

Early life

Known as Tony, Marshall is the only child of the American philanthropist Brooke Astor and her first husband, New Jersey state senator John Dryden Kuser. Marshall was the stepson of Charles H. Marshall (his mother's second husband, whose surname he adopted at the age of 18), and also of the American millionaire Vincent Astor (his mother's third husband).

By his father's second marriage, he has a half-sister, Suzanne Dryden Kuser (born November 24, 1931), who served with the U.S. Department of State, was an intelligence officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, and has been a consultant to the National Security Agency.

He also had two stepsiblings, Peter Marshall and Helen Huntington Marshall (born April 6, 1918), wife of the composer Ernest Schelling and later of the cellist János Scholz.

Education and career

Marshall attended Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts. After enlisting in 1942, he served with the U.S. Marine Corps and led his platoon in the battle of Iwo Jima, attaining the rank of Lieutenant and earning a Purple Heart. After the end of the war, he enrolled in Brown University.

Marshall was the U.S. consul in Istanbul (1958–59); then, in the Nixon administration, the U.S. ambassador to the Malagasy Republic (1969–71). He was expelled by the Malagasy government in June 1971 following a Malagasy newspaper report that the government received a secret document bearing his signature that implicated him in a supposed coup d’etat against President Philibert Tsiranana. Later he served as ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago (1972–74) and briefly to Kenya (1973); and in the Ford administration, to the Seychelles (1976). He was also an assistant to Richard M. Bissell Jr. during the development of the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft.

In the 1980s, he was an officer with United States Trust Company of New York, where he assisted the bank with the management of large estate accounts.

Theatrical productions

Anthony Marshall's first production was the Tony nominated Alice in Wonderland which he produced with Sabra Jones and WNET13. With his wife, Charlene Marshall, he produced the Tony Award winning Long Day's Journey into Night, Best Revival of a Play (2003), and I Am My Own Wife (Tony Award, 2004 for Best Play). They formed Delphi Productions in 2003 with producer David Richenthal.

Marriages and children

Marshall has been married three times:

His first wife was Elizabeth Cynthia Cryan, whom he married on July 26, 1947 in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. The groom's stepfather, Charles Marshall, was his best man. The couple had twin sons (born May 14, 1953), Alexander R. Marshall, a photographer, and Philip Cryan Marshall, a part-time professor of architectural preservation at Roger Williams University.
His second wife was his former secretary Thelma Hoegnell (born May 11, 1928), whom he married on December 29, 1962. The couple were divorced on January 24, 1990, reportedly following Marshall's affair with Charlene Gilbert, the wife of an Episcopal priest in Northeast Harbor, Maine.
His third and present wife, whom he married in 1992, is the former Charlene Detwiler Tyler (born July 28, 1945), the former wife of Paul E. Gilbert, a naval officer turned Episcopal priest, and a daughter of Charles Matthew Tyler, an insurance actuary and businessman who was well loved and respected and a valued member of Charleston, S.C. society. By this marriage Marshall has two stepdaughters, Arden (born 1969) and Inness (born 1972) and a stepson, Robert (born 1976).

Elder abuse allegations

In July 2006, Philip Marshall filed suit against his father, alleging mistreatment of his grandmother Brooke Astor and mismanagement of her funds. He requested that Anthony Marshall be dismissed as her guardian and replaced by family friend Annette de la Renta. That request was granted temporarily, pending a court hearing on August 8, 2006.

On August 1, 2006, The New York Times reported that Anthony Marshall was accused by Alice Perdue, who was employed in his mother's business office, of diverting nearly $1 million from his ailing mother's personal checking accounts into theatrical productions. Marshall, through a spokesman, said that Brooke Astor knew of the investments and approved of them. Perdue countered that Marshall had advised her never to send to his mother any documents of a financial nature because "she didn't understand it."

On September 7, 2006, an article in the Times revealed that "J. P. Morgan Chase, the court-appointed temporary guardian of Brooke Astor’s assets, says in court papers that it is investigating whether her son improperly obtained about $14 million in cash, property and stocks from his ailing mother while managing her finances. The filing suggested that the bank might pursue litigation against the son, Anthony D. Marshall, to get some of the money and property back." The article further suggested that Brooke Astor's mental competency might be an issue, which put the transfer to her son of her estate in Maine as well as $3.4 million in securities into question. According to a statement in the affidavit that was presented to the New York Supreme Court by J. P. Morgan Chase, “We understand that Mrs. Astor’s signature may appear on certain documents relating to these gifts, but questions have been raised as to Mrs. Astor’s competence at this point in time to participate in such transactions and therefore the extent to which Mr. Marshall alone implemented these transactions."

On December 5, 2006, an independent court evaluator released a report stating that the specific claims of elder abuse were not proved. In the report, the court evaluator identified numerous financial dealings that were suspect. As of December 2006, at least some of these appear to be under investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney's office. It was reported that Marshall was ordered to return to his mother's estate $11 million in assets, which included art, jewelry and money. He also agreed in the settlement to "cede any claims to his mother's medical treatment or finances."

Following Brooke Astor's death, questions were expected to arise over changes made to her will in 2003 and 2004 that transferred beneficiaries from some of Astor's favorite institutions, like the Metropolitan Museum and the New York Zoological Society, to the Anthony Marshall Fund.


On November 27, 2007, Marshall surrendered to authorities at the Manhattan district attorney's office to face indictment on sixteen counts relating to the handling of Brooke Astor's will and financial affairs. The charges include conspiracy, grand larceny and possession of stolen property. Astor's lawyer Francis X. Morrissey, who is a longtime friend of her son, was also charged with six counts including conspiracy, forgery and possession of a forged instrument.

At a press conference following Marshall's arrest, Manhattan district attorney Robert M. Morgenthau stated that "Marshall and Morrissey took advantage of Mrs. Astor’s diminished mental capacity in a scheme to defraud her and others out of millions of dollars." He further said that "Marshall abused his power of attorney and convinced Mrs. Astor to sell property by falsely telling her that she was running out of money. He is charged with stealing money from her as well as stealing valuable art work from her Park Avenue apartment."

The trial of Marshall and Morrissey started March 30, 2009 (coincidentally his late mother's birthday) with the jury selection. The judge, Justice A. Kirke Bartley Jr., estimated that the trial could last up to three months; instead, the defense rested and the case was sent to the jury on September 22, 2009, nearly six months after it began. On October 8, 2009, Marshall was found guilty of one of two first-degree grand larceny charges, the most serious he faced, and a total of 14 of 16 charges. Jurors convicted him of giving himself an unauthorized raise of about $1 million for managing his mother’s finances.

On December 21, 2009, Marshall was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in prison. Marshall's attorneys plan to appeal. According to the February 22, 2010 edition of The New York Times, the defense alleges that juror Judith DeMarco only voted guilty because another juror threatened her. They further claim that Bartley failed to question any of the jurors when he received a note that DeMarco felt threatened.

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Anthony "Tony" Dryden Marshall's Timeline

May 30, 1924
New York, New York, United States
November 30, 2014
Age 90
New York, New York, United States