Marilyn Miglin, the cosmetics magnate, former Home Shopping Network host and wife of murdered real estate developer Lee Miglin, died Monday.
Mrs. Miglin, 83, was surrounded by family when she passed away in Chicago, according to an announcement posted on the website of the Chicago cosmetic company that bears her name.
She died of complications from a stoke, according to the entertainment website TMZ.com.
Her former husband, Lee Miglin, was murdered in 1997 by Andrew Cunanan, who killed five people over the course of three months including fashion designer Gianni Versace. The crimes made headlines around the world.
“Marilyn and Lee Miglin, among Chicago’s highest-profile couples in social and business circles, were each self-made,” former Sun-Times entertainment columnist Bill Zwecker wrote in a profile of the couple after Lee Miglin’s death.
“Marilyn Miglin grew up in Chicago as Marilyn Klecka, ‘a good Czech Catholic girl’ whose father died when she was 11 and whose mother had to go to work for a lingerie company.
“She launched her cosmetics business on Oak Street in the 1960s to provide makeup services to professional models like herself, who until then traveled to New York for supplies.
“The future Mrs. Miglin was 21 when she met the real estate developer, who scandalized her with a kiss on their first date. Six weeks later he proposed,” Zwecker wrote.
The couple were married for 38 years and raised two children — Marlene and Duke — named for Marlene Dietrich and John Wayne.
Marilyn Miglin was a longtime Gold Coast resident and was instrumental in promoting Oak Street as one of the city’s most chic shopping blocks.
It is marked by an honorary street sign: “Marilyn Miglin Way.”
She helped organize and formerly headed the Oak Street Council of merchants.
She built her business, with its roots on Oak Street, into a multimillion-dollar cosmetics company.
She hawked many of her products as a host on the Home Shopping Network for 25 years.
Her second husband, Egyptian businessman Naguib Mankarious, died in 2000 from complications after plastic surgery.
Among the many charities she supported was the Anti-Cruelty Society.
“She was an avid supporter of ours and also did some rescue work,” said Lydia Krupinski, the organization’s vice president for mission impact.
“She brought in 13 cats to us that she found as strays outside so we could adopt them out. She also adopted from us and supported us financially as well,” Krupinski said.