A Hollywood actress has cut her family out of her will and left her entire $8.4 million (£5.6m) fortune, including two homes in New York's Dakota Building, to her Nepalese butler.
Ruth Ford, who died last year at 98, was best known for the salon she created at her beautiful, art-lined Manhattan apartment, frequented by the likes of William Faulkner, Cecil Beaton, Truman Capote and Andy Warhol.
The apartment, is now in the hands of Indra Tamang, raised in a mud house in rural Nepal but for the past three decades the Ford family's loyal servant.
In her will, the former actress, model and wife of the Hollywood film star Zachary Scott left her estate, including two apartments and her valuable collection of Russian surrealist art, to Mr Tamang. She kept back only her clothes and some jewellery.
A lawyer for Mrs Scott, who received a modest settlement after challenging the will in court, said she was "very happy" for Mr Tamang.
The 57-year-old Nepalese man was persuaded to come to America in 1974 by Mrs Ford's brother, Charles Henri Ford, a writer who had lived in Kathmandu.
He cooked, cleaned and cared for Mr Ford, who also lived in the Dakota Building until his death in 2002, and then for his sister. He lived with his own wife and three daughters in a small house in a modest part of Queens.
Mr Tamang said he was "grateful, honoured and humbled" by the Fords' generosity but was not altogether surprised.
"This is my second family and I think they considered me family, too," he said.
The American dream aspect of Mr Tamang's story has its limits, however.
The co-op board which decides who can live in the landmark Central Park West building, once the home of John Lennon, is not expected to allow a former member of a resident's staff to move in.
Mr Tamang, who now faces a seven-figure tax bill and has already put one of the apartments on the market for $4.5 million, tactfully said he was happy to stay in his house in Queens.
While the value of Mr Tamang's property portfolio has been hit hard by the economic slowdown, prices for work by Pavel Tchelitchew, the Fords' favourite and most collected artist, have been rising.
Last month his portrait of Mrs Ford sold for nearly $1 million at Sotheby's, a record for the painter.
Mrs Scott had contested the will but Arnie Herz, her lawyer, insisted she was not upset about the outcome.
He told the Wall Street Journal: "The one thing that everyone seemed to agree upon is that the guy who took care of her mother and the uncle is very well liked and well respected. Shelley also liked this guy and is happy for him."
Mrs Ford starred in Orson Welles’s comedy Too Much Johnson opposite her then boyfriend, Joseph Cotton, as well as the western Roaring Frontiers and the crime serial Secrets of the Lone Wolf.
She achieved more success on stage, touring with Welles’s acclaimed theatre troupe. Wells was another of her reputed lovers.
Illustrating the influence of her artistic salons, Stephen Sondheim said that only a chance meeting with Leonard Bernstein at a Ford soiree led to their collaboration on West Side Story.
After two marriages, she took up with a much younger boyfriend whom she installed in a separate attic flat in the Dakota Building