frank-and-geri-rosenthal

 

Geraldine (Geri) McGee Rosenthal (May 16, 1936 – November 9, 1982) was the second wife of Las Vegas sports handicapper, Frank Rosenthal. She provided the basis for the character of “Ginger,” portrayed by Sharon Stone in the 1995 movie Casino. Geri and her sister, Barbara, grew up in the Sherman Oaks community of Los AngelesSan Fernando Valley and went to Van Nuys High School with Robert Redford and Don Drysdale.

Geri started going out with Lenny Marmor in high school. Their daughter, Robin L Marmor, was born December 27, 1957, in Los Angeles, and Lenny, who never married her though he was married three times to other women, talked Geri into moving to Las Vegas. Geraldine met Anthony Spilotro while at a convention in Atlantic City. She had an affair with him at that time. Later, after marrying Rosenthal the affair with Spilotro would resume.

When Frank met Geri, she had been hustling in Las Vegas for close to eight years. She owned her own house and was raising her 11-year-old daughter Robin, who was fathered by her high school sweetheart Lenny Marmor. Geri supported her ailing mother, Alice Pollock McGee, and her sister, Barbara Stokich (b. Feb 6 1934, d. May 7, 2000), who had been abandoned with two young sons after her husband left. In 1954, Geri’s aunt (her father’s sister) received a large inheritance.

Geri’s aunt offered to send Geri to Woodbury Business School, as she had Geri’s sister Barbara, but Geri wanted to go to UCLA or USC. Instead she got a job at Thirty Drugs, then as a teller for Bank of America. Lenny would visit Geri and their daughter, usually for two or three days, often with the intention to borrow money for a “surefire” business deal. Occasionally, her father, Roy McGee, a California auto mechanic long separated from her mother, would visit. Besides Marmor and Rosenthal, Geri was also seeing John Hicks. Johnny Hicks was about 10 years younger than Geri. She adored Hicks and some believed he would have married her, except he had very rich parents who objected to the relationship.

The Hicks owned the Algiers Hotel and the Thunderbird Casino and didn’t want the couple to wed. Johnny Hicks had a $1,000-a-month trust fund and would have had it taken away if he married Geri. Johnny liked to act as a tough guy and hung around Downtown Las Vegas with a crew that used to beat up prostitutes.

 

Frank and Geri were married on May 1, 1969. They had two children, Steven and Stephanie. Their divorce was final January 16, 1981. Geraldine Rosenthal died from a drug overdose Nov. 9, 1982, and was buried at Mount Sinai Cemetery in Los Angeles. Frank Rosenthal spent $50,000 to have a private autopsy conducted.

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