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The Alpine Set in Switzerland: 'Darling, we're known as The Alpine Set!' wrote the actress Benita Hume to a Hollywood friend in the late Sixties. She had just moved to the picturesque tax haven of Lausanne on Lake Geneva with her husband, matin e idol George Sanders. George had many reasons for wanting to enjoy the clean air and mountain views of Switzerland: he could keep most of the money he earned from various and unusual sources and enjoy the highest standard of living; he was only an hour by air from the major European movie capitals and he would avoid being hounded by Hollywood gossip columnists who wanted to know more about his past and present. Most of all, he could continue to build a financial scam that stretched from Italy to Los Angeles and would take in the British government and a good number of famous Swiss residents - Frank Zappa: his concert inspired Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water Georges Simenon: compared begging letters with Charlie Chaplin Charlie Chaplin: his body was dug up and held to ransom Graham Greene: lost a fortune in a tax scam George Sanders: his 'rip-snorter' cost the British government millions of pounds James Mason: lay in a Swiss bank vault for years Vladimir Nabokov: was rescued from a Swiss mountain Freddie Mercury: swung from a chandelier in his Montreux hotel.
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Frank Zappa: his concert inspired Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water Georges Simenon: compared begging letters with Charlie Chaplin Charlie Chaplin: his body was dug up and held to ransom Graham Greene: lost a fortune in a tax scam George Sanders: his 'rip-snorter' cost the British government millions of pounds James Mason: lay in a Swiss bank vault for years Vladimir Nabokov: was rescued from a Swiss mountain Freddie Mercury: swung from a chandelier in his Montreux hotel

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