Upper West Side Butler Inherits Two Apartments in the Dakota

By DNAinfo Staff on May 11, 2010 1:09pm  | Updated on May 11, 2010 3:50pm

Former butler Indra Tamang is inheriting two apartments in the famous Upper West Side building, the Dakota, from late actress Ruth Ford.
Former butler Indra Tamang is inheriting two apartments in the famous Upper West Side building, the Dakota, from late actress Ruth Ford.
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Flickr/canuckistan

By Jennifer Glickel

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

UPPER WEST SIDE — An Upper West Side butler's life is about to change dramatically after inheriting two apartments in the legendary Dakota apartment building, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Indra Tamang, who grew up in a mud hut in Nepal, spent decades working as a butler and cook for Ruth Ford, the actress and late wife of Hollywood actor Zachary Scott.

Tamang was the sole inheritor of Ford’s entire $8.4 million estate, save for her costume jewelry and wardrobe. Ford’s daughter, Shelley Scott, and her two grandchildren were disinherited, according to Ford’s will, which was accepted last month in the Surrogate's Court in Manhattan, according to the Journal.

After living in Kathmandu, Ford’s brother — surrealist poet, novelist, and photographer Charles Henri Ford — brought Tamang to the United States in 1974 to be his caretaker. The two moved into a studio apartment in the Dakota that was owned by Ruth Ford.

Scott and Ruth Ford moved into a three-bedroom apartment in the Dakota in the 1950s, where they both lived until their respective deaths in 1965 and 2009.

Although both the studio and the three-bedroom apartment were left to Tamang, the Journal spoke with several brokers who said “it was unlikely that the Dakota's co-op board, known as one of the most fastidious and unpredictable in the city, would let a former staffer live in the building.”

Tamang, who became a U.S. citizen last year, lives in a two-family home in Woodside, Queens, with his wife and two children. He also owns Charles Ford's house in Kathmandu.

Tamang put Ruth Ford’s three-bedroom apartment on the market in December for $7.5 million, but the price has been cut five times since, and is now listed at $4.5 million.

Tamang told the Journal that he does not know if the co-op board will approve him, but added, “I am satisfied living where I am.”

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