Mercedes de Acosta (March 1, – May 9, ) was an American poet, playwright, and novelist. Four of de Acosta's plays were produced, and she published a novel and three volumes of poetry. Author, folk figure. Born in New York City to wealthy Cuban immigrants, Mercedes often claimed she thought she was a boy named Raphael until she was seven. Through her sister Rita, who posed for well-known painters, Mercedes met Rodin, Stravinsky, and other notables in the artistic, musical, and literary circles. The letters gave no evidence of a love story! Introduction. Mercedes was a Spanish-American poet, playwright, costume designer and socialite, she knew many famous celebrities of the show business.