Elsa Maxwell (May 24, 1883 – November 1, 1963) was an American gossip columnist and author, songwriter, and professional hostess renowned for her parties for royalty and high society figures of her day.
Maxwell is credited with the introduction of the scavenger hunt and treasure hunt for use as party games in the modern era She also appeared as herself in the films Stage Door Canteen (1943) and Rhapsody in Blue (1945), as well as co-starring in the 1939 film Hotel for Women, which she wrote the screenplay for.
Elsa Maxwell took credit for introducing Rita Hayworth to Prince Aly Khan in the summer of 1948. In 1953, Maxwell published a single issue of her magazine, Elsa Maxwell's Café Society, which had a portrait of Zsa Zsa Gabor on the cover. Anne Edwards' biography of Maria Callas (Callas, 2001) and Peter Evans biography of Aristotle Onassis both claim that Maxwell introduced Callas to Onassis. Edwards also claims that Maxwell was a lesbian who tried to seduce Callas, 40 years Maxwell's junior. Callas biographer Stelios Galatopoulos produced love letters from Maxwell written to Callas, who was less than receptive.