Michael Kelcourse is a big part of Patricia Altschul’s life, and a big part of Southern Charm.
Since the beginning of the series, Michael has been by Patricia’s side.
In her new book, The Art of Southern Charm, we come to learn that Michael was born and raised in Michigan, and as a boy, he was big into reading. Michael attended college and afterward worked at a nursing home. Eventually, Michael realized he wanted to “make a career out of looking after people who were well…and well-off,” Patricia writes.
She continues the book by opening up about her relationship with Michael and how he came to work for her. As Bravo TV notes, Patricia was looking for a new butler for her waterfront estate in Oyster Bay, New York, after her third and most recent husband, Arthur Altschul, passed away. Bravo writes, “Her longtime interior designer, Mario Buatta, told her that a woman by the name of Mrs. Lillian Bostwick, who maintained a huge estate in Old Westbury, New York, had passed away and ‘one of her prized employees’ would be looking for a job — “but not for long.” That man was Michael Kelcourse.
Patricia says she met with Michael immediately and persuaded him to come work for her at once, even though he was still technically employed by the Bostwicks. He has worked for Patricia for fifteen years.
In an interview with Luzanne for the blog The Glampad, Michael was asked how he always knew what he wanted to do. He shared, “When I was 16 years old, I went into career services at my high school and they told me the Nederlander Theater needed a mother’s helper/father’s footman. I loved it and was invited back for every event, but didn’t know that I could make a career of it. At age 23, my Dad arranged for me to be an apprentice at a gourmet restaurant in Ireland. This really planted the seed of being in service. After the apprenticeship, I enrolled in a nursing program but wound up being busy doing what I loved and getting paid so much that I didn’t finish.”
Asked about his view of the archetypical butler, Michael states, “The archetypal butler must have a willing spirit. You must have a willingness to put the job ahead of all else and a willingness to adapt.”
Southern Charm is now entering its sixth season. The show initially debuted on March 3, 2014, and follows the lives of seven socialites who live in Charleston, South Carolina.