msnbc.com news services
updated 5/13/2010 5:37:55 PM ET 2010-05-13T21:37:55

The beloved butler for a prominent New York family, who grew up in a mud hut in Nepal, has joined the city's elite by inheriting more than $8 million, including two units at the legendary Dakota apartment building off Central Park.

Indra B. Tamang had served as a butler, cook and caretaker to Ruth Ford, an stage and screne actress, and her husband Zachary Scott, a Hollywood star, for more than three decades, the Wall Street Journal reported.

When Ruth Ford died last year at age 98, she left her entire fortune to Tamang, including the Dakota apartments and an art collection with works by Russian surrealists.

She specifically disinherited her daughter, Shelley Scott, and her two grandchildren in favor of her Nepalese employee, but did not give a reason, the Journal reported.

The value of the estate is about $8.4 million, according to court records, the newspaper said.

The daughter contested the move and eventually received a modest settlement, according to the paper. However, the 57-year-old Tamang, who lives in Queens with his wife and children, kept the apartments.

Tamang is now selling the larger of the two apartments at the Dakota — a three-bedroom — for $4.5 million.

With the help of Ford, Tamang became a U.S. citizen last year, more than 20 years after first applying for citizenship.

© 2013 msnbc.com

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