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Jeanne von Rothschild (née Stuart) (1908-2003)

Jeanne, Baroness Eugène von Rothschild was a stage and film actress, professionally known as Jeanne Stuart. She was born Ivy Sweet, in Hampstead, England in 1908, the youngest of three daughters of William James Sweet, a copper-beater, and his Welsh wife.

At a very early age Ivy became a dancer, left home and travelled the country in a troupe of girls. She was on stage by the age of 15, and enjoyed a career in the theatre, in which she took part in a number of the light drawing-room comedies and murder mysteries that were so popular on the London stage in the 1930s. She performed alongside Jack Hulbert, Cicely Courtneidge, Jack Buchanan and many others. She progressed to the New York stage in September 1930, returning to London in 1933. Jeanne made her motion picture debut in 1931 and went on to perform and star in more than twenty films.

She was married in April 1933 to businessman Bernard Docker at a register office ceremony in Prince's Row, attended by the Duke and Duchess of Atholl, and they honeymooned in South America. Jeanne was given the 860-ton yacht 'Shemara' as a wedding present. However, her marriage lasted only a few months. Docker's disapproving father had her followed by private detectives; on discovering her association with actor David Hutcheson, Docker divorced her. Although Bernard Docker claimed in the press that they never saw one another again, Jeanne's version was that they remained on the best of terms and that he later wished to re-marry her. Jeanne even called herself Lady Docker after 1939, when not using her professional name on stage. Jeanne returned to the stage, and for three years her name was linked with James Stewart. For a time during the war, she was also the girlfriend of the 6th Earl of Carnarvon.

Marriage to Eugène von Rothschild

Just after the Second World War she moved to the United States, taking up residence on Long Island, where she was first introduced to Eugène von Rothschild. They married in 1952, after which she gave up her acting career. For a time, she and her husband lived in New York City and Long Island but eventually made their permanent home in Monte Carlo, Monaco. After Eugène’s death, her days passed in serene widowhood, surrounded by her photographs and her many friends in her large apartment with a long garden, in the Boulevard des Moulins. Baroness Jeanne de Rothschild died in Monte Carlo in 2003 at the age of 94.

See also Eugène von Rothschild »