Tag Archives: Gloria

Titanic Star Gloria Stuart – a Jesse James Cousin

Actor Gloria Stuart, aka Gloria Frances Stewart 1910-2010

To a modern young audience it seems Gloria Stuart only achieved stardom in her 90s for her portrayal of Old Rose in the hit movie Titanic.

She garnered both Oscar & Golden Globe nominations. The Screen Actors Guild, of which Gloria was a founding member, gave her the SAG Award. On her 100th birthday, the Guild also honored her with a Centennial Celebration. Gloria also received a star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame, and other awards, too. Gloria’s career spanned seven decades and included many classic hit films, still viewed and appreciated today.

Surprising to our James family is the discovery that Gloria Stuart is one of our stray leaves. She is related to our James family through her Cole and Nalle ancestries, as shown below.


This discovery was brought to the attention of Stray Leaves by Crusader, formerly known as Andrew Exler.  In 1980, Crusader charged Disneyland with violating his civil rights by depriving him his right to dance with a gay friend. The landmark case was heard by the great grandson of Jesse James, Judge James R. Ross. Ruling against Disneyland, Judge Ross upheld the civil rights of Crusader. Today, Crusader is a paralegal with an appreciation for the James family.

Looking at the 100 years of Gloria Stuart’s life, there are numerous crossroads where her life intersected with the James, although most probably unconsciously.

Sculptor Gordon Newell

Like so many among the James family, the lives of Gloria and her family are married to the arts. Gloria not only was an actor, she also was an artist and author of her own autobiography. Her first husband, Blair Gordon Newell, was a sculptor. A fountain he sculpted sits before the White House in Washington.

Gloria’s second husband was the Chicago and New York journalist Arthur Sheekman. Groucho Marx brought Sheekman to Hollywood to work for him as a screenwriter. Sheekman became known as the 4th Marx brother, after Groucho, Chico, and Harpo.

Arthur Sheekman & Gloria Stuart

Gloria and Arthur’s daughter Sylvia Sheekman is an author of cook books. Sylvia married Eugene Allen Thompson, also a screenwriter. Among Gene Thompson’s credits are the successful TV programs Mission Impossible, Columbo, the Lucy Show, Beverly Hillbillies, & Marcus Welby M.D.

Syliva V. Sheekman-Thompson

Among Sylvia & Gene’s children,  Dinah Thomson-Sapia is an attorney who formerly worked in the San Benito and Monterey County District Attorneys’ offices. Today Dinah is in private practice in Santa Cruz, California, but devotes much charitable time to a number of organizations. Before becoming an attorney, Dinah served in the U. S. Coast Guard.

Dinah V. Thompson-Sapia

Gloria Frances Stewart died just recently on September 26, 2010, at her home in the Brentwood community of Los Angeles. She was 100 years old, and her star continues to rise.


Charlie Rose Interviews Gloria Stuart – Feb 26, 1998

Advance to 17:00 minutes. Play interview thru 39:20 minutes


Gloria Stuart appears in this 1933 newsreel short among Hollywood’s Stars of Tomorrow. Can you recall the movies careers of any of the other stars featured with Gloria in this clip?



Gloria Frances Stewart, aka Gloria Stuart, 1910-2010

. Frank Stewart & Alice Vaughan

.. Thomas C. Vaughan & Berilla Cole

… Jesse Cole Jr & Angelina Wheeler

…. Jesse Cole Sr. & Nancy Sparks

…… Richard James Cole Sr. & Ann Hubbard (Common Ancestors)

….. Richard Cole Jr. & Sally Yates

…. James Cole & Sarah Lindsay

… Zerelda Elizabeth Cole & Rev. Robert Sallee James

.. Frank & Jesse James


Gloria Frances Stuart also has a connection to John M. James & Clara Nall

Gloria Frances Stewart, aka Gloria Stuart, 1910-2010

. Frank Stewart & Alice Vaughan

.. Thomas C. Vaughan & Berilla Cole

… Jesse Cole Jr & Angelina Wheeler

…. Jesse Cole Sr. & Nancy Sparks

….. Humphrey Sparks Sr & Mildred “Milly” Nalle

…… Capt. Martin Nalle & Isabelle Unknown (Common Ancestors)

….. John M. James & Clarisssa “Clara/Clary” Nall