Jane Baxter

Name
Jane Baxter
Other names
Real name : Feodora Forde
Birth and death
1909 - 1996
Occupation
Profession details
Film and stage actress
Related places
Author
Sophie Stiewe and Jonathan Seal

Life outside of Elmbridge

Feodora Kathleen Alice Forde, (mostly known by her stage name, Jane Baxter), was born on the 9th September 1909, in Bremen, Germany. She was a German-born British actress with a stage career that spanned half a century. She originally made her name on the stage, as well as contributing to films such as 'We Live Again', and also appearing on television. Baxter was on stage by 1925 and made her first film 1930. She was one of the most glamorous performers on the London stage in the 1930s. Winston Churchill, who was a great fan of hers, once described her as 'that charming lady who grace personifies all that is best in British womanhood'. Jane very much preferred theatre rather than films, and was involved in some theatre productions like 'Twelfth Night' where she played Viola and performed at the Old Vic. Baxter's television work included plays and series such as "Upstairs, Downstairs". Her last appearance was in a documentary, filmed in 1992. She died of stomach cancer on the 13th September 1996 in London, just four days after her 87th birthday.

Life in Elmbridge

Baxter's connections to Elmbridge were twofold. Her mother was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria's granddaughter Princess Charlotte. Charlotte was living at Claremont in at the time Baxter's mother attended to her. When Baxter's father died she moved to England to live in London. Baxter would then come to Esher to visit her mother at Claremont. In 1930 Baxter married the racing driver Clive Dunfee. He was tragically killed in a racing crash at Brooklands in Weybridge just two years later, after previously vowing to his wife that he would abandon the sport. Baxter was amongst one of the first people to reach him when he flew out of his racing car and was instantly killed. His dramatic accident had a lasting effect on Baxter. Afterwards she would go back to Brooklands to bring back memories of him and perform to the people there.

Sources

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