Francine Weisweiller

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Francine Weisweiller née Worms (19 June 1916 – 8 December 2003) was a French socialite and patron of Yves Saint Laurent and Jean Cocteau.[1]


She was born Francine Worms 19 June 1916 in São Paulo, daughter of prosperous French parents of Jewish descent. Her father was a jeweler. The family returned to France in 1919.[1]

Francine Worms married at age 17 and divorced after a couple of months. For a while she worked as a beautician and, at the outbreak of the Second World War, as a nurse. Her parents had returned to Brazil.[1]

She married American millionaire Alec Weisweiller in June 1941. The couple moved to Southern France, where their daughter Carole was born 1942.[1]

After the war they moved to 4 Place des Etats-Unis in Paris, where their neighbours were Marie-Laure and Charles de Noailles. Francine Weisweiller became an early patron of Yves Saint Laurent.[1] The Weisweillers met Jean Cocteau during filming of Les enfants terribles (they were introduced by Francine's cousin, Nicole Stéphane). Francine persuaded her husband to invest in the film, and some scenes were filmed in their house.[2]

Francine Weisweiller and Jean Cocteau became close friends, with Cocteau and some of his entourage living with her in her villa Santo Sospir at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat from 1950 to the early 1960s. Cocteau decorated the interior walls of the villa and made a film about it, La Villa Santo-Sospir (1952). He dedicated his play Bacchus to Francine Weisweiller. Cocteau's Le Testament d'Orphée, sponsored by Francine Weisweiller,[2] was partly filmed in the villa and on her yacht, and Francine Weisweiller and her butler had small roles in the film.[1]

In 1960 Francine Weisweiller fell in love with writer Henri Viard and her friendship with Cocteau cooled. She reconciled with Cocteau shortly before his death in 1963.[1][2]

Francine Weisweiller died 8 December 2003.[1]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Francine Weisweiller". The Telegraph. 1 Jan 2004. 
  2. ^ a b c Bergan, Ronald (18 Dec 2003). "Francine Weisweiller". The Guardian. 

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