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The Mdivani (Georgian: მდივანი) is a Georgian aristocratic family. In the West, the best known bearers of this name were the children of General Zakhari Mdivani and his wife Elizabeth.[1] The five siblings fled to Paris after the Soviet invasion of Georgia in 1921, and became known as the "Marrying Mdivanis", as they all married into wealth and fame.

The Mdivani siblings were:

  • Serge Mdivani (1903–1936), who married actress Pola Negri in 1927, but when she lost her fortune in the Stock Market Crash of 1929, he abandoned her and took up with opera singer Mary McCormic, who divorced him in a highly publicized trial. He then married his former sister-in-law, Louise Astor Van Alen Mdivani, in 1936, but died later that year in a polo accident.[2] He is buried in the cemetery of St. Columba's Chapel in Middletown, Rhode Island under a massive marble tombstone.
  • David Mdivani (1904–1984), who married actress Mae Murray, and had a son, Koran David (b. 1927), with her. After he bankrupted her, she divorced him in 1933 and they became involved in a fierce custody battle over their child. He was involved with French actress Arletty. David then married Sinclair Oil heiress Virginia Sinclair (daughter of Harry Ford Sinclair) in 1944, and they had a son, Michael (1945–1990).[1]
  • Alexis Mdivani (1905–1935), who married Louise Astor Van Alen (a member of the Astor family) in 1931, but divorced her to marry Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton, one of the world's richest women at the time. He died in an automobile accident.
  • Isabelle Roussadana Mdivani (1906–1938), aka Roussie or Roussy. A sculptor, she married the Spanish painter Jose Maria Sert in 1928.
  • Nina Mdivani (1910–1987), who was married to Charles Henry Huberich, a Stanford professor and lawyer, from 15 July 1925 until their divorce on 19 May 1936. On 18 August 1936 she married Denis Conan Doyle, a son of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. After Denis's death on 9 March 1955, she married Anthony Harwood, a secretary to Denis Conan Doyle.[1]

The word "Mdivani" in Georgian means "Secretary".

Notable members[edit]


  1. ^ a b Philip G. Bergem (2001). The Family and Residences of Arthur Conan Doyle. St. Paul, Minnesota: Privately printed. pp. 4, 11. 
  2. ^ Serge Mdivani is Killed Playing Polo in Florida, The New York Times, March 16, 1936

External links[edit]