Tristan de Vere Cole

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Tristan John de Vere Cole (born 16 March 1935) is an English television director, now retired.


Cole is believed to be the last-surviving illegitimate son of the painter Augustus John (1878–1961). His mother, Mavis Cole, met John at the Café Royal in 1928, and agreed to model for him. In 1931 she married Horace de Vere Cole, a well-known Edwardian practical joker, then in 1932 became the mistress of Augustus John. Cole was brought up in the John household at Fryern Court, Fordingbridge, from the age of 18 months, partly by his mother, and then later by Dorelia.[1][2]

Cole served in the Royal Navy from 1951 to 1960, then worked at the Bristol Old Vic as Assistant Stage Manager and actor, before starting a career in television with the BBC.

He married Diana Crosby Cook in 1962 and with her has a son, Cassian de Vere Cole, born 1966, a fine art dealer in London.[3]

In 1993 he met Prudence Murdoch, a divorced lawyer with three children, and they set up house together near Newbury. They were married in 2000 and stayed together until her death in 2010.[4]

He now lives in Sutton Scotney, not far from his partner Anne Stow, eldest grandchild of Neville Chamberlain, a former prime minister, whose wife was a sister of Horace de Vere Cole.[citation needed]

Work as television director[edit]

Work as film director[edit]


  • Roderic Owen, Tristan de Vere Cole, Beautiful and beloved: the life of Mavis de Vere Cole (Hutchinson, 1974)


  1. ^ Finding aid: Tristan de Vere Cole (Augustus John) manuscripts at, accessed 1 March 2019
  2. ^ Darren Devine, "Last illegitimate son of Augustus John on life with 'King of Bohemia'", in Wales Online dated 9 March 2012
  3. ^ Bernard Dolman, Who's who in Art, Volume 32 (Art Trade Press, 2006), p. 262
  4. ^ Teresa Davies, Prudence de Vere Cole obituary dated in The Guardian dated 5 July 2010, accessed 28 February 2019

External links[edit]