JEWELS FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE LATE COUNTESS OF DUDLEY
The Countess of Dudley was also known as the beautiful, vivacious and talented actress and dancer Maureen Swanson. Born in Glasgow in 1932 her first love was ballet and her heroine was Margot Fonteyn. She soon won a place at the Sadler's Wells Ballet School and was later selected to be a student dancer with the company itself. At the age of 19 Swanson was invited to play the juvenile lead in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. This brought her to the attention of the director John Huston, who cast her in her first screen role in Moulin Rouge (1952). Other roles swiftly followed in such films as Knights of the Round Table (1953); A Town Like Alice (1956); The Spanish Gardener (1956); and Robbery Under Arms (1957). After her marriage to William Ward, Viscount Ednam in 1961, she retired from show business to devote herself to her new role as a wife and mother to six children, becoming the Countess of Dudley when her husband succeeded to the earldom of Dudley in 1969.