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Nicole Stéphane (born Baroness Nicole de Rothschild, 27 May 192313 March 2007) was a Frenchmarker actress, producer and director. As an actress, she is mostly known for her role in two films by Jean-Pierre Melville, Les Enfants terribles and Le Silence de la mer.

The elder of the two daughters of Baron James-Henri de Rothschild and his first wife, Claude Dupont, Nicole Stéphane was a member of the Rothschild banking family of France. Her immediate family, however, also was deeply immersed in the arts. Her paternal grandfather, Baron Henri de Rothschild, was a playwright and theatrical producer who wrote under the names Charles des Fontaines and André Pascal and owned Théâtre Antoine and Théâtre Pigalle. Her first cousin Philippine de Rothschild was an actress with the Comédie-Françaisemarker, using the name Philippine Pascal. And her father's brother, the vintner Philippe de Rothschild, wrote plays, owned theaters, and produced motion pictures.

Stéphane joined the army during World War II, and was imprisoned in Spain in 1942 after crossing the Pyrenées while she was trying to join the Free French. She was also a liaison agent in Germany.

Her final movie as an actress was Carve Her Name with Pride. Unfortunately, her acting career was cut short by a car accident. She reoriented herself towards production, helping in particular Georges Franju and Jean-Pierre Melville. Among her production credits was Swann in Love, a 1984 adaptation of Marcel Proust's novel Remembrance of Things Past that starred Jeremy Irons and Ornella Muti.

In the early 1970s, Stéphane was the lover of the American writer and critic Susan Sontag.


  1. Leo Lerman, "The Grand Surprise: The Journals of Leo Lerman", NY: Knopf, 2007, page 413. ISBN 1400044391.


  • 1953 — Nominated BAFTA Film Award for Best Foreign Actress — Les Enfants terribles (1950)

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