Following her husband's death she engaged in a 13-year relationship with printer Ward Ritchie, born in 1904. They first met 1930 when he was a best friend of first husband, sculptor Blair Gordon Newell. The two reacquainted in March 1983 and were lovers until his death in 1996.
Her younger brother, Frank Finch, a writer for the Los Angeles Times, was born in 1911.
Her younger brother, Thomas Stewart, died in infancy in 1912 from spinal meningitis.
She graduated from Santa Monica High School in 1927 and attended the University of California-Berkeley but dropped out.
Her daughter, Sylvia Vaughn (Sheekman) Thompson Park, born June 19, 1935, is a gourmet food writer and has authored several cookbooks.
In Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935), Stuart played a young woman whose mother pushes her to marry an unlikable rich man, but the young woman falls in love with a poor man. In Titanic (1997), Stuart's character did all that, 84 years earlier.
Helped form the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League in 1936.
Turned down Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938) because she felt that the material was not to her dramatic acting abilities; however, Darryl F. Zanuck forced her to do the picture, and explained that she would be seen by millions, due to Shirley Temple's popularity. Stuart agreed in a 1998 interview that Zanuck was correct.
Grandchildren are David Oxley Thompson, born on January 15, 1957 in Berkeley, California; Benjamin Stuart Thompson, born on September 21, 1959 in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England; Dinah Vaughn Thompson, born on December 6, 1960 in Los Angeles, California; and Amanda Thompson, born on July 30, 1962 in Berkeley, California.
She was the only cast member of Titanic (1997) who was alive at the time of the actual disaster. Stuart lived to be 100 years old, the same age as her character in the film.
Titanic (1997) was her second film that featured a doomed ship. One of her early films, Here Comes the Navy (1934), was filmed aboard the USS Arizona.
Chosen by People Magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world (1998).
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2000.