Alla Nazimova

Actor, Producer
Though she entered motion pictures later in her career than the average actress, Alla Nazimova had already become a star, thanks to a number of acclaimed performances on stage both overseas and on Broadway. Nazimova ... Read more »
Born: 06/03/1879 in Russia

Filmography

Actor (3)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey 1943 (Movie)

(Actor)

Blood and Sand 1941 (Movie)

Senora Augustias (Actor)

Salome 1922 (Movie)

(Actor)

Biography

Though she entered motion pictures later in her career than the average actress, Alla Nazimova had already become a star, thanks to a number of acclaimed performances on stage both overseas and on Broadway. Nazimova originally made a name for herself in her native Russia before achieving international stardom in Europe, notably with performances both in Berlin and London in plays by Henrik Ibsen and Anton Chekhov. She came to the United States in 1905 and quickly established herself as a Broadway star, before making her film debut at age 37 in "War Brides" (1916). In films, Nazimova rose rapidly to stardom as well, using her newly acquired Hollywood power to assist the careers of many young up-and-coming actresses, some of whom she had romantic affairs with, much to the dismay of the tight-knit town's power brokers. Nazimova also began producing many of her films like "Eye for Eye" (1918), "The Heart of a Child" (1920) and "Madame Peacock" (1920). After starring opposite Rudolph Valentino in "Camille" (1921), Nazimova's film career came to a crashing end thanks to the financial failure of her pet project, "Salome" (1922). She went back to Broadway for over a decade before returning to pictures with supporting roles in "Escape" (1940), "Blood and Sand" (1941), and "Since You Went Away" (1944), her final film. Nazimova remained a notable performer whose wild personal life often overshadowed her exemplary talents on stage and screen.

Relationships

Dasha Leventon

Step-Mother

Valentin Leventon

Half-Brother

Jean Acker Actor

Companion
later married to Valentino

Mercedes Acosta

Companion

Dorothy Arzner Director

Companion

Charles Bryant Director

Companion
met in 1912 British claimed to be married to him, although they never legally wed caused scandal when he married in 1926 and proved he and Nazimova were never married

Seryozha Golovin

Husband
married June 30, 1899 in Russia divorced May 11, 1923

Sonya Horowitz

Mother
divorced from Nazimova's father

Paul Ivano Cinematographer

Companion

Eva Le Gallienne Cinematographer

Companion

Yakov Leventon

Father
Jewish divorced from Nazimova's mother

Vladimir Leventon

Brother
settled in Berlin, then moved to the USA died in 1939

Val Lewton Cinematographer

Nephew/Neice

Nina Lewton

Sister
older married Max Hofscneider widowed mother of producer Val Lewton born 1875 died 1967

Nila Mae

Companion

Glesca Marshall

Companion
together from 1929 until Nazimova's death in 1945 born 1907 died 1987

Ona Munson Cinematographer

Companion

Paul Orlenoff

Companion
Nazimova claimed to be married to him never legally wed

Natacha Rambova Cinematographer

Companion

Natascha Rambova

Companion

Nancy Reagan Actor

Godchild

Alexander Sanin

Companion
born c. 1869 briefly involved in 1898

Maurice Sterne

Companion
involved briefly in 1905

Brendan Tynan

Companion
Irish born 1879 appeared together onstage romantically involved for four years

Sam Zimbalist Actor

Companion
had affair in the 1920s

EDUCATION

attended various boarding schools

Philharmonic School

1898

Imperial Gymnasium

enrolled at age 12

Milestones

1977

Portrayed by Leslie Caron in Ken Russell's biopic "Valentino"

1943

Final film, "Since You Went Away"

1940

Made first talking film, "Escape"

1939

Final Broadway appearance, "The Mother", co-starring Montgomery Clift

1936

Underwent mastectomy

1932

Created role of O-Lan in stage adaptation of "THe Good Earth"

1931

Originated role of Christine Mannon in Eugene O'Neill's "Mourning Becomes Electra"

1928

Joined Eva Le Gallienne's Civic Repertory Theatre; won acclaim for protraying Raynevskaya in "The Cherry Orchard"

1927

Became American citizen

1925

Made last silent film, "The Redeeming Sin", before returning to the theater

1922

Recreated her acclaimed stage performance as Nora in the silent "A Doll's House"

1922

Made most famous film, "Salome," a finanical disaster

1922

Signed with United Artists

1921

Starred in silent version of "Camille"

1921

Opened her estate (purchased in 1918) as a hotel, called The Garden of Allah; demolished 1959

1916

Film debut, "War Brides", recreating her stage role

1906

Left Orlenev and signed contract with Lee Shubert to play "Hedda Gabler"

1905

Immigrated to USA

1901

Joined first of three acting companies formed by Pavel Orlenev

1898

Was apprentice actor in Stanislavsky's Moscow Art Theatre

1896

Moved to Moscow to study acting

1889

Adopted stage name when she began performing the violin in public; father had forbidden her to use the family name

1886

Sent to live with a family in Switzerland when parents separated

Had major stage success in Ibsen's "Ghosts"

Made NYC debut with Orlenev's company

Worked in stock productions throughout Russia

Signed with Metro, starting at salary of $13,000 a week

Became established in Europe as a stage actress

Bonus Trivia

.

"Nazimova--the quintessential Queen of the Movie WHores. It was the only time Hollywood let a star come near to orgasm on the screen." --Darryl F. Zanuck.

SIMILAR ARTICLES