Lila Kedrova

Actor
Sometimes a part comes along that is so perfectly tailored to an actor's strengths, it is correctly said the role was made for her or him. For Russian-born Lila Kedrova, it was Madame Hortense, the dying courtesan of ... Read more »
Born: 10/09/1918 in Russia

Filmography

Actor (28)

La Promissa Volta il Fuoco 1992 (Movie)

Mother (Actor)

A Star For Two 1990 (Movie)

(Actor)

Some Girls 1989 (Movie)

Granny (Actor)

Sunset People 1983 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Blood Tide 1981 (Movie)

Sister Anna (Actor)

Tell Me a Riddle 1980 (Movie)

Eva (Actor)

Clair de Femme 1979 (Movie)

Sonia (Actor)

Le Cavaleur 1977 (Movie)

Olga (Actor)

Le Paradis des Riches 1977 (Movie)

Camille (Actor)

Les Egouts du Paradis 1977 (Movie)

Charlotte (Actor)

Moi, Fleur Bleue 1976 (Movie)

Marquise (Actor)

Widows' Nest 1976 (Movie)

Mother (Actor)

The Tenant 1975 (Movie)

Gaderian (Actor)

Undercovers Hero 1974 (Movie)

Madame Grenier (Actor)

Cool Million 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

Eliza's Horoscope 1971 (Movie)

Lila (Actor)

Rak 1970 (Movie)

Mother (Actor)

The Kremlin Letter 1970 (Movie)

Madame Sophie (Actor)

Time For Loving 1970 (Movie)

(Actor)

Maigret A Pigalle 1966 (Movie)

Rose Alfonsi (Actor)

Penelope 1966 (Movie)

Sadaba (Actor)

Torn Curtain 1966 (Movie)

Countess Kuchinska (Actor)

A High Wind in Jamaica 1965 (Movie)

Rosa (Actor)

Zorba the Greek 1964 (Movie)

Madame Hortense (Actor)

Razzia 1956 (Movie)

Lea (Actor)

Main Street 1955 (Movie)

Madame Pepita (Actor)

No Way Back 1954 (Movie)

Ljuba (Actor)

Biography

Sometimes a part comes along that is so perfectly tailored to an actor's strengths, it is correctly said the role was made for her or him. For Russian-born Lila Kedrova, it was Madame Hortense, the dying courtesan of "Zorba the Greek" (1964), which showcased her fragility, sensitivity and eccentricity. The petite actress earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the film and when she reprised it some twenty years later in a revival of the Kander-Ebb-Joseph Stein musical adaptation "Zorba!" in 1983, picked up both Drama Desk and Tony Awards. Kedrova, whose family settled in France in the late 1920s, began her career in European films, playing her first 'Madame' in Juan Antonio Bardem's acclaimed "Calle Mayor" (1956). After her English-language debut in "Zorba", she followed with a colorful turn as a Tampico bawdy house madam in "High Wind in Jamaica" (1965). She was a daffy Polish refugee in Alfred Hitchcock's "Torn Curtain" (1966) and yet another Madame (Martini) in NBC's "Cool Million" (1972). One of her better screen portrayals was as Melvyn Douglas' dying wife in "Tell Me a Riddle" (1980). Among her other roles was her sweet, batty Granny in "Some Girls" (1988), but she is Madame Hortense for the ages, wringing tears from all corners as she expires in Anthony Quinn's arms.

Relationships

Richard Howard

Husband
Met when she acted in "The Cherry Orchard" in London in 1967 Married 1968 until her death 2000

Pierre Valde

Companion
was Kedrova's acting coach directed her in several stage productions in 1950s

EDUCATION

studied piano

Milestones

1993

Last feature to date, "La Promissa Volta il Fuoco/Next Time the Fire"

1991

Third film with Quinn, "A Star for Two"

1989

Acted role of Madame Armfeldt in London production of "A Little Night Music"

1988

Played sweet, batty grandmother who keeps running away from the hospital in "Some Girls"

1984

Portrayed the Lady of Lyonesse in "Sword of the Valiant

1983

Reprised role as Madame Hortense in triumphant Broadway musical "Zorba!", winning both a Drama Desk Award and a Tony

1980

Starred in "Tell Me a Riddle" as an aging woman on her deathbed who reconciles with her husband (Melvyn Douglas) before dying after 40 unfulfilled years of marriage; film was Lee Grant's directing debut

1972

Played Madame Martine in NBC movie pilot "Cool Million", which preceded the series of the same name (Kedrova was not in the short-lived series, part of the NBC Wednesday Mystery Movie, along with "Banacek" and "Madigan")

1966

Registered as a daffy, but pitiable Polish refuge who assists Paul Newman and Julie Andrews in their escape to the West in Alfred Hitchcok's Cold War spy drama "Torn Curtain"

1965

Brought exotic flair to her part as a Tampico bawdy house madam and owner of Quinn's boat in "A High Wind in Jamaica"

1964

Won Supporting Actress Oscar as the dying French courtesan Madame Hortense in "Zorba the Greek", starring Anthony Quinn; was last minute replacement for actress Simone Signoret

1956

Portrayed Madame Pepita in Juan Antonio Bardem's "Calle Mayor", winner of the International Film Critics Prize at the Venice Film Festival

1953

Film debut, "Weg ohne Umkehr/No Way Back"

1932

Joined the Moscow Arts Theatre touring company

1928

Moved to France

Family left Russia for Germany

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