Vera Zorina

Dancer, Actor, Operatic director
This classically trained dancer achieved success onstage in the 1930s before making a handful of Hollywood films. Vera Zorina (nee Eva Brigitta Hartwig) began her professional career as a child dancing in Norway. She ... Read more »
Born: 01/02/1917 in Berlin, DE

Filmography

Actor (3)

Star Spangled Rhythm 1941 (Movie)

Vera Zorina- 'That Old Black Magic' Number (Actor)

Louisiana Purchase 1940 (Movie)

(Actor)

I Was an Adventuress (Movie)

Countess Tanya Vronsky (Actor)

Biography

This classically trained dancer achieved success onstage in the 1930s before making a handful of Hollywood films. Vera Zorina (nee Eva Brigitta Hartwig) began her professional career as a child dancing in Norway. She also appeared in Max Reinhardt's stage production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" before concentrating on her ballet career. Zorina starred as a ballerina in the London production of "On Your Toes" and in 1938 married the show's choreographer George Balanchine. He in turn had successfully guided her in several carefully packaged theatrical showcases before the two of them went to Hollywood for "The Goldwyn Follies" later that year. A leggy, talented dancer and an appropriate vehicle for many of Balanchine's modern-dance innovations, the strong-featured Zorina was a very limited actress who never achieved substantial success in films. In retrospect, her most enjoyable film--and performance--was in the unjustly overlooked tale of cross and double-cross among thieves, "I Was an Adventuress" (1940), in which she was brilliantly supported by Erich von Stroheim and Peter Lorre. She found success on stage in such shows as "I Married an Angel" and as Ariel in Margaret Webster's staging of "The Tempest." In her later years, Zorina enjoyed success appearing as a narrator with opera companies and, with her second husband Goddard Lieberson, as a record producer.

Relationships

Father
German

Mother
Norwegian

George Balanchine

Husband
married on December 24, 1938 divorced in 1946

Peter Leiberson

Son
born c. 1947

Goddard Lieberson

Husband
president of Columbia Records married April 3, 1946 until his death from cancer on May 29, 1977 at age 66

Jonathan Lieberson

Son
born c. 1949

Leonard Massine

Companion
became romantically involved after appearing together in the Ballet Russe

Milestones

1978

Became music consultant and album producer at Columbia Records

1976

Became managing director of Norwegian Opera

1947

Debut as a narrator

1944

Acted the role of Ariel in Margaret Webster's stage production of "The Tempest"

1940

Recreated stage role in film version of "Louisiana Purchase"

1938

First starring Broadway role in "I Married an Angel"

1938

Signed by Samuel Goldwyn to perform in "Goldwyn Follies"

1933

Joined Ballet Russe

1923

Made professional dance debut at age 6 in Norway

Starred in the London production of "On Your Toes"

Acted in Max Reinhardt's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

Fired from "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and replaced by Ingrid Bergman

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