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Famous Like Me > Actress > N > Alla Nazimova

Profile of Alla Nazimova on Famous Like Me

Name: Alla Nazimova  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 22nd May 1879
Place of Birth: Yalta, Crimea, Russia (now Ukraine)
Profession: Actress
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Alla Nazimova, (May 22, 1879 - July 13, 1945), was a Ukrainian born stage and film actress, scriptwriter, and producer.

Alla Nazimova

Born Mariam Edez Adelaida Leventon, into a Jewish family in Yalta in the Crimea which at the time was a part of Russia but today is within the independent nation of Ukraine. She grew up in a very dysfunctional family and was shuffled between foster homes and relatives. Her emotional distress caused her to rebel against authority as a way to gain attention but nonetheless, she was a talented child who was playing the violin by age seven. As a teenager she began to pursue an interest in the theatre and took acting lessons before joining a theater company in Moscow.

Under the stage name, Alla Nazimova, her career blossomed and she married a fellow actor but it did not last long. She toured Europe as well the United States where her first Broadway performances in 1906 drew critical acclaim. Deciding to make the USA her home, she worked on stage until she made her silent film debut in 1916. Over the next few years she made a number of highly successful films that earned her a considerable amount of money. She became widely gossiped about for the outlandish and allegedly debauched parties in her large mansion on Sunset Boulevard known as the Garden of Allah. Her studio squelched the stories surfacing about her bisexual lifestyle and to cover it up, for more than a dozen years she lived in a partnership of mutual convenience with a gay actor of the day, Charles Bryant. A friend of actress Edith Luckett and her very conservative husband, Dr. Loyal Davis, Nazimova was made godmother to Luckett's daughter by her previous marriage, former first lady Nancy Reagan in 1921.

In 1918, at age 39, Nazimova felt confident enough in her abilities that she began producing and writing films in which she also starred. Daring for the times, in her adaptations of works by such notable playwrights as Oscar Wilde or Henrik Ibsen she instituted her own ideas for filmmaking. However, her creativity did not meet consumer tastes and the films lost a great deal of money. By 1925 she no longer could afford to invest in more films and financial backers withdrew their support. With little choice, she gave up on the film industry, returning to perform on Broadway until the early 1940s when she appeared in a few more films, ostensibly in need of money.

Alla Nazimova survived breast cancer but died of a coronary thrombosis at the age of 66 in 1945 in Los Angeles, and was interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

Her contribution to the film industry has been recognized through a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Alla Nazimova