Pola Negri

Shop by the Stars aisle featuring Pola Negri (1897-1987) vintage movie cards, still photos, ephemera, and other collectibles.

Born Apolonia Chalupec in Poland, from where she rose from poverty to become a stylish Hollywood movie star by the 1920s. Young Apolonia was accepted into Warsaw's Imperial Ballet Academy, and while a bout of tuberculosis ended her dancing career, she emerged from the sanitarium with her health and her new name, Pola Negri. She was accepted into the Warsaw Imperial Academy of Dramatic Arts, and made her film debut in 1914, the year she graduated. She appeared in several Warsaw-made movies through 1917, when she took her talents to Germany, first for Saturn Films and then UFA. She worked for director Ernst Lubitsch on several German features including The Eyes of the Mummy (1918), Carmen (1918), and Madame DuBarry (1919), an international hit that scored in the US under the title of Passion. Negri became the first in a long line of European imports when Paramount signed her and brought her to the US in 1922. The jewel bedecked vamp became known as much for her life off-screen as on, most notably through her affair with Chaplin and very public relationship with Valentino until the time of his death in 1926. Meanwhile Negri appeared in titles including The Spanish Dancer (1923), Forbidden Paradise (1924), which reunited her with Lubitsch in the US for their eighth and final film together, A Woman of the World (1925), Hotel Imperial (1927), and The Way of Lost Souls (1929), her final silent film. Her first talkie was Forbidden Paradise (1932) for RKO, and then Negri returned to Europe, where she did a film in France before scoring with Mazurka (1935) in Germany. She signed with UFA again and appeared in a few German releases in 1937-38 while living in France, but fled after the Nazis invaded. Back in Hollywood she appeared in Hi Diddle Diddle (1943), but soon retired. She became a naturalized US citizen in 1951, and made one final film appearance in Disney's The Moon-Spinners (1964). Her auto-biography Memoirs of a Star was published in 1971. Negri had bought a home in San Antonio, TX in 1957, and that's where she died at the age of 90 in 1987.

Birthday: January 3

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