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Olga Baclanova
Born Olga Vladimirovna Baklanova
August 19, 1900(1900-08-19)
Moscow, Russia
Died September 6, 1974 (aged 74)
Vevey, Switzerland
Other name(s) Baclanova
Olga Baklanova
Occupation Actress
Years active 1914–1943
Spouse(s) Vlademar Zoppi (1922–1929) 1 child
Nicholas Soussanin (1929–1939) 1 child
Richard Davis (1939 – ?)

Olga Vladimirovna Baclanova, or Baklanova, (19 August 1896 or 1900 – 6 September 1974[1][2]) was a Russian-born actress, who achieved prominence during the silent film era.

Born in Moscow, Russia,[2] Baclanova was the daughter of Vladimir Baklanoff and his wife Alexandra,[2] herself an actress in early Russian films. Baclanova studied drama at the Cherniavsky Institute[2] before being accepted into the prestigious Moscow Art Theatre in 1912. Over the next decade she appeared in Russian films, and also performed extensively on stage, touring and performing in many countries of the world.

After a 1925 performance in New York she decided to follow a life and career in the United States when the company returned to Moscow in 1926.[2] A statuesque blonde, Baclanova quickly established herself as a popular actress in American silent movies and achieved a notable success with The Docks of New York (1928) directed by Josef von Sternberg. Later that same year, she appeared in The Man Who Laughs.[3]

The introduction of talking films proved difficult for Baclanova, as audiences did not respond to her heavy Russian accent. She no longer secured leading roles, and was relegated to supporting parts. Her career was in decline when she was offered the role of the cruel circus performer Cleopatra in the Tod Browning-directed film Freaks[3] (1932) a horror movie by the director of Dracula that featured actual carnival freaks (pinheads, etc.). The film was highly controversial, and screened only briefly before being withdrawn and suppressed. It would be thirty years before Freaks gained a cult following. The movie did not revive Baclanova's film career, which ended in 1943.

Baclanova worked extensively on stage in London's West End and in New York, for about ten years starting in the mid 1930s.

After her retirement she settled in Vevey, Switzerland, where she died after several years of poor health.

Selected filmography


External links



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