Pola Negri

Actress + Singer + Memorist
Born Dec 31, 1899

Pola Negri was a Polish stage and film actress who achieved worldwide fame during the Silent and Golden Eras of Hollywood and European film for her tragedienne and femme fatale roles. She was the first European film star to be invited to Hollywood, and become one of the most popular actresses in American silent film. She also started several important women's fashion trends that are still staples of the women's fashion industry.… Read More

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1897 Birth Negri was born Apolonia Chalupec on 3 January 1897 in Lipno, Congress Poland, Russian Empire (present-day Lipno, Poland), the only surviving child (of three) of a Polish mother, Eleonora Kiełczewska (died 24 August 1954), who, according to Negri, came from impoverished Polish nobility, and Juraj Chalupec (died 1920), an itinerant Romani-Slovakian tinsmith from Nesluša. … Read More


1912 15 Years Old She made her theatrical debut before her graduation at The Small Theatre in Warsaw on 2 October 1912.
1913 16 Years Old She made her stage debut in 1913 in Gerhardt Hauptmann's Hannele in Warsaw and appeared the following year in her first film, Niewolnica zmysłów.
1914 17 Years Old 1 More Event
She continued to perform there while finishing her studies at the Academy, graduating in 1914. … Read More


1917 - 1918 2 More Events
1919 22 Years Old 1 More Event
…  Paramount Pictures mogul Jesse Lasky saw the premiere of Madame DuBarry in Berlin in 1919, and Paramount invited Negri to come to Hollywood in 1921.
1922 25 Years Old 1 More Event
She signed a contract with Paramount and arrived in New York in a flurry of publicity on 12 September 1922. … Read More
1925 28 Years Old …  By 1925, Negri's on-screen continental opulence was starting to wear thin with some segments of the American audience, a situation parodied in the Mal St. Clair-directed comedy, A Woman of the World (1925), in which Negri starred. … Read More
1926 29 Years Old She caused a media sensation at his New York funeral on 24 August 1926, at which she "fainted" several times, and, according to actor Ben Lyon, arranged for a large floral arrangement, which spelled out "P-O-L-A", to be placed on Valentino's coffin. … Read More


1927 30 Years Old Negri and Mdivani were married on 14 May 1927 (less than nine months after Valentino's death); shortly after she became pregnant, and Negri, who always wanted a child, started taking better care of her health and even considered retiring from movies in order to be a housewife and mother. However, she reportedly suffered a miscarriage. She grieved the loss of her child for the rest of her life. On 2 April 1931 they divorced. … Read More
In 1928, Negri made her last film for Paramount Pictures, The Woman From Moscow, opposite Norman Kerry. … Read More
1929 32 Years Old The resulting film, The Way of Lost Souls (also known as The Woman He Scorned), was released in 1929; it would be Negri's final silent film.
1931 34 Years Old Negri returned to Hollywood in 1931 to begin filming her first talking film, A Woman Commands (1932). … Read More


1937 40 Years Old …  Mazurka gained much popularity in Germany and abroad, and became one of Adolf Hitler's favorite films, a fact that, along with her admiring comments about the efficiency of the German film industry, gave birth to a rumor in 1937 of Negri having had an affair with Hitler. … Read More
1943 46 Years Old She was hired in a supporting role as the temperamental opera singer Genya Smetana for the 1943 comedy Hi Diddle Diddle. … Read More
1944 47 Years Old In 1944, Negri was engaged by booking agent Miles Ingalls for a nationwide vaudeville tour.
1945 48 Years Old According to her autobiography, she also appeared in a Boston supper club engagement in 1945 for a repertoire centered around the song "Paradise", and retired from the entertainment business altogether.


1948 51 Years Old In 1948, director Billy Wilder approached Negri to appear as Norma Desmond in the film Sunset Boulevard (1950), after Mae Murray, Mae West, and Mary Pickford declined the role. … Read More
1954 57 Years Old Negri was interred in Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles next to her mother, Eleonora, who died in 1954 from pancreatic cancer. … Read More


1963 - 1964 2 More Events
1970 73 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1970 she published her autobiography, Memoirs of a Star, which was published by Doubleday.
1972 75 Years Old Negri was a guest of honor at the 1972 screening of Carmen held at the Witte Museum in San Antonio.
1975 78 Years Old In 1975, director Vincente Minnelli approached Negri to appear as the Contessa Sanziani in A Matter of Time, but Negri was unable to accept due to poor health.
1978 81 Years Old In 1978, Billy Wilder directed Fedora, and, although Negri does not appear in the film, the title character was reportedly based largely on her.
1980 83 Years Old Her final high-profile coverage in her lifetime was for a "Where Are They Now?" feature on silent film stars, which appeared in Life magazine in 1980. … Read More
1987 91 Years Old Pola Negri died on 1 August 1987, aged 90. … Read More
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