In 1936, she played the part of Nedda in the British film version of 'Pagliacci', starring Richard Tauber.
More DetailsHide DetailsThe films in which she played lead roles such as Panama Lady (1939) with Lucille Ball, were popular but did not make her a major star. Her best remembered films are arguably some of those in which she played key supporting roles, such as Anthony Adverse (1936) and Waterloo Bridge (1940). In Anthony Adverse Duna performed as a halfcaste in the African sequence.
Duna was married first to the actor John Carroll. The two performed together in Hi, Gaucho (1935). They had a daughter named Juliena Lefaye.
When she first came to Hollywood in 1932, Duna could not speak a word of English.
More DetailsHide DetailsShe made up her mind to learn quickly. Directors advised her to stay away from her Hungarian friends to speed up her learning of English. Within a few years she could speak six different languages.
During the 1930s Duna played a variety of nationalities. However, despite her European background, she was often cast as fiery Latin femme fatales in films that made full use of her exotic and glamorous persona, such as La Cucaracha (1934) the first live-action short film made in three-strip Technicolor.
She made her film debut in The Indiscretions of Eve (1932) in the starring role (along with Jessica Tandy also making her debut). Signed by RKO Radio Pictures, Duna played Guninana, the Eskimo wife of Francis Lederer, in Man of Two Worlds (1934). Also Czech, Lederer had performed with Duna in the Berlin, Germany presentation of Die Wunderbar.
In 1932, she appeared on the London stage in the Revue Words and Music by Noël Coward, being one of the four actresses to create the song Mad about the Boy.
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