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January 31, 2022

Fabulous Photos of Alla Nazimova in the Early 20th Century

Born 1879 as Marem-Ides Leventon in Yalta, Crimea, Russian Empire, Russian-American actress, director, and producer Alla Nazimova was a major star in Moscow and Saint Petersburg by 1903. She made her Broadway debut in New York City in 1906 to critical and popular success.

On Broadway, she was noted for her work in the classic plays of Ibsen, Chekhov and Turgenev. She later moved on to film, where she served many production roles, both writing and directing films under pseudonyms. Her film Salome (1923) is regarded as a cultural landmark.

Nazimova was bisexual and openly conducted relationships with women while being married to a man. She created the Garden of Allah hotel, which became a retreat for many celebrities of the time. She is credited with having originated the phrase “sewing circle” as a discreet code for lesbian or bisexual actresses.

Nazimova died of a coronary thrombosis in 1945, age 66, in the Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles. Her contributions to the film industry have been recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. These fabulous photos captured portraits of Alla Nazimova in the early 20th century.


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