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March 10, 2024

The “Russian Tigress”: 40 Fabulous Photos of Olga Baclanova in the 1920s and ’30s

Born 1893 in Moscow, Russian actress Olga Baclanova found success in Hollywood films, as well as stage roles in the US and the United Kingdom, she was mainly billed as an exotic blonde temptress, who was given the title of the “Russian Tigress”.

Baclanova spent her early years in her native land appearing in silent films from 1914 until 1918, reducing her age by several years and changing the spelling of her surname Baklanova. She was often billed under her surname only, similar to her fellow countrywoman Nazimova.

Baclanova emigrated to the United States in 1925, and started appearing on stage and subsequently in Hollywood films, where she was celebrated for the Universal Pictures silent The Man Who Laughs as the evil Duchess Josiana and in Tod Browning’s cult-classic horror film Freaks (1932) at MGM, as scheming circus trapeze artist, Cleopatra.

After her retirement, Baclanova migrated to Switzerland. She died at a rest home in 1974 from lung cancer in Vevey, aged 81. Take a look at these fabulous photos to see portraits of a young Olga Baclanova in the 1920s and 1930s.


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