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Vera Kholodnaya

Legendary idol of the Russian cinema, Vera Kholodnaya, (also romanized as Vera Kholodnaia and Vira Kholodna) seems to be almost more famous in death than in life. Her only film available in the United States is a one in which she plays an atypical bad-girl role. She is a small, intense woman with dramatic grey eyes and a mop of black hair, and she commands the eye whenever she comes into a scene. She is most associated with the films of early director Evgenii Bauer, whose death in 1917 robbed the Russian cinema of one of its great talents. She herself died in the Spanish Influenza epidemic in 1919, and her Odessa funeral was filmed for posterity. Ironically, this seems to be her best known film. She is the subject of the 1992 documentary film Island of the Dead (Ostrov Myortvykh) by Oleg Kovalov.

On the Web

Bio and filmography from KinoTV.com (in German)

Bio and filmography from Sovetskii Ekran (in Russian)

The (very incomplete) Internet Movie Database filmography

Silent Films Available on Video

Zhizn' za zhizn' (A Life for a Life) (1916) and Funeral of Vera Kholodnaia in "High Society" (Early Russian Cinema v. 9)
Formerly available from Milestone Film and Video

Molchi, Grust ... Molchi
Available on YouTube (Part 1) -- search the title for parts 2-5

Further Reading

Vera Kholodna´i`a: k 100-leti´i`u so dn´i`a pozhdeni´i`a . Moscow: Iskusstvo, 1995.

Vera Kholodna´i`a: Ocherk zhizni i tvorchestva: kniga-al'bom. Moscow: Iskusstvo, 1995.

Unsung Divas

©2001, by Greta de Groat. All Rights Reserved

Last revised November 27, 2008