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Pola Negri

Updated on August 31, 2016

An actress from the past with a History of Mystery...Pola Negri

Pola Negri a silent film star...I'm writing about her because I have an old photograph with her and my dad (see below) on a movie set of the Wildcat "Die Bergkatze" (the mountain cat/lion)

My dad knew Pola and did some promotional photographs of her, traveling even to Hungary to photograph her. Dad lived and had studios in Berlin, Dresden and in Garmisch, these are the places he would see her, and that's were the story of the photo connection came in.

If I had known she was still alive and living in obscurity in San Antonio, Texas I would have tried contacting her...I feel sad about that.

When I got my first computer around 2000, I looked up Pola Negri, unfortunately there was not much written about her then...the only thing I found about her were the European Movie Cards with credits of her movies.

When I was working on "My life story in a suitcase" lens, I looked her up again to find credit to the photo I was displaying, and to my surprise I found a great deal about her. One website in particular that had me excited was The Pola Negri Appreciation Site this is where I actually found the name of the film she was in, recognizing the costume, I knew immediately.

I'm exited to have received a copy of this movie, courtesy David Gasten...Thank You!

Image from:

My Dad on the movie set with - Pola Negri

Pola Negri and dad on the Movie set Die Bergkatze (The Wildcat)
Pola Negri and dad on the Movie set Die Bergkatze (The Wildcat) | Source

I have had this photograph for dad (Baron Alexander von Meyer) standing with his hands in his pockets on the far left.

As I mentioned before, I always wondered what movie this was, mom thought the photo was done in Hungary...after learning the name and history of the movie Die Bergkatze I found out more facts. I learned these scenes were actually shot in Garmisch, Bavaria...the town we lived in after the war and before coming to America. I'm sure this was when dad visited his friend Hans Stuck in Garmisch before he got married.

Photo from the Movie Bergkatze/Wildcat - as mentioned above

Die Bergkatze/The Wildcat
Die Bergkatze/The Wildcat

(Photo courtesy Kino International and David Gasten

Another photo of Wildcat scene

"Wildcat" Pola Negri
"Wildcat" Pola Negri

(photo credit Kino Video and David Gasten)

Great Stuff about Pola Negri - Books in particular

Even on Amazon you can find awesome things about Pola Negri. That is so great because a long time ago you could not easily find info on her.

In a Movie Star magazine

Motion Picture Poster of - Pola Negri

Who is Pola Negri?

she was a Polish born actress..

A young star that began in the silent movie era, born with the name Barbara Apolonia, this according to her birth records and information written about her in the past. Pola was born in Lipno Poland Jan 3, 1897, into a poor working family, moving in 1902 to Warsaw where Pola trained as a Ballet student.

At that time she contracted TB and her dancing ceased. She then moved to Berlin, Germany in 1917 and became involved in the movie industry, appearing in several films. She became a successful movie actress and caught the eye of Hollywood, where she then move to.

However when the sound movies became popular, her voice was not suited because of her heavy accent...disenchanted she left Hollywood

During the 1920s her a reputation of having had affairs with notable movie actors became public. Such film actors as Charlie Chaplin and the famed Rudolph Valentino. After Valentino's death she caused a scandal with her announcement that she was to have been married to him, but to her chagrin there where others disclaiming this..

Her fame escalated her into wealth and notably one of the riches actresses of that time. Her famed home was modeled after the White House.

Negri had been married a couple of times, one being Eugeniusz Dbski who she divorced, and then to Serge Mdivani who she was divorced from as well..

The 1929 crash took most of her fortune and she returned to Europe. Her controversial stance in 1930 of movies made by Germany of anti-Polish subjects, she gave into only making a few more movies.

In 1935 her movie Mazurka became Adolf Hitler's favorite movie, bringing about a rumor that she had an affair with Hitler...this was disproved, and even suing the magazine that issued the statement.

1938 she fled Germany from the Nazi's having been labeled as part Jewish. Her next step was to move to France, then to Portugal and subsequently to New York.

She made several more movies until her popularity waned. She became an American citizen in 1951 and lived her life out in San Antonio Texas till her death in August 1, 1987.

Memoirs of a star
Memoirs of a star

Pola Negri may not be a household name today, but at one time Ms. Negri was one of the darlings of the film industry coming to America in September 1922 after becoming a popular film and stage actress in Europe. She was considered a member of the foreign legion who were actors that moved abroad to be in American pictures. Her first American contract was signed to Famous Players, a Hollywood studio which later became Paramount. Courted and solicited by directors and producers during the silent film era which emerged through the Roaring Twenties, Ms. Negri continued to be in demand through the 1930's when film first came with voice called Talkies then. She was a part of the early stages of the film industry and her autobiography, "Memoirs of a Star" chronicles her journey from the slums of Warsaw, Poland to the palatial estates of Beverly Hills to a king-size chateau in the south of France, all abodes that were once homes to Pola Negri


When I lived in California I found this photo in a Movie Star magazine Movie Mirror, saving it because this was the only time I had ever seen her name since I knew of her. This issue had to have been in the early 1970s as she did not pass till 1987.

It states in the article: One of the Golden Era of Motion Pictures' greatest female stars is critically ill and doctors fear it may be impossible to save her. Which now explains why she didn't do the Broadway play.

Painting by Tade Styka

When I was researching for images on Pola Negri, I came across this beautiful painting by Tade Styka. The shear beauty of this image is an artist I truly admired his style.

Movie in German "Wildcat"

The Cheat - Lobby Card - This card can be yours at Live

the cheat lobby card
the cheat lobby card

Hotel Imperial - movie poster by artist Batiste Madalena

Hotel Imperial
Hotel Imperial

Batiste Madalena (American, born Italy, 1902 - 1988) hand painted this for the film Hotel Imperial in 1927..

It was on exhibition at MoMA in 2009...

Pola Negri site
Pola Negri site


The Ladies of the German Cinema DVD features the rare Pola Negri silent Sappho (1921). David Gasten, webmaster of, was closely involved with the DVD's production, and it broke a sales record for best initial sales of any DVD released by Grapevine Video.

Have you ever heard of Pola Negri? - will you remember her now?

Pola Negri signed photo
Pola Negri signed photo

I love watching old movies, anything before 1950. Maybe you know some of these silent film stars..

See results

Music Sheet

Pola Negri Music sheet
Pola Negri Music sheet

Created 04/05/2010

I'm happy to share this tidbit about Pola Negri and the Links that are associated...check them out!

Let me know...have you ever heard of Pola Negri the Vamp?

Mazurka 1935

The POLA NEGRI Appreciation Site

This website is the most authorative website on information regarding Pola Negri...check it out!

The Pola Negri Appreciation Site

author David Gasten

A fan of Silent Film Stars or just old Movie Stars in general? - share with me your thoughts

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    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 16 months ago

      Hello Marvyn, If you go back to that painting, you'll find underneath I mentioned the artist's name... click Tade Styka it will take you to his website and there he sells the poster (it's in Poland) Thanks for the visit here...

    • profile image

      Marvyn Fitzpatrick 16 months ago

      Where can I obtain a print of the Pola Negri portrait done by Tade Styke?

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Pola Negri is someone I only knew from your hub but I like what you have written of her. You are so lucky to have that personal connection to persons in history. Such a wealth of information.

    • profile image

      MarcellaCarlton 3 years ago

      Yes, and I've heard of all the other stars mentioned, too! I'm older than dirt and I couldn't care less. This was a very interesting lens.

    • profile image

      tonyleather 4 years ago

      What a fascinating lens about a very interesting woman! Thanks!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 4 years ago from Fresno CA

      Della, I never heard of Pola before. Funny thing is I am like you and love the old movies, silent movies. I have several of Charlie Chaplin's movies and a number of Bette Davis too. Now I will be on the look-out for Pola Negri. Thanks for all the great info. The video clips were great too.

    • BlogsWriter profile image

      BlogsWriter 5 years ago

      I love Pola Negri in the vintage posters, she looks lovely and has the charms that can captivate anybody.

    • Deborah Swain profile image

      Deborah Swain 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

      I often find Pola Negri vintage postcards in on market stalls here in I know who she is!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Yes, I'm a big fan of silent movies and was aware of her. Love the painting by Tade Styka!

    • CoeGurl profile image

      CoeGurl 5 years ago from USA

      Well done and an interesting read. It's fascinating that your dad knew Pola Negri! I've added this lens to my "Pickfair" related lenses.

    • Rosaquid profile image

      Rosaquid 5 years ago

      Congratulations on your well-earned Purple Star!

    • Mami Design profile image

      Mami Design 5 years ago

      Amazing lens! :)

    • Rosaquid profile image

      Rosaquid 5 years ago

      This is a beautiful lens. Thanks for sharing your dad and Pola Negri with us.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      Sometimes I am feeling old like dirt too, but this dirt is noble... Pola Negri is my hero!

    • Richardryder profile image

      Risteard O'Marcahain 6 years ago from Wales

      Wonderful - Maybe see you at the Campfire lens sometime

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 6 years ago

      Joining other angels in *blessing* this one, couldn't resist, what a fascinating story, and the pictures are all so beautiful. Your artistic eye comes through in your pages.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 6 years ago

      squidangel *blessings* in memory of pola negri.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 6 years ago

      Love the old stars! Soo much glam and gorgeous clothes. Angel blessed lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I see my blessing has worn off here, I enjoyed another visit and especially that picture of Pola with your Dad once again....spreading fresh angel dust as I go.....

    • profile image

      jeremykim2011 6 years ago

      Thank you for enriching my knowledge about her.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 6 years ago

      i am familiar with lilian gish, mary pickford and of course, pola negri.

    • profile image

      WeirdStuff 6 years ago

      I Love her signing Tango Noturno!

    • EMangl profile image

      EMangl 6 years ago

      my grandmother was a big fan, that's why i knew a few things about her already

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 6 years ago

      I've heard of Pola Negri, but did not know much about her. What a wonderful job you've done showcasing her career here. My husband and I watched a silent movie on AMC a few nights ago. You really have to pay attention -- and it was nearly 90 minutes long!

    • laki2lav profile image

      laki2lav 6 years ago

      such a cool lens. it's really nice to see history. most kids don't even know anything about silent film and how far it all goes.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      You have taken care of all these old historical photos and the memories which is amazing.

    • viscri8 profile image

      viscri8 6 years ago

      I like Pola Negri too!

    • sushilkin lm profile image

      sushilkin lm 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing about Pola Negri and the Links! Nice Lens

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      @Redneck Lady Luck: Yes, I was born a Baroness, but don't use the title anymore, it means nothing in this country...I talk about this on my Family Crest lens

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      Wow you lead the most fascinating life. And if your dad is a Baron - does this mean that you are a Baroness?

    • confetta lm profile image

      Confetta Ras 6 years ago


    • jvsper63 profile image

      jvsper63 6 years ago

      I think you did a great job giving tribute to Pola Negri. I think the lens looks great and you have such good content. Very well done in my opinion..

    • howtocurecancer profile image

      howtocurecancer 6 years ago

      A mysterious woman.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hello, I am a personal friend of MaxReily. Today I read your comments on her lens about Valentino and decided to check out your lens about Pola Negri. What wonderful information you supplied! I think it is thrilling that there is someone still around with such a close connection to this silent film star. I really enjoyed the recording of her singing that you put on your lens and the two photographs of her in later years -- very rare!


      Landon W. Holly

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      @anonymous: I did not know that she was in the Moonspinners...I will have to check it out again...Thanks for the tidbit and visiting my lens! I was impressed with your Purple Star lens on Valentino.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Beautiful lens! I first heard of Pola Negri in the early 90s when doing research on Valentino. You've done a wonderful job with this lens! Of course, I knew all of the silent film actresses in the poll, so I guess I'm older than dirt, too! (Or just a huge fan of silent movies) Did you know that Pola appeared in a Walt Disney movie in her older years? The Moonspinners--I watched it as a teenager, never having heard of Pola Negri, but after I knew who she was, decades later, I got it and watched it again. I think it may have been her last film.Thanks for your kind words and the lensroll on my Valentino lens.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      Ah, I do remember this talented film star -- thanks for putting the spotlight on HER, my dear!

    • profile image

      WeirdStuff 7 years ago

      Thanks for reminding. It's difficult to stumple upon her movies today

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I appreciate Your work. Very nice and excellent site about Pola Negri. I couldn't find photos of the older Pola Negri until I got I in Your site.

    • profile image

      TedStrutz 7 years ago

      Thanks for the Pola Negri tutorial! Your love is showing... and it's a wonderful thing. So nice to read a personal connection and recollection. Love the Hotel Imperial poster. I'm going to have to look for your 'suitcase'...

    • confetta lm profile image

      Confetta Ras 7 years ago




    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 7 years ago from USA

      This is a beautiful tribute to a silent star. The silent films are some of my favorites, and the list of actresses mentioned above are names I recognize. (I guess that makes me older than dirt, too.)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I remember all of the actresses above. This is a perfect example of how fleeting fame is. I am a fan of movies, silent, talkies, up to the 1960s. Today I am surprised that people know so little about this that and the other, and yet everyone wants to be famous, not an actor, doctor, writer, just famous. I will lensroll this to my Lux Radio Theater Lens. Thank you for this lens.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Great lens on one of the great stars of the Silent Screen. You have so many great stories to tell of your younger days and those of your family.

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 7 years ago from London

      Hi Delia, back from a long absence and dropping in to say hallo and that I enjoyed this lens greatly

    • profile image

      Marijoyce 7 years ago

      I don't know a lot about silent movies but a friend and I were just talking about them. I'm going to send her a link to your lens. This is really interesting and Pola Negri was absolutely beautiful. Great lens.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 7 years ago

      Love silent film stars and the stories of their lives, but had not heard of Pola Negri. To me, this was a fascinating time in history. Thanks for adding to my knowledge.

    • Blonde Blythe profile image

      Blonde Blythe 7 years ago from U.S.A.

      I'm a big silent cinema buff, so I've known about Pola for quite a while. I often purchase silent movies from So sad to know that 90% of the silents are lost forever.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 7 years ago

      @Bendthelimits: Hi Bendthelimits, why not enter the drawing for a FREE movie!!!

    • profile image

      Bendthelimits 7 years ago

      I had never heard of her, but I am interested in old movies and movie starts. Sounds like your dad had an interesting life.

    • brandonmotz lm profile image

      brandonmotz lm 7 years ago

      I can't say that I have heard of this lady before but this is a great biography. The look that Pola Negri had in her eyes when that man says "We don't want loose women from other towns here" is absolutely priceless. Awesome lens.

    • Kyecerulian profile image

      Kyecerulian 7 years ago

      Amazing photos. A very educational slice of history here. I'm glad you were finally able to find the details of the movie related to your photo!

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 7 years ago

      Haven't heard of her before, but your lens is so interesting, as well as all the photos. Another great lens!

    • Susan1 LM profile image

      Susan1 LM 7 years ago

      Wow this is wonderful. Thanks for teaching us everything we wanted to know about Pola Negri.

    • davidgasten profile image

      davidgasten 7 years ago

      Delia, this is FABULOUS! Very typical quirky bric-a-brac Squidoo style. There's a number of these things I haven't seen, but the still with your dad in it is the real treasure, that's for sure.

      Thank you for the mentions and links to POLANGERI.COM, by the way, and I'm elated that Pola has even more of a presence on the Web with this new Squidoo lens.

      --David Gasten

      Webmaster, POLANEGRI.COM

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Pola is not someone I heard of before, but I'm glad that you shared about her and the picture of her with you Dad. That's pretty darn cool. ~ BTW, I've been thinking that you are the prettiest woman lensmaster I have seen on Squidoo, with a big beautiful heart of gold! ~ Nostalgic lens. Blessings....

    • confetta lm profile image

      Confetta Ras 7 years ago


      So Happy YOU made this lens - otherwise it would have been up to me! You did an excellent job - 5 Stars - Favorited and les-rolled GaLoRE!!!


    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      This is wonderful, how have I missed it? I had hear the name Pola Negri but learned so much more about her here. What a fantastic photo of your father with her. This was truly the golden age of cinema.

    • profile image

      Cynergy_Diva 7 years ago

      I had never actually heard of Pola Negri until now. Very interesting. Just a tiny spelling correction: I believe Lillian spells her last name Gish