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Nazimova

Here’s another photograph from the May 7 1925 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

IMG_5949

Alla Nazimova (1879-1945) emigrated to the United States in 1905.  The Encyclopedia Britannica entry for her states that she became a U.S. citizen in 1927. Among other things, she was the godmother of future U.S. First Lady Nancy Reagan.

Her divorce turned out to be quite interesting: she wasn’t actually married in 1925. She had originally married Sergei Golovin, a Russian actor, in 1899, and the two divorced in 1923. On moving to the U.S., she pursued relationships with women, and pretended to be married to Charles Bryant as a cover. When Bryant married later in 1925, it was discovered that he and Nazimova were never married, which caused a scandal.

Ms. Nazimova also owned an estate on Sunset Boulevard named “The Garden of Alla”, and apparently hosted outlandish parties there. Financial setbacks forced her to convert her estate into a hotel in 1927; she then sold it and returned to Broadway. In 1938, she moved back to Hollywood and rented one of the villas of her former hotel, in which she lived until she passed away.

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