Baby from Germany

Here’s a photo from the October 6 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a couple of young actors with their baby.

Nils Asther (1897-1981) was a Swedish actor who was known as the male Greta Garbo. He appeared in movies opposite her in the 1920s, and the two actors often socialized. Asther was gay, but had to remain in the closet, as gay relationships were not legalized in Sweden until 1944. His marriage to Vivian Duncan was basically a marriage of convenience, and did not last long; the two quarrelled and became tabloid fodder, and they divorced in 1932.

Vivian Duncan (1897-1986) was one of the Duncan Sisters, a vaudeville duo that began performing together in 1911. Vivian and Rosetta Duncan created an act known as Topsy and Eva, with Rosetta playing the part of Topsy in blackface. Some footage of the Duncan Sisters is available on YouTube, including them performing “Baby Sister Blues” in 1923.

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