Nita Naldi

Publié le par Los Angeles Times

Actress - Born 1899 in New York, NY - Died Feb. 17, 1961 of heart attack in New York, NY

Nita Naldi

Nita Naldi was a raven-haired silent screen star whose large piercing eyes and feminine mystique were the source of magnetic allure, and detriment, to many male film characters. Often playing a man-eating seductress, Naldi captivated film audiences as the queen of vamp throughout the 1920s.

A convent was the unlikely beginning locale for the infamous seductress. Born Donna Dooley, the future icon of seduction grew up partly, at a Ft. Lee, N.J., convent where her great-aunt was Mother Superior. Reinventing herself, little Donna adopted a stage name, inspired by the name of schoolmate whose last name was Rinaldi, and left for Broadway.

The brunette bombshell was hand-picked from a chorus line in Morris Gest's "Aphrodite" (1919) by John Barrymore for the film "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1920). As Gina, a femme fatale to Mr. Hyde, Naldi was a smash. Screen roles in "Glimpses of the Moon," "You Can't Fool Your Wife," "Lawful Larceny" and "The Ten Commandments" followed.

But it was her pairing with Rudolph Valentino that made her an icon in the annals of silent screen couples. Her lusty turn as a femme fatale to Valentino in "Blood and Sand" (1922) was a match made in heathen heaven. Audiences loved the pairing, triggering demand for more films from the duo. "Sainted Devil" (1924) and "Cobra" (1925) followed.

One thought about Nita Naldi

“ " Nita was born Nonna Dooley in 1895. I was the first to write a biography on her which is in print in "Rudolph Valentino: A Wife's Memories of an Icon" ( She had a very interesting life and nothing agitates me more than how forgotten she is. I've gotten hits for 'Nita Negri' and most people seem to think she's Theda Bara. " ” — Hala, March 5, 2010 at 3:20 a.m.

— Times Staff Writers in the Los Angeles Times Feb. 18, 1961; Jan. 22, 2010.

Publié dans Articles de Presse

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