Bella Darvi

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Bella Darvi

Bella Darvi , actually Bajla Węgier (born October 23, 1928 in Sosnowiec , Poland , † September 10, 1971 in Monte Carlo , Monaco ), was a Polish actress.


The Polish Jewess was the daughter of the baker Chajm Węgier and his wife Chaja Zygelbaum, who moved from Poland to France in 1929 . During the Second World War she was arrested while driving from the Wehrmacht- occupied Paris to Vichy France and imprisoned in a Toulouse prison. Her brother was murdered in the concentration camp.

After the war, she led the life of a society girl on the French Riviera and in Paris, where she was finally discovered for Hollywood . In 1952 she moved to California and, after a brief relationship with Marlon Brando , shot the film Sinuhe the Egyptians in 1954 alongside Victor Mature , Peter Ustinov and Jean Simmons . She won the Golden Globe Award for Best Young Actress for both this role and the film Inferno , which came out in theaters that same year .

Her dissolute life kept causing the tabloids smaller and bigger upsets: difficulties with the US immigration authorities, love affairs with members of high society in France, Italy , Brazil , the brother of the Persian Shah, a lesbian tendency, a passion for the casino and that Gambling that repeatedly led to huge losses of money, a jealous public tussle with Juliette Gréco and a car accident. After accumulating high gambling debts and being caught attempting suicide several times, she was admitted to a clinic on the Riviera in the late 1960s. Even so, in 1971, at the age of 42, she committed suicide with the help of gas in Monte Carlo. Her body went undetected for over a week.

Filmography (selection)

  • 1954: Sinuhe the Egyptian (The Egyptian)
  • 1954: Inferno (Hell and high Water)
  • 1955: kisses, balls and channels (Je suis un sentimental)
  • 1955: The Favorite (The Racers)
  • 1956: A shadow on the roof (Je reviendrai à Kandara)
  • 1958: Night over Paris (Rafles sur la ville)
  • 1958: Greetings from the gorilla (Le gorille vous salue bien)
  • 1960: innocence in cross-examination (Il rossetto)
  • 1959: The shadow of Paris (Enigme aux Folies-Bergère)
  • 1969: Kasimir, I dread you (Le bourgeois gentil mec)
  • 1971: The precocious girls (Les petites filles modèles)


  • Kay Less : Between the stage and the barracks. Lexicon of persecuted theater, film and music artists from 1933 to 1945 . With a foreword by Paul Spiegel . Metropol, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-938690-10-9 , p. 89.

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