Sunday, January 9, 2011

Lili Damita

Lili Damita (July 10, 1904 – March 21, 1994) was a French actress who had appeared in 33 movies between 1922 and 1937. She was educated in convents and ballet schools in France, Spain and Portugal. At 14, she was enrolled as a dancer at the Opera de Paris.

She performed in several silent films before being offered her first leading role in, Das Spielzeug von Paris (1925) by director Michael Curtiz, whom she married in 1925 (they divorced a year later). She was an instant success, and Curtiz directed her in two more films: Fiaker Nr 13 (1926) and Der Goldene Schmetterling (1926). Damita also performed in, (Die Grosse Abenteuerin(1927), The Queen Was in the Parlour(1927).

In 1928, at the invitation of Samuel Goldwyn she went to Hollywood, making her American debut in a film titled, The Rescue. Her films include: The Cock-Eyed World (1929), the semi-silent, The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1929) and This Is the Night (1932). A comedy film directed by Frank Tuttle. It based on the play Pouche (1923) by Henri Falk and René Peter, and the English language adaptation, Naughty Cinderella (1925), written by Avery Hopwood. Cast: Lili Damita, Charles Ruggles, Roland Young, Thelma Todd, Cary Grant, and Irving Bacon. It was a remake of the 1926 film, Good and Naughty with Pola Negri. This is Cary Grant's first motion picture.

The story begins...While having a night of fun in Paris with her lover, Gerald Gray. Claire Mathewson loses her skirt in a limousine door, arriving home only in her slip, Claire is met by her husband Stephen, a javelin thrower who is supposed to be in Los Angeles for the Olympics. Gerald and Claire insist the trip was to find Gerald a wife. Stephen, hires the down on her luck Germaine, as Chou-Chou, a glamorous actress. After watching them together, Claire becomes jealous, demanding that Germaine leave Venice. Germaine, refuses to give up her wonderful vacation.

This Is The Night, the first of the Screwball comedies that Cary Grant becomes famous for later on. The humor is wonderful and Cary is very funny in this film. It may remind you a little of the silent film format.

In 1935 she married her second husband, Errol Flynn, with whom she had a son, Sean Leslie Flynn (born 1941). Following the marriage, she retired from the screen. The couple divorced in 1942. (Barbara Hershey portrayed her in the TV film My Wicked, Wicked Ways (1985) based on Errol Flynn's biography.)


  1. I'm new to your blog. Loving the stories you are posting.

  2. I remember This iis the Night with her and Cary. I definitely want to see more of her films. Great post Dawn.

  3. Robin@DecoratingTennisGirl, Welcome and Thank you. There are 3 of us who share posts here on N and CF.

    Monty, Thank you.


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