Biography

From Wikipedia

Ólga Vladímirovna Baclanova (19 August 1893 – 6 September 1974) was a Russian-born actress and operatic singer, who achieved prominence during the silent film era and was often billed under her last name only, as Baclanova, similarly to the surname-only nomenclature assigned to fellow countryman Nazimova.

She was billed as the "Russian Tigress" and remains most noted by modern audiences for portraying Cleopatra in Tod Browning's horror movie Freaks (1932), which features a cast of actual carnival sideshow freaks.

Baclanova first came to New York City with the 1925 touring production of the Moscow Art Theatre's Lysistrata. Though the rest of the company returned to Russia in 1926, she stayed to pursue a career in the United States. A statuesque blonde, Baclanova quickly established herself as a popular actress in American silent movies and achieved a notable success with The Docks of New York (1928), directed by Josef von Sternberg. Later that year, she also appeared in The Man Who Laughs as Duchess Josiana, the femme fatale love interest to Conrad Veidt's disfigured hero.

The introduction of talking films proved difficult for Baclanova, as audiences did not respond to her heavy Russian accent. She no longer secured leading roles, and was relegated to supporting parts. Her career was in decline when she was offered the role of the cruel circus performer Cleopatra in Tod Browning's film Freaks (1932). This horror movie, which featured actual carnival freaks, was highly controversial and screened only briefly before being withdrawn. It would be 30 years before Freaks gained a cult following. The movie did not revive Baclanova's film career, which ended in 1943.

Baclanova worked extensively on stage in London's West End and in New York, for about 10 years starting in the mid-1930s. In 1943 she appeared in "Claudia" at the Moore Theatre in Seattle, Washington.

Baclanova was married three times and bore two sons with her first and second husbands. The birth of her second son with actor Nicholas Soussanin was front page news and covered quite extensively in the press in 1930.

After her retirement she settled in Vevey, Switzerland, where she died in 1974.

From Wikipedia

Ólga Vladímirovna Baclanova (19 August 1893 – 6 September 1974) was a Russian-born actress and operatic singer, who achieved prominence during the silent film era and was often billed under her last name only, as Baclanova, similarly to the surname-only nomenclature assigned to fellow countryman Nazimova.

She was billed as the "Russian Tigress" and remains most noted by modern audiences for portraying Cleopatra in Tod Browning's horror movie Freaks (1932), which features a cast of actual carnival sideshow freaks.

Baclanova first came to New York City with the 1925 touring production of the Moscow Art Theatre's Lysistrata. Though the rest of the company returned to Russia in 1926, she stayed to pursue a career in the United States. A statuesque blonde, Baclanova quickly established herself as a popular actress in American silent movies and achieved a notable success with The Docks of New York (1928), directed by Josef von Sternberg. Later that year, she also appeared in The Man Who Laughs as Duchess Josiana, the femme fatale love interest to Conrad Veidt's disfigured hero.

The introduction of talking films proved difficult for Baclanova, as audiences did not respond to her heavy Russian accent. She no longer secured leading roles, and was relegated to supporting parts. Her career was in decline when she was offered the role of the cruel circus performer Cleopatra in Tod Browning's film Freaks (1932). This horror movie, which featured actual carnival freaks, was highly controversial and screened only briefly before being withdrawn. It would be 30 years before Freaks gained a cult following. The movie did not revive Baclanova's film career, which ended in 1943.

Baclanova worked extensively on stage in London's West End and in New York, for about 10 years starting in the mid-1930s. In 1943 she appeared in "Claudia" at the Moore Theatre in Seattle, Washington.

Baclanova was married three times and bore two sons with her first and second husbands. The birth of her second son with actor Nicholas Soussanin was front page news and covered quite extensively in the press in 1930.

After her retirement she settled in Vevey, Switzerland, where she died in 1974.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Female

Known Credits 20

Birthday 1893-08-19

Day of Death 1974-09-06

Place of Birth Moscow, Russian Empire [now Russia]

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Olga Baklanova
  • Baclanova

Acting TV ShowsMovies

Schlitzie: One of Us as Herself (archive footage)
1943 Claudia as Madame Daruschka
1933 The Billion Dollar Scandal as Anna aka GoGo
1932 Downstairs as Baroness Eloise von Burgen
1932 Freaks as Cleopatra
1931 The Great Lover as Savarova
1930 Are You There? as Countess Helenka
1930 Cheer Up and Smile as Yvonne
1929 The Man I Love as Sonia Barondoff
1929 A Dangerous Woman as Tania Gregory
1929 The Wolf of Wall Street
1928 Avalanche as Grace Stillwell
1928 The Docks of New York as Lou
1928 The Woman Disputed as Countess (replaced by Gladys Brockwell) (scenes deleted)
1928 Forgotten Faces as Lilly Harlow
1928 Street of Sin as Annie
1928 The Man Who Laughs as Duchess Josiana
1928 Three Sinners as Baroness Hilda Brings
1918 Bread
1917 Tsvety zapozdalye

By signing up for an account on TMDb, you can post directly to Twitter and Facebook.

You need to be logged in to continue. Click here to login or here to sign up.

Global

s focus the search bar
p open profile menu
esc close an open window
? open keyboard shortcut window

On media pages

b go back (or to parent when applicable)
e go to edit page

On TV season pages

(right arrow) go to next season
(left arrow) go to previous season

On TV episode pages

(right arrow) go to next episode
(left arrow) go to previous episode

On all image pages

a open add image window

On all edit pages

t open translation selector
ctrl+ s submit form

On discussion pages

n create new discussion
w toggle watching status
p toggle public/private
c toggle close/open
a open activity
r reply to discussion
l go to last reply
ctrl+ enter submit your message
(right arrow) next page
(left arrow) previous page