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Full list by date of death

Pola Illery


Born - 15 October 1908, Corabia, Romania
Died - 15 February 2012

Dark-haired, round-faced, full-lipped, sad-eyed, diminutive Romanian 'vamp' and singer, born Paula 'Polly' Iliescu, and prominent in French films of the 1920s and 1930s. With the onrush of Nazi Germany in 1939, she fled to America, and, hampered by a heavy foreign accent, did not revive her career there. After stage experience in Romania, she began a film career in France, beginning with Le Desir (1928) and Le Capitaine Fracasse (1929). But her greatest success came the following year in Rene Clair's Sous les Toits de Paris, as a party girl who seduces a street singer. For a while, she was catnip at the French (and Romanian) box-office: Ilusions (1930), Le Petit Chaperon Rouge (1930), Un Homme en Habit (1931), again for Clair in Quatorze Juillet/Bastille Day (1932), L'Ange Gardien (1933), Au Pays du Soleil (1933) and La Rue Sans Nom (1934). She was off screen for a few years before making her last films, French versions of Der Tiger von Eschnapur (1937) and Das Indische Grabmal (1938), adventure films remade 20 years later by another emigre, Fritz Lang. Settling in America, she married in 1947 and had four children.