Baarova, Lida (1914–2000)

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Baarova, Lida (1914–2000)

German actress. Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, on September 7, 1914 (one source cites May 12, 1910); died on October 29, 2000; lived in Salzburg, Austria; daughter of a civil servant; simultaneously attended secondary school and the dramatic arts school of the State Conservatory of Prague; married Gustav Fröhlich (a celebrated actor and star of Metropolis, who had been married earlier toGitta Alpar ); married Jan Kopecky (a theatrical agent), 1947 (divorced 1956).


Kariéra Pavla Camrdy (The Career of Pavla Camrdy, Czech, 1931); Madla z sihelny (Madla of the Brickyard, Czech, 1932); Okénko (Scatterbrain, Czech, 1933); Jeji Lekai (Her Doctor, Czech, 1933); Barbarole (German, 1935); Ein Teufelskerl (A Devilish Fellow, German, 1935); Einer zuviel an Bord (One Too Many on Board, German, 1935); Die Stunde der Versuchung (The Hour of Temptation, German, 1936); Verräter (Traitor, German, 1936); Unter Ausschluss der Öffentlichkeit (Public Excluded, German, 1937); Patrioten (Patriots, German, 1937); Panenstvi (Virginity, Czech, 1937); Der Spieler (The Gambler, German, 1937); Divka v Modrem (The Girl in Blue, German, 1938); Moskovana milenka (The Masked Mistress, German, 1938); Ohnivé léto (Exciting Summer, German, 1939); La Fornarina (The Baker Maid, Italy, 1942); Il cappello del prete (The Priest's Hat, Italy, 1942); Ti conosco, mascherina! (You Can't Fool Me!, Italy, 1942); L'ippocampo (Hippocampus, with Vittorio De Sica andMaria Mercader , Italy, 1943); La bisarca (The Great-grandmother, Italy); Gli amanti di Ravello (The Lovers of Ravello, Italy); Casa sul lago (A House by the Lake, Italy); Carne inquieta (Restless Flesh, Italy); Frederico Fellini's I vitelloni (The Young and the Passionate, Italy, 1953).

Following a stint at the National Theater in Prague, Lida Baarova moved on to the world of film, first in Prague, then in Berlin. She soon found stardom in Germany with Barbarole, Ein

Teufelskerl, Einer zuviel an Bord, and Die Stunde der Versuchung. In two of these, Baarova co-starred with her husband Gustav Fröhlich, who would cause an early end to her German career. When he learned that Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi minister of propaganda, had an interest in his wife, Fröhlich reputedly slapped Goebbels' face, a move that cost Fröhlich temporary internment in a concentration camp. With the help of compatriots, Fröhlich had his revenge. In 1938, the New York Daily News reported that Goebbels was "beaten almost to death," when he was "surprised in the flat of a glamorous film star by a group of her husband's friends." To avoid scandal, Hitler stepped in, and Baarova was banished from German films and sent back to Prague. In 1942, she made four films in Italy before Mussolini fell from power.

Accused of collaboration with the Axis in 1945, Baarova was interned in the Pankrac Prison in Prague until December 1946. Upon release, she married a theatrical agent and moved to Argentina, then Spain. She would make a few more films in Italy, including Frederico Fellini's I vitelloni in which she played Giulia, a role that would earn her a Silver Ribbon at the 1953 Venice Film Festival. Following a divorce in 1956, she moved to Salzburg, Austria, where she remained and successfully returned to the stage. In 1983, Baarova's autobiography Escapes was published in Toronto, Canada, where she had briefly lived.


Romani, Cinzia. Tainted Goddesses: Female Film Stars of the 3rd Reich. NY: Sarpedon, 1992.

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