Alla Nazimova

Adelaide Leventon, Madame Nazimova, Alla Nasimoff
1879 - 1945

Alla Nazimova began her acting career at the age of 16 when she joined an amateur dramatic society and began studying under Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko in Russia. After graduating in 1899, Nazimova and actor Paul Orlenev toured the provinces in a production of "The Jew" (or "The Chosen People") but when the play was censored Nazimova and Orlenev traveled to the United States. Starting on March 22, 1905, the two began a year of stellar performances, however, Orlenev returned to Russia after the year to escape his debts. Nazimova stayed in the United States and learned English. During this period, she found some of her greatest successes including the title role in "Hedda Gabler." Alla Nazimova performed in Seattle several times between 1909 and 1913. Twice at at the Moore Theatre where she entertained Seattle as Nora Helmer in "A Doll's House" and as Hedda in "Hedda Gabler," and once at the Metropolitan Theatre as Mrs. Chepstow in "Bella Donna." In 1915, Nazimova moved onto films with the success of the anti-war film version of "War Brides." Her later career included screenwriting and producing such films as "Camille," "Salome," and "A Doll's House." None of these were a commercial success and Nazimova returned to stage acting. Late in her life Nazimova did return to play small parts in talking films.

Cultural Identity: 
Notable Roles: 
Nora Helmer in "A Doll's House"
Hedda Hesman in "Hedda Gabler"
Comptesse Nini di Lorenzo in "Comptesse Coquette"
Mrs. Rita Allmers in "Little Eyolf"
Fanny Theren in "The Fairy Tale"
Mrs. Chepstow in "Bella Donna"
Bryan, George, B. (complier). Stage Lives: A Bibliography and Index to Theatrical Biographies in English. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985. Flom, Eric L. Silent Film on the Stages of Seattle: A History of Performances by Hollywood Notables. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2009. Print. Hardy, Billy J., Kim Marra, and Robert A. Schanke. The Gay & Lesbian Theatrical Legacy: A Biographical Dictionary of Major Figures in American Stage History in the Pre-Stonewall Era. University of Michigan Press, 2005. Web. Horne, Jennifer. "Alla Nazimova." In Jane Gaines, Radha Vatsal, and Monica Dall’Asta, eds. Women Film Pioneers Project. Center for Digital Research and Scholarship. New York, NY: Columbia University Libraries, 2013. Web. 22 Jan 2015. <>