Born Olga Vladimirovna Baklanova, one of six children of VladimirBaklanoff and his wife Alexandra, later billed as the Russian Tigressin her early talking films, was born August 19, 1893. She graduatedfrom the Cherniavsky Institute in Moscow prior to her selection in 1912at age 19 to apprentice at the Moscow Art Theatre. During her earlyyears at M. A.
T. (1914-1918) she appeared in perhaps 18 films bringingher into contact with Tourjansky, Boleslawski and M. Chekov amongothers. Her last Russian film, Bread (1918) was the first communistagitprop vehicle. From 1917 she appeared in the "classics" on theparent stage and at the M.
A. T. First Studio. Her mentor,Nemirovich-Danchenko, showcased her in avant-garde productions of thenewly created M. A.
T. Musical Studio from 1920-1925. She was honoredwith the Worthy Artist Of The Republic by the Soviet regime. Eight months after her M. A.
T. New York debut in December 1925, shedeclined to return with the M. A. T. company to Russia and subsequentlydefected.
She was noticed by the Hollywood studios while performing onstage in Los Angeles in The Miracle in the role of the nun. Her filmdebut was a bit in The Dove (1927). Her dramatic Portrayals in The Man Who Laughs (1928) , Street of Sin (1928) , The Docks of New York (1928) and Forgotten Faces (1928) brought her critical acclaim in 1928. Her subsequent vamp/tramp rolesin early Paramount and Fox talking films nearly destroyed her promisingstart. Stagey mannerisms and a heavy accent relegated her to supportingroles.
She appeared to advantage in three films at MGM including theinfamous Freaks (1932) with an unrestrained and legendaryperformance. After appearing in west coast stage productions in 1931-32, shepermanently left for the Broadway stage in 1933 following one last filmat Paramount. From 1933 to 1943 she starred in various Broadwayproductions and then toured in road companies of Cat And The Fiddle,Twentieth Century, Grand Hotel and Idiot's Delight. She debuted on theLondon stage in 1936 in Going Places. One last big role in Claudia (1943) kept her busy for two years (1941-1943).
Shereturned to Hollywood in 1943 to recreate her stage role. Some summerstock and occasional night club appearances followed as she moved intoretirement. During the mid-1960s Olga was interviewed by Richard Lamparski, KevinBrownlow and John Kobal who all recognized her unique contributions inthe performing arts. Her death occurred at Vevey, Switzerland onSeptember 6, 1974 after a period of declining health. .
|1||Billion Dollar Scandal||1933||as Anna aka GoGo|
|2||Downstairs||1932||as Baroness Eloise von Burgen|
|3||The Docks of New York||1928||as His Wife - Lou|
|4||Cinemassacres Monster Madness||2007||as Cleopatra|
|5||A Dangerous Woman||1929||as Tania Gregory|
|6||Are You There?||1930||as Countess Helenka|
|7||Avalanche||1928||as Grace Stillwell|
|8||Cheer Up and Smile||1930||as Yvonne|
|9||Claudia||1943||as Madame Daruschka|
|10||Forgotten Faces||1928||as Lilly Harlow|
|12||Schlitzie: One of Us||2016||as Herself|
|13||Street of Sin||1928||as Annie|
|14||Telephone Blues||1935||as Olga Bacanova - Vocalist|
|15||The Czarinas Secret||1928||as The Czarina|
|16||The Double Crossky||1936||as The Singer|
|17||The Dove||1927||as Bit|
|18||The Great Lover||1931||as Savarova|
|19||The Man I Love||1929||as Sonia Barondoff|
|20||The Man Who Laughs||1928||as Duchess Josiana|
|21||The Wolf of Wall Street||1929||as Olga|
|22||The Woman Disputed||1928||as Countess (replaced by Gladys Brockwell)|
|23||Three Sinners||1928||as Baroness Hilda Brings|
|24||Tot, kto poluchaet poshchechiny||1916||as L'écuyère Consuella, qu'il tue par amour|
|25||Tsvety zapozdalye||1917||as Maruska|
|26||Zhenshchina vampir||1915||as Title role|
|27||A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss||2010||as Cleopatra|
|28||Kraft Television Theatre||1947||as Unknown|
|29||Man Against Crime||1949||as The Gypsy|
|30||Willys Theatre Presenting Ben Hechts Tales of the City||1953||as Unknown|