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Olga Desmond

Foto: Alexander Binder (1888-1929)

1890 - 1964

The actress Olga Desmond was born as Olga Antonie Sellin. She began her career as a model for different artists before she became a celebrated artist with her vividly performances which oriented to the antique ideals and were normally performed nude. She already had made her first nude performance at the age of 16 for the sculptor Reinhold Begas. She became the first nude dancer of Berlin afterwards.
But this indignation made Olga Desmond widely famous and she gave guest performances in Germany, Austria, Russia, USA and Great Britain. Her presentations were sold out soon and her performances with a veil or only a small metal belt fascinated the audience.

One of this performances was filmed in 1909, the movie was called "Hallo! Die grosse Revue: Der Schönheitsabend" (09).

From 1915 she was able to gain a foothold in the film business and she impersonated roles in movies like "Seifenblasen" (15) with Carl Auen, "Die Grille" (17) with Carl Auen, "Der Mut zur Sünde" (18) with a then unknown Hans Albers, "Die Verräterin" (18) with Leo Peukert, "Der fliegende Holländer" (18) with Guido Schützendorf and "An der schönen blauen Donau" (19).

Beside it she continued her stage career and she became famous as a dancer. In consequence of her success she also gave dancing lessons till the end of the 20s.
But finally there were new formes of dancing and the dancing of Olga Desmond was no longer in demand.

Her private life became very complicated from 1933 because of the politic of the National Socialism. Her second husband was a Jew and had to flee and Olga Desmond took over his requisite trading. She still was able to act on the stage till to the beginning of World War II. During this difficult time she attempted suicide. Later she had to work as a cleaner to scratch a living.

When Olga Desmond died in mental derangement in 1964 the once celebrated artist was completely forgotten and impoverished.

Other movies with Olga Desmond:
Nocturno (15) Lisa, die Zigarettenmacherin (16) Marjas Sonntagsgewand (16) Postkarten-Modell (17) Leben um Leben (18) Die Frau des Staatsanwalts (18) Die Geschichte der Maria Petöfy (18) Göttin, Dirne und Weib (19) Zigeunerweisen (19)