Valentina Zimina

Still from "Gerald Cranston's Lady" 1924 - Public domain

1899 - 1928

The actress Valentina Zimina had an unusual but also hard lifecourse which is not common for an actress. 

She was born in Russia as the daughter of a famous stage actress.

During the Russian revolution in 1917 she lost her whole family who were murdered. 

She herself served for a Bataillon for Women in Russia for three years which was known under the name "Women's Bataillon of Death". 

Finally she got in imprisonment and was brought to Sibira. There she was able to flee and came via Asia to the USA and finally to Hollywood. 

This could have been the happy end of a till then fateful live but the drama did not reach its end so far. 

Valentina Zimina was able to gain a foothold in the film business in 1925 and she made her film debut in the role of Dolores for "A Son of His Father" (25) at Bessie Love's and Warner Baxter's side. The director was Victor Fleming.

In the next years she asserted herself in Hollywood and took part in other silent movies like "La Bohème" (26) directed by King Vidor with Lillian Gish, John Gilbert and Renée Adorée, "Rose of the Tenements" (26) impersonating the role of Emma Goldstein, "Many Scrappy Returns" (27) - a short movie with Charley Chase and Eugene Pallette and "The Woman on Trial" (27) directed by Regisseur Mauritz Stiller with Pola Negri and Einar Hanson.

Her last movie was "The Scarlet Lady" (28) where she ironcally played a Russian revolutionist.
It nearly seems that the life cycle had been closed with it because shortly after the movie she fell ill with the then raging influenza and died at the age of only 29. She was not able to witness first night of her last movie.

Superstitous contemporaries could adjudge the movie "The Scarlet Lady" (28) an ominous aura because not only Valentina Zimina but also some other involved persons died prematurely in the next ten years.
The director Alan Crossland died at the age of 41 in 1936 due to a road accident, the leading actress Lya de Putti died at the age of 34 in 1931 due to a pneumonia she contracted after an operation because she swallowed a chicken bone, the art director Harrison Wiley died at the age of 36 by a airplane crash during the preparation of a new movie, the leading actor Warner Oland died at the age of 58 in 1938 due to a bronchial pneumonia because of alcohol abuse and the actor Otto Matieson dies at the age of 38 in 1932. 

Later the actor Hans Joby alias John Peters died in 1943 at the age of 58 and the editor Frank Atkinson died in 1951 at the age of 55.