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Nadia Gray Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (3) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 23 November 1923Bucharest, Romania
Date of Death 13 June 1994New York City, New York, USA  (stroke)
Birth NameNadia Kujnir-Herescu

Mini Bio (1)

Born Nadia Kujnir-Herescu in Bucharest, Romania, on November 23, 1923, to a Russian father and a Bessarabian mother, the future actress Nadia Gray was raised there. She met first husband Constantin Cantacuzino (1905-1958), a Romanian aviator and noted WWII fighter ace, while she was a passenger on one of his commercial air flights. She couple fled the country during the Communist takeover of Romania in the late 1940s and emigrated to Paris. There Nadia enjoyed a vast international career as a Cosmopolitan lead and second lead on stage and in films. The couple eventually settled in Spain.

She made her film debut in a leading role as a young waitress who yearns to be a star in the French-Austrian co-production of L'inconnu d'un soir (1949) and went on to essay a number of more mature, sophisticated, glamorous patricians in European films, often a continental jetsetter or bourgeoisie type. Earlier roles that led to European stardom included her countess in Monseigneur (1949), the woman in love with a thief in The Spider and the Fly (1949), and the role of Cristina Versini in the Italian technicolor biopic of the composer _Puccini (1952)_. Her roster of continental male co-stars went on to include such legendary stalwarts as Marcello Mastroianni, 'Vittorio de Sica', Rossano Brazzi, Errol Flynn, Maurice Ronet and Gabriele Ferzetti. Among her scattered appearances in English-speaking productions were a mixture of adventures, dramas, comedies and horrors including Valley of the Eagles (1951) with John McCallum and Jack Warner, Night Without Stars (1951) opposite David Farrar, The Captain's Table (1959) starring John Gregson and Donald Sinden, I Like Money (1961) starring Peter Sellers, Maniac (1963) co-starring Kerwin Mathews, The Naked Runner (1967) starring Frank Sinatra and a supporting role in the classic Albert Finney/Audrey Hepburn romance Two for the Road (1967). Nadia is most famous, however, for her cameo role toward the end of Federico Fellini's masterpiece La Dolce Vita (1960) as a bored and wealthy socialite who celebrates her divorce by performing a memorable mink-coated striptease during a jaded party sequence in her home.

Following the death of her first husband in Spain in 1958 (he was only 52), Nadia continued to film and settled permanently in America in the late 60s after meeting and marrying second husband Herbert Silverman, a New York lawyer. She retired from films completely in 1976 and began headlining as a singing cabaret star. The trend-setting Russian-Romanian beauty died of a stroke in Manhattan on June 13, 1994 at age 70 and was survived by her second husband and two stepchildren.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (2)

Herbert Silverman (1967 - 13 June 1994) (her death)
Constantin Cantacuzino (1946 - 26 May 1958) (his death)

Trivia (3)

When a child she was such an enthusiastic admirer of King Carol of Rumania that one day she threw down a bunch of flowers from her balcony on the royal cortege passing by. That was a period of anarchist terror and so this caused her family some trouble.
She met her first husband, Constantin Cantacuzino, during a troubled flight on a commercial Rumanian airliner. Her future husband was the pilot of the plane she was on when one of the engines caught fire. He came back to reassure the passengers. Cantacuzino was purportedly Prince Constantin Cantacuzino. The couple married and eventually fled their Communist-occupied country and lived for a time in Paris, eventually settling in Spain.
Along with her native Romanian, spoke English, French, German, and Italian.

Personal Quotes (1)

I really cut my bridges in film and being always the star, it would be very difficult for me to start at this point in my life to play small roles. - on why she didn't return to films in the late 70s

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