|Date of Birth||15 August 1910, Stockholm, Sweden|
|Date of Death||7 June 2002, Los Angeles, California, USA (pneumonia)|
|Birth Name||Signe Eleonora Cecilia Larsson|
Mini Bio (2)
Young Signe Larsson was only 12 when she started to work as a child extra at The Royal Dramatic Theater and was the youngest ever enrolled for acting studies there at 16. She quickly got leading roles in movies and always received very good reviews. In 1940 she went to Hollywood and signed a contract with RKO. Despite her talent, it didn't lead to any work and she ventured off to New York and the theater. She signed a contract with MGM and made a dozen of movies, including George Cukor's A Double Life (1947), possibly her best. However, she longed to go back to the theater and has worked in London and New York as well as touring around the US.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Mattias Thuresson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Signe Hasso was born Signe Larsson in Stockholm, Sweden, and lived with her mother, grandmother and two siblings in a one-room apartment; her father and grandfather had died when she was only four. Her mother, once an aspiring actress, cooked waffles to support the family.
Ms. Hasso began working on stage at age 12 at the famed Royal Dramatic Theatre, and she became one of the youngest students to study drama at the theater. The free schooling led her into acting. In 1933, she made her screen debut and during the next seven years switched between stage and film before going to Hollywood, where she was signed by RKO Studios, touted as the "next Garbo" who had retired in 1941. Ms. Hasso arrived in Hollywood after starring in numerous European films, the studio cutting five years off her actual age for publicity reasons.
Although beautiful and with a Swedish accent, the unrealistic "Garbo" hope never was realized, but she appeared successfully in many 1940's films such as The Seventh Cross (1944), The House on 92nd Street (1945), Johnny Angel (1945) and A Double Life (1947) co-starring with Hollywood stars including Spencer Tracy, Lloyd Nolan, George Raft, Ronald Colman and others.
Ms. Hasso's Hollywood career lasted about a decade and put her opposite leading men like Gary Cooper and Cary Grant. But, she never really caught on with audiences in the United States, at least not as another Garbo. After an uncredited debut in Journey for Margaret (1942), which starred child actress Margaret O'Brien, Ms. Hasso made a humorous splash in Ernst Lubitsch's comedy Heaven Can Wait (1943) as the lusty French maid who provides the young hero (played as an adult by Don Ameche) with an early bedside education.
It was a rare foray into comedy in a career noted for dramatic roles, often with a wartime or espionage setting. Such films included Assignment in Brittany (1943) and The House on 92nd Street (1945), notable for director Henry Hathaway's documentary-like staging. In Fred Zinnemann's The Seventh Cross (1944), she and Spencer Tracy played concentration camp escapees on the run from Nazis in World War II.
She said that her favorite screen part was as Ronald Colman's ex-wife in A Double Life (1947), a story about an actor (Colman) who identifies too closely with his roles. As Othello, he adopts the same rages as Shakespeare's jealous "Moor" and endangers Ms. Hasso's character, an actress who plays "Desdemona". Her reaction to finding real blood on the bed during the climactic death scene of the play within the movie was memorable. Ms. Hasso also appeared in Cecil B. DeMille's The Story of Dr. Wassell (1944) with Gary Cooper and Crisis (1950) with Cary Grant.
She mostly stopped acting in Hollywood films after her son's death in a car accident in 1954; her movie career had stalled anyway. She concentrated on a stage career on Broadway, and she helped start a national repertory theater in Sweden. She made many television appearances, most recently in a documentary about Greta Garbo.
In a 1995 interview, she said she could not care less if people remembered her acting; instead, she wanted to be known for her prose and poetry. She was a lyricist whose English translation of Swedish folk songs won her acclaim. Her books, such as "Kom Slott" or "Momo", can be found listed on major sites even still, although as second-hand orders. In 1989, the Vasa Order of America named her Swedish-American of the Year, an honor for those of Swedish birth or descent. She died at 91 apparently of pneumonia resulting from the debilitation of lung cancer. Among those who were with her at the end was Swedish actor Peter Stormare, who met Signe Hasso for the first time when he toured in America with The Royal Swedish Dramatic Theatre, Dramaten, and became a friend when he moved to Los Angeles six years ago. He was one of the friends and relatives that spent time with Signe Hasso on her last days and nights. Peter Stormare sat with her and held her hand the day she died. Signe Hasso had quite a life. We are thankful for it and will remember her.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Thomas E. Hilton. Hilton_TE@juno.com
|Harry Hasso||(1933 - 1941) (divorced) (1 child)|
|William Langford||(? - 20 July 1955) (his death)|