VERA VASILYEVNA KHOLODNAYA : BEAUTIFUL RUSSIAN SILENT FILM STAR : VICTIM OF THE SPANISH FLU

This vintage real photo postcard features Russian actress Vera Vasilyevna Kholodnaya (1893-1919). Sometimes she is referred to as Holodnaja). She was the first star of Russian silent film. The number of films that she appeared in, is unknown. It is estimated the number of appearances is somewhere between fifty and one hundred. It is unfortunate that only five of her films survived the passage of time. She was born in Poltava which was part of the Russian Empire, and is now located in the Ukraine. At the age of two, she moved to Moscow to live with her grandmother. As a child, she fantasized about becoming a classical ballerina. She eventually enrolled in the Bolshoi Theatre ballet school From early childhood, she participated in family theater productions, While attending her school prom to celebrate her graduation she met Vladimir Kholodny, whom she married in 1910. He is known as one of Russia’s first race car drivers. The pair had two children. In 1908, after seeing actress Vera Komissarzhevskaya in a stage role, she decided that she wanted to pursue a career in films. She sought out Vladimir Gardin, a major Russian film director, and he gave her a minor role in Anna Karenina. In 1915, film director Yevgeni Bauer was searching for an actress who possessed great beauty. After meeting Vera Kholodnaya, he found the enchantress that he was looking for. Bauer’s film was a resounding success. He then made a second film starring Kholodnaya. These two Bauer films made Vera a major celebrity. She soon became known as “the Queen of Screen” and had great successes with other films. By 1918, she was a film phenom. When Russia entered World War I, her husband joined the military. She participated in charity concerts to support the soldiers and their families. It is reported that she was “worshipped” by soldiers. By the time of the Russian Revolution (1917), a new Kholodnaya film was released every three weeks and she continued to experience acclaim and success. Around this time, the actress moved with her film company to Odessa. She died there, at age 25, during the 1918 flu pandemic.This version of the flu, was known as the “Spanish Flu” and it infected 500 million people around the world between 1918 and 1920. Estimates are that between 50 and 100 million people died during the pandemic.  (SOLD)