Zahrah Leander, authentic early autograph on Ross photo.
Size: 3,5 x 5,5 inches, fine condition.
The Autograph comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.
Born in Sweden, she establish herself on the Viennese stage by 1935. UFA studios in Berlin had lost Marlene Dietrich to Hollywood in 1930, and had since then been seeking a suitable replacement. Zarah Leander's looks combined the sultry sensuality of Dietrich with the Nordic iciness of Greta Garbo.
These aspects of Leander's talent proved enough to convince UFA to sign Leander as a contract player in 1936. She first hit it big with movie audiences in two films directed by Detlef Sierck (later known by his Hollywood name of Douglas Sirk) Zu neuen Ufern (1937) and La Habanera (1937).
While Sirk fled Nazi Germany not long after La Habanera was completed, this formula was able to sustain Leander's unchallenged popularity in Germany for her next nine features.. In 1943, Leander received a communiqué from Hitler's minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. Under the terms of Leander's 1936 contract, her salary as a UFA contract player was deposited directly into her Swedish bank account. Goebbels informed Leander that her contract was to be re-negotiated into Deutschmarks and that the time had arrived for her to become a German citizen. In return, Goebbels offered Leander property in East Prussia, but she would also have to surrender her Swedish-based businesses and property to the Reich. Her German home had already been destroyed by bombs, so Leander left for Stockholm, abruptly ending her career as the top operetta star in Nazi Germany...
She died at age 74 in 1981 in Sweden.
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