Fritzi Massary

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Massary in 1934 (photo by Carl Van Vechten)
Massary in 1909

Fritzi Massary (March 31, 1882, in Vienna, Austria – January 30, 1969, in Los Angeles, California) was an Austrian-American actress and soprano singer.

Born as Friederike Massaryk, she was one of the leading operetta singers in Berlin and Vienna. She was closely associated with Oscar Straus, creating roles in six of his operettas, including Der letzte Walzer in 1920.

Despite her 1903 conversion to Protestantism, Massary fled Germany in late 1932 because of her Jewish heritage. She traveled through Austria and Switzerland to London, where she was befriended by Sir Noël Coward and starred in his Operette in 1938. Shortly thereafter, in February 1939, she moved to Beverly Hills, California, where she lived until her death in 1969. Beginning in 1952, she regularly spent summers in Germany.

Massary was married twice, first to an eye doctor Bernhard Pollack. With Karl-Kuno Rollo Graf von Coudenhove (1887 - 1940), she had her only child, Elisabeth Maria Karl (called Liesl) (1903-1979). Liesl later married the author Bruno Frank. Though Coudenhove was Liesl's father, Massary was never married to him. Massary's second marriage, in 1917, was to the Austrian actor Max Pallenberg (1877 - 1934), who died in a plane crash in Karlsbad in 1934.

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