November 28, 1896
|Died||December 18, 1994
Bay Shore, New York, U.S.
Lilia Skala (November 28, 1896 – December 18, 1994) was an Austrian-American actress.
Skala was born Lilia Sofer in Vienna, Austria. Her mother, Katharina Skala, was Catholic, and her father, Julius Sofer, was Jewish and worked as a manufacturers representative for the Waldes Koh-i-noor Company. Skala was one of the first women to graduate in architecture and engineering from the University of Dresden, before practicing architecture professionally in Vienna.
In the late 1930s, she was forced to flee her Nazi-occupied homeland with her husband, Louis Erich Skala, and their two young sons. (Lilia and Erich adopted the non-Jewish sounding surname of Lilia's mother.) Skala and her husband managed to escape (at different times) from Austria and eventually settled in the United States.
Lilia Skala appeared on countless television shows and serials from 1952 to 1985 (for example, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour in 1965), and as Grand Duchess Sophie kept company on Broadway with Ethel Merman in Call Me Madam not too many years after toiling in a Queens zipper factory as a non-English-speaking refugee from Austria.
She was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress for her most famous role as the Mother Superior in Lilies of the Field opposite Oscar-winning Sidney Poitier. Skala also appeared in Ship of Fools, Deadly Hero, Charly, Heartland, Eleanor and Franklin, Roseland, Flashdance and House of Games.
- Tallmer, Jerry (2009-08-14). "Libby Skala encapsulates 100 years of life, love, dance". Chelsea Now. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
- "Lilia Skala Bio". Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- Theatrical tribute to a special grandmother
- "AT THE THEATER; Lilia Skala, thinking out loud". 7 January 1986.
- Gibson, Gwen (31 March 1988). "Versatile Lilia Skala Is Seeking New Fields". Chicago Tribune.
- Taylor, Clarke (November 24, 1977). "Skala as Rosa; Grande Dame of 'Roseland'". Los Angeles Times. p. H30. Retrieved December 3, 2010.
- Libby Skala Interviews & Press