15 June 1889
Sambor, Austro-Hungarian Empire
|Died||20 October 1978
Salka Viertel (15 June 1889 – 20 October 1978) was an actress and screenwriter. The pianist and composer Eduard Steuermann was her brother. Mrs. Viertel was born Salomea Steuermann in Sambor, a city then in the province of Galicia, which was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but today is in western Ukraine.
Viertel was under contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer from 1933 to 1937, and co-wrote the scripts for many movies, particularly those starring her close friend Greta Garbo including Queen Christina (1933) and Anna Karenina (1935). She also played opposite Garbo in MGM's German-language version of Anna Christie in 1930.
Salka Viertel was married to Berthold Viertel and they had three sons, one of whom, Peter Viertel, born in 1920 and an accomplished writer and screenwriter, was married to actress Deborah Kerr from 1960 until her death in 2007. The Viertels, members of the Jewish-German intelligentsia, moved to the United States in 1928 for a planned four-year stay.
In 1932, due to Hitler's rise, they decided to stay in Santa Monica, California, where Peter grew up with his brothers, Hans and Thomas. The home in Santa Monica Canyon was the site of salons and meetings of the Hollywood intelligentsia and the émigré community of European intellectuals, particularly at the Sunday night tea parties. Salka Viertel was also active aiding those still trapped in Europe. She wrote a memoir The Kindness of Strangers (1969).
- Anna Christie (German version) (1931) (actress)
- Queen Christina (1933)
- The Painted Veil (1934)
- Anna Karenina (1935)
- Conquest (1937)
- Two-Faced Woman (1941)
- Deep Valley (1947)
- L'Amante di Paride (1954)
- I Battellieri del Volga (1958)
- Prager, Katharina. (2007) "Ich bin nicht gone Hollywood!" Salka Viertel – Ein Leben in Theater und Film, ISBN 978-3-7003-1592-6, Wien: Braumüller Verlag.
- Viertel, Salka. (1969) The Kindness of Strangers, Montreal: Holt, Rinehart and Winston of Canada.
- Bahr, Erhardt (2008). Weimar on the Pacific: German Exile Culture in Los Angeles and the Crisis of Modernism. University of California Press. pp. 296–7. ISBN 978-0-520-25795-5. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
- "German Exiles in Southern California – Berthold Viertel (1885–1953) & Salka Viertel (1889–1978)", Feuchtwanger Memorial Library, University of Southern California