Natasha Lytess

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Natasha Lytess (born 16 May 1911, Berlin, Germany – died 12 May 1963, Zurich, Switzerland) was an actress, writer and drama coach.

Life[edit]

Born Natalia Postmann and also known as Tala Forman, she had studied with the director Max Reinhardt and appeared in the repertory theater. She is said to have had a relationship with the writer Bruno Frank, who is also said to be the father of her daughter Barbara, born in 1943.[1]

When the Nazis came to power, and in light of her Jewish heritage[2], she moved to the United States and settled down in Los Angeles. She had hoped for a great stage career, but her accent and her unfeminine appearance limited the roles she could play.[3]

Among her acting credits were appearances in Comrade X (1940), Once Upon a Honeymoon (1942), and The House on Telegraph Hill (1951). Her performance in Once Upon a Honeymoon drew praise from New York Times critic Bosley Crowther, who said she "shines with clear and poignant brilliance in a brief part as a Jewish chambermaid."[4]

Lytess was Columbia Pictures' drama coach for Marilyn Monroe from 1948-1955, and some sources have asserted they had an affair during the seven years they worked together, when Marilyn was in her 20s.[5] Other Lytess students included Mamie Van Doren,[6] Virginia Leith,[7] and Ann Savage (who reputedly got her stage name after a particularly "savage" argument with Lytess).[8]

Death[edit]

Lytess died of cancer four days before her 52nd birthday in Zurich, Switzerland.[citation needed] She was portrayed by Lindsay Crouse in Norma Jean & Marilyn,[9] and by Embeth Davidtz in The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe.

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Spoto, Donald (2001). Marilyn Monroe: The Biography. Cooper Square Press. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-8154-1183-3.
  2. ^ Meyers, Jeffrey (19 January 2012). The Genius and the Goddess: Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe. University of Illinois Press; 1st Edition edition. p. 155. ISBN 9780252078545.
  3. ^ Spoto, Donald (2001). Marilyn Monroe: The Biography. Cooper Square Press. pp. 135–36.
  4. ^ Crowther, Bosley (13 November 1942). "'Once Upon Honeymoon,' With Ginger Rogers, Cary Grant, Opens at Music Hall". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  5. ^ Lois Banner (2012). Marilyn: The Passion and the Paradox. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 141 & passim. ISBN 978-1-60819-760-6.
  6. ^ Mamie Van Doren; Art Aveilhe (1 October 1988). Playing the Field. Berkley. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-425-11251-9.
  7. ^ Don Harron (2012). My Double Life: Sexty Yeers of Farquharson Around with Don Harn. Dundurn. p. 232. ISBN 978-1-4597-0552-4.
  8. ^ Lisa Morton; Kent Adamson (4 December 2009). Savage Detours: The Life and Work of Ann Savage. McFarland. pp. 35, 38, 41. ISBN 978-0-7864-4353-6.
  9. ^ Bono, Chastity (14 May 1996). "Lesbianism Made Easy: Actor Lindsay Crouse plays lesbian as Marilyn Monroe's teacher and lover in controversial new film". The Advocate. Retrieved 5 July 2017.

External links[edit]