Natasha Lytess

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Natasha Lytess (born 1915, Berlin, Germany – died 12 May 1963, Zurich, Switzerland) was an actress, writer and drama coach.

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 National Socialists came to power, the Jewess moved to the United States and settled down in Los Angeles. She had hoped for a great stage career, but her accent and her little feminine appearance limited the roles she could play.[2] She is known for Once Upon a Honeymoon (1942), Comrade X (1940) and The House on Telegraph Hill (1951). She was active from 1940-61. She was Columbia Pictures' drama coach for Marilyn Monroe from 1948-1955, and rumored to have had an affair together for the seven years while they worked together from 1948-55, when Marilyn was in her 20s.[3] Other Lytess students included Mamie Van Doren,[4] Virginia Leith,[5] and Ann Savage (who reputedly got her stage name after a particularly "savage" argument with Lytess).[6]


She died of cancer on the day after her 52nd birthday in Zurich, Switzerland. She was portrayed by Lindsay Crouse in Norma Jean & Marilyn, and by Embeth Davidtz in The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe.



  1. ^ Spoto, Donald (2001). Marilyn Monroe: The Biography. Cooper Square Press. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-8154-1183-3. 
  2. ^ Spoto, Donald (2001). Marilyn Monroe: The Biography. Cooper Square Press. pp. 135, 136. 
  3. ^ Gardner, David. "Marilyn Monroe 'had lesbian affair with drama teacher Natasha Lytess'". Retrieved 2016-11-29. 
  4. ^ Mamie Van Doren; Art Aveilhe (1 October 1988). Playing the Field. Berkley. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-425-11251-9. 
  5. ^ Don Harron (2012). My Double Life: Sexty Yeers of Farquharson Around with Don Harn. Dundurn. p. 232. ISBN 978-1-4597-0552-4. 
  6. ^ 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. 

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