Olga Petrova circa 1917
May 10, 1884
|Died||November 30, 1977 (aged 93)|
Clearwater, Florida, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, screenwriter, playwright|
(19??-1968; his death)
Dr. John Dillon Stewart(physician)
Life and career
Born Muriel Harding in England, she moved to the United States and became a star of vaudeville using the stage name Olga Petrova. Petrova starred in a number of films for Solax Studios and was Metro Pictures first diva, usually given the role of a femme fatale. During her seven years in film, Petrova appeared in more than two dozen films and wrote the script for several others. Most of her films are now lost, including what she considered her best pictures, those directed by Maurice Tourneur. The Library of Congress Silent Feature Film Database indicates three of her films survive: The Vampire (1915), Extravagance (1916) and The Waiting Soul (1918).
In 1913 she met in local physician John Dillon Stewart in Indianapolis, Indiana, and was quickly engaged to be married. They married March 31 in Kansas City. Stewart relocated his practice to New York City in order to be near her primary base of operations.
Petrova left the film industry in 1918 but continued to act in Broadway productions. During the 1920s, she wrote three plays and toured the country with a theater troupe. She also interviewed a number of prominent film stars on paid assignment for Shadowland magazine, Motion Picture Magazine, and Photoplay Journal including Marion Davies, Mary Pickford, Theda Bara, Alla Nazimova, Norma Talmadge, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., and Rudolf Valentino. In 1942, she published her autobiography, Butter With My Bread. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
She made several visits to Saranac Lake, New York, at the height of her fame, at the request of theatrical agent William Morris. In the summer of 1921, she turned the first shovel of earth for a housing project sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, at a lot on Lake Street donated by Walter Jenkins.
The Petrova School on Petrova Avenue bears the name of this famous visitor to Saranac Lake, New York.
Olga Petrova died in 1977 in Clearwater, Florida, aged 93. She had no children.
- The White Peacock: A Play in Three Acts (Four seas Company, 1922) - 111 pages
- Hurricane: Four Episodes in the Story of a Life (Four Seas Company, 1924) - 103 pages
- What Do We Know?: A Drama in Three Acts (Four Seas Company, 1930) - 95 pages
- Butter with My Bread (New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1942) - 371 pages
- Departure of a Grand Old Man (1912)
- The Tigress (1914)
- The Heart of a Painted Woman (1915)
- The Vampire (1915)
- The Bludgeon (1915)
- My Madonna (1915)
- What Will People Say? (1916)
- The Soul Market (1916)
- Playing With Fire (1916)
- The Scarlet Woman (1916)
- The Eternal Question (1916)
- Extravagance (1916 Metro Pictures)
- The Black Butterfly (1916 Metro Pictures)
- Bridges Burned (1917 Metro Pictures)
- The Secret of Eve (1917 Metro Pictures)
- The Waiting Soul (1917 Metro Pictures)
- The Soul of Magdalen (1917 Metro Pictures)
- The Undying Flame (1917 Paramount)Maurice Tourneur, director
- Law of the Land (1917 Paramount Pictures) Maurice Tourneur, director
- To the Death (1917 Metro Pictures)
- The Silence Sellers (1917 Metro Pictures)
- Exile (1917 Paramount Pictures)Maurice Tourneur, director
- More Truth Than Poetry (1917 Metro Pictures)
- Daughter of Destiny (1917 First National Pictures) also producer and writer
- More Truth Than Poetry (1917), also story
- The Light Within (1918 First National Pictures)
- The Life Mask (1918 First National)
- Tempered Steel (1918 First National Pictures)
- The Panther Woman (1918 First National Pictures)
- Kira Kiralina (1928)
- The Green Book Magazine, Volume 15, p. 716, c.1916, "Unsolvable Petrova" by Alan Dale
- Petrova, Butter with My Bread, p. 284.
- https://memory.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/html/silentfilms/silentfilms-home.html Accessed 22 August 2019
- International Records of Medicine and General Practice Clinics, Volume 97 (1913) p. 796. https://books.google.com/books?id=cdIyAQAAMAAJ&lpg=PA796&ots=tQBoC0-dXu&dq=olga%20petrova%20kansas%20doctor%20stewart&pg=PA796#v=onepage&q&f=false
- Petrova, <Butter with my Bread, pp. 244-245.
- Petrova, Butter with My Bread, pp. 313-316.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Olga Petrova.|
- Olga Petrova at the Internet Broadway Database
- Olga Petrova on IMDb
- Olga Petrova at the Women Film Pioneers Project
- Images of Olga Petrova, held by the Billy Rose Theatre Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
- portrait gallery(University of Washington, Sayre collection)
- Paramount performer slide
- Olga Petrova(kinotv)