Tamara Shayne

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Tamara Shayne (25 November 1902[1] – 23 October 1983, also known as Tamara Nikoulin) was a Russian-born actress long resident in the United States.

Tamara Shayne was born in Perm, Russia, to the family of a Jewish actor Veniamin Olkenitsky-Nikulin (ru) (Benjamin Nikulin); her older brother was the actor Konstantin Shayne.[2] Shayne appeared in European films before migrating to the United States in 1929 with her future husband, the actor Akim Tamiroff;[3] the couple married in 1932.[2] On Broadway Shayne appeared in The Cherry Orchard, Judgment Day and These Few Ashes.[3]

Her first role (uncredited) in an American film was in Ninotchka (1939) as Anna, the cellist roommate in Moscow of the lead character played by Greta Garbo. Shayne is possibly best remembered as Moma Yoelson in The Jolson Story (1946) and Jolson Sings Again (1949), though Shayne appeared in nearly two dozen films from 1934 to 1961.

Shayne remained married to Akim Tamiroff until his death in 1972, and she retired at that time. She died from complications following a heart attack.[4]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ John Walker (ed) Halliwell Who's Who in the Movies, London: HarperCollins, 1999 (13th edition), p.375 suggests 1897
  2. ^ a b Doug McClelland Blackface to blacklist: Al Jolson, Larry Parks, and The Jolson story, Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1998, p.154
  3. ^ a b "Tamara Shayne, 80, Actress;Was Jolson's Mother in Films", New York Times, 27 October 1983
  4. ^ "Biography for Tamara Shayne", TCM website

External links[edit]