Valda Valkyrien, c.1916
Adele Eleonore Freed|
September 30, 1895
October 22, 1956 (aged 61)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Baron Hrolf Von DeWitz (1912 - 19??) |
Robert Stuart Otto (19?? - 19??)
Early life and career
Born in Reykjavík, Iceland, Valkyrien was prima ballerina of the Royal Danish Ballet. She married Danish nobleman and author, Baron Hrolf von Dewitz and in 1912 began appearing in motion pictures for Nordisk Film productions of Copenhagen. For them, she performed in at least six silent films including one feature-length production. Of these, the film Den Stærkeste (Vanquished) was an American/Danish production released in the United States by the Great Northern Film Company, the Nordisk Film subsidiary in New York City. This led to Valkyrien going to the U.S. where she was signed by the Bayonne, New Jersey, studio owner David Horsley. In 1914, she made her American film debut in the "Baroness Film Series" for Horsley's Centaur Film Company.
With World War I raging in Europe, in 1915 a New York City publisher released her husband's book titled War's New Weapons which received considerable publicity. That same year, Thanhouser Studios capitalized on her husband's success and her aristocratic title, billing her as Baroness von Dewitz in a film about Norse mythology titled The Valkyrie. The resulting success brought Valda Valkyrien an offer from the Fox Film Corporation and in 1916 she signed on to make feature-length productions. However, the contractual relationship soured after one film and she left Fox to work in feature-length films back at Thanhouser as well as for Lewis J. Selznick's studio.
Valkyrien's last film is probably her most remembered, although she had only a secondary role. Bolshevism on Trial was an anti-Marxist melodrama about a wealthy father who purchases an island off the coast of Florida and establishes a commune for his son in order to prove to the idealistic young man that communism can't work.
Before they divorced in 1919, Valkyrien's marriage to Hrolf von Dewitz had produced a son, Arden von Dewitz (1915–2004), who went on to become a successful painter in southern California. She married a second time to the New York industrialist Robert Stuart Otto with whom she had another child, Jean Otto.
Valda Valkyrien moved to the West Coast where she lived until her death in Los Angeles in 1956 after a lengthy illness. She was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.
- De Uheldige friere (1912)
- En Moders kaerlighed (1912)
- Frederik Buch som skopudser (1912)
- En Staerkere magt (1912)
- Dodsspring til hest fra Cirkuskuplen (1912)
- Dennyeskopudser (1912)
- Den Stærkeste (Vanquished) (1912)
- Baroness Film Series (1914)
- Youth (1915)
- The Valkyrie (1915)
- Diana - The Huntress (1916)
- Silas Marner (1916)
- The Hidden Valley (1916)
- The Cruise of Fate (1916)
- The Unwelcome Mother (1916)
- Magda (1917)
- The Crusher (1917)
- The Image Maker of Thebes (1917)
- Huns Within Our Gates (1918)
- T'Other Dear Charmer (1918)
- Bolshevism on Trial (1919)
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