Cousin Irena showed us a documentary made by one of her friends. The ageing film star her beauty still a powerful echo chain smokes and drinks from the bottle. Her memories are vague and self serving, at one point she tried to light the tipped cigarette the wrong way round. But this is no ordinary Hollywood diva acting out her last sad performance. This is Lida Baarova.
What a dame. Born in 1914 ,by the time she is 17 she is a star in the Prague studios built by Havel’s father. But this lady has wings. The bigger pond of Germany calls. In 1934 she is snapped up by the Berlin studio Ufa. She becomes big box office and starts an affair with leading man Gustuv Frohlich. They set up home.
The Nazi big cats cant get enough of the pussy from Prague. Hitler has her over for tea. Goebbels has her over for a bit more. Their affair kicks off in 1936. Joseph just dosent care,its love, and shows off his latest squeeze whenever he can. She is so big she turns down an offer from Hollywood.( I could have been bigger that Dietrich, she later moans)
Meanwhile Joseph’s wife Magda gets pissed off and has an affair with Goebbels secretary. That doesn’t work so she goes to the big man who always has a thing for the oh so Ayrian Magda.
Result. Magda saves marriage and Joseph loses babe but keeps job. Lida is out and can’t make films in Germany anymore. But Lida is no Debbie Reynolds,she doesn’t fold . In 1938 she goes back to Prague to make films. By the end of her career she has made 58. From there she moves onto Rome and 42-45 is a fixture at the Cinecenta. War ends. Oops, Lida has been on the wrong side.
Into the Czech slammer she goes. Accused of collaboration she claims it was only below the belly button. Her mother dies in prison and her sister commits suicide. But Lida is made of sterner stuff. She marries someone with government connections and 18 months later she is out. She tries Argentina but that doesn’t work. So its back to Italy and works with Fellini. What an absolute doll.
She divorces and marries a rich Austrian doctor who sets her up in booze and fags. He dies in 1972. She in 2000. And of her little Joseph she says,”he could keep a party going with his asides and jokes.” I liked the one about the 1000 year Reich.
Caption-Adolf could you give me a hand?