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|Also Known As:||Elizabeth Marie Christine Kuehnelt||Died:||October 21, 1948|
|Born:||December 6, 1904||Cause of Death:||cancer|
|Birth Place:||Italy||Profession:||Cast ... actor novelist|
albatros1 ( 2008-01-23 )
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Elissa Landi (December 6, 1904 – October 21, 1948) was an Italian born actress,rumoured to be a descendant of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria. Born Elisabeth Marie Christine Kühnelt in Venice, Landi was raised in Austria and educated in England. Her first ambition was to be a writer, and she wrote her first novel at the age of twenty. She appeared in British, French, and German films before appearing in a Broadway production of A Farewell to Arms. She was signed to a contact by Fox Film Corporation in 1931. She played the heroine in Cecil B. De Mille's The Sign of the Cross (1932), but was overshadowed by Claudette Colbert who played the flashier role of the temptress. She stared in the box office hit The Count of Monte Cristo (1934) with Robert Donat. Her contract with Fox was abruptly cancelled in 1936 as a result of her refusal to accept a particular role. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer signed her to a contract and after a couple of romantic dramas she played the cousin of Myrna Loy in the very popular After the Thin Man (1936). After only two more films she retired, in 1943. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1943, and dedicated herself to writing, producing six novels and a series of poems. She died from cancer in Kingston, New York, and was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Newburyport, Massachusetts.
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