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Also Known As: Brigitta Lieberson, Eva Brigitta Hartwig, Vera Zorina Died:
Born: January 2, 1917 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Berlin, DE Profession: dancer, actor, music consultant, operatic director, album producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This classically trained dancer achieved success onstage in the 1930s before making a handful of Hollywood films. Vera Zorina (nee Eva Brigitta Hartwig) began her professional career as a child dancing in Norway. She also appeared in Max Reinhardt's stage production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" before concentrating on her ballet career. Zorina starred as a ballerina in the London production of "On Your Toes" and in 1938 married the show's choreographer George Balanchine. He in turn had successfully guided her in several carefully packaged theatrical showcases before the two of them went to Hollywood for "The Goldwyn Follies" later that year. A leggy, talented dancer and an appropriate vehicle for many of Balanchine's modern-dance innovations, the strong-featured Zorina was a very limited actress who never achieved substantial success in films. In retrospect, her most enjoyable film--and performance--was in the unjustly overlooked tale of cross and double-cross among thieves, "I Was an Adventuress" (1940), in which she was brilliantly supported by Erich von Stroheim and Peter Lorre. She found success on stage in such shows as "I Married an Angel" and as Ariel in Margaret Webster's staging of "The...

This classically trained dancer achieved success onstage in the 1930s before making a handful of Hollywood films. Vera Zorina (nee Eva Brigitta Hartwig) began her professional career as a child dancing in Norway. She also appeared in Max Reinhardt's stage production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" before concentrating on her ballet career. Zorina starred as a ballerina in the London production of "On Your Toes" and in 1938 married the show's choreographer George Balanchine. He in turn had successfully guided her in several carefully packaged theatrical showcases before the two of them went to Hollywood for "The Goldwyn Follies" later that year. A leggy, talented dancer and an appropriate vehicle for many of Balanchine's modern-dance innovations, the strong-featured Zorina was a very limited actress who never achieved substantial success in films. In retrospect, her most enjoyable film--and performance--was in the unjustly overlooked tale of cross and double-cross among thieves, "I Was an Adventuress" (1940), in which she was brilliantly supported by Erich von Stroheim and Peter Lorre. She found success on stage in such shows as "I Married an Angel" and as Ariel in Margaret Webster's staging of "The Tempest". In her later years, Zorina enjoyed success appearing as a narrator with opera companies and, with her second husband Goddard Lieberson, as a record producer.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Lover Come Back (1946) Madeline Laslo
2.
 Follow the Boys (1944) Gloria Vance [West]
3.
 Star Spangled Rhythm (1943) Herself, "That Old Black Magic" number
4.
 Louisiana Purchase (1941) Marina Von Minden
5.
 I Was an Adventuress (1940) Countess Tanya Vronsky
6.
 On Your Toes (1939) Vera [Barnova]
7.
 The Goldwyn Follies (1938) Olga Samara
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1923:
Made professional dance debut at age 6 in Norway
:
Acted in Max Reinhardt's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
1933:
Joined Ballet Russe
:
Starred in the London production of "On Your Toes"
1938:
Signed by Samuel Goldwyn to perform in "Goldwyn Follies"
1938:
First starring Broadway role in "I Married an Angel"
1941:
Recreated stage role in film version of "Louisiana Purchase"
:
Fired from "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and replaced by Ingrid Bergman
1945:
Acted the role of Ariel in Margaret Webster's stage production of "The Tempest"
1947:
Debut as a narrator
1976:
Became managing director of Norwegian Opera
1978:
Became music consultant and album producer at Columbia Records
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Leonard Massine. Ballet dancer. Became romantically involved after appearing together in the Ballet Russe.
husband:
George Balanchine. Choreographer. Married on December 24, 1938; divorced in 1946.
husband:
Goddard Lieberson. Executive. President of Columbia Records; married April 3, 1946 until his death from cancer on May 29, 1977 at age 66.

Family close complete family listing

son:
Peter Leiberson. Composer. Born c. 1947.
son:
Jonathan Lieberson. Philosopher. Born c. 1949.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Zorina" Farrar, Straus & Giroux

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