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Lila Kedrova

Lila Kedrova

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Also Known As: Elizabeth Kedrova Died: February 16, 2000
Born: October 9, 1918 Cause of Death: congestive heart failure
Birth Place: Russia Profession: Cast ... actor
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BIOGRAPHY

Sometimes a part comes along that is so perfectly tailored to an actor's strengths, it is correctly said the role was made for her or him. For Russian-born Lila Kedrova, it was Madame Hortense, the dying courtesan of "Zorba the Greek" (1964), which showcased her fragility, sensitivity and eccentricity. The petite actress earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the film and when she reprised it some twenty years later in a revival of the Kander-Ebb-Joseph Stein musical adaptation "Zorba!" in 1983, picked up both Drama Desk and Tony Awards. Kedrova, whose family settled in France in the late 1920s, began her career in European films, playing her first 'Madame' in Juan Antonio Bardem's acclaimed "Calle Mayor" (1956). After her English-language debut in "Zorba", she followed with a colorful turn as a Tampico bawdy house madam in "High Wind in Jamaica" (1965). She was a daffy Polish refugee in Alfred Hitchcock's "Torn Curtain" (1966) and yet another Madame (Martini) in NBC's "Cool Million" (1972). One of her better screen portrayals was as Melvyn Douglas' dying wife in "Tell Me a Riddle" (1980). Among her other roles was her sweet, batty Granny in "Some Girls" (1988), but she is Madame Hortense for the ages, wringing tears from all corners as she expires in Anthony Quinn's arms.

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