Anna Sten


Actor

About

Also Known As
Annel Stenskaja Sudakevich, Anjuschka Stenskaja Sudakevich
Birth Place
Ukraine
Born
December 03, 1908
Died
November 12, 1993
Cause of Death
Cardiac Arrest

Biography

Radiant, gentle-featured leading actress who, after some success in her native Russia, was signed by producer Samuel Goldwyn, who was determined the turn her into another Garbo or Dietrich in the exotic star sweepstakes. Sten made three interesting starring vehicles for Goldwyn--"Nana" (1934), an adaptation of Zola's famous novel directed by Dorothy Arzner which ran into censorship probl...

Family & Companions

Fedor Ozep
Husband
Director. Ended in divorce; later co-directed Sten in "Three Russian Girls" (1943).
Eugene Frenke
Husband
Producer, director. Married in the 1930s; died c. 1988.

Biography

Radiant, gentle-featured leading actress who, after some success in her native Russia, was signed by producer Samuel Goldwyn, who was determined the turn her into another Garbo or Dietrich in the exotic star sweepstakes.

Sten made three interesting starring vehicles for Goldwyn--"Nana" (1934), an adaptation of Zola's famous novel directed by Dorothy Arzner which ran into censorship problems; "We Live Again" (1934), based on a Tolstoy story and setting her and Fredric March in pre-Revolutionary Russia; and "The Wedding Night" (1934), a poignant love story helmed by King Vidor pairing Sten with Gary Cooper. Her face rounder than Garbo's or Dietrich's more severely sculptured looks, Sten was undeniably lovely, though Goldwyn tried to play things both ways by touting her as exotic and glamorous on the one hand and having her play sweet peasants on the other. Her three vehicles were actually pretty fair as films and she proved herself a good actress, her performances improving with each film, but their downbeat stories and Goldwyn's rather too determined push failed to sell Sten to the public.

In later years Sten would unfortunately come to be known as "Goldwyn's Folly" and would retain her fascination largely as a footnote in film history. To her credit, though, Sten continued to perform well if intermittently in a dozen films over the next three decades, and she also enjoyed success upon the stage.

Life Events

1927

Received praise for her work in the Soviet comedy, "The Girl with the Hatbox"

1933

Signed by producer Samuel Goldwyn (date approximate)

1934

American film debut, "Nana", directed by Dorothy Arzner and based on the Emile Zola novel

1935

Made last of three starring vehicles for Goldwyn, "The Wedding Night"

1962

Played last major film role in "The Nun and the Sergeant"

Photo Collections

Nana - Anna Sten Publicity Still
Nana - Anna Sten Publicity Still
We Live Again - Movie Poster
We Live Again - Movie Poster

Videos

Movie Clip

We Live Again - Peasants and Ourselves... The lovely serf Katusha (Anna Sten) hurries to greet the returning Russian Prince Dimitri (Fredric March) who has alarmed his aunts (Gwendolyn Logan and Ethel Griffies) with proletarian notions in We Live Again, 1934.
Nun And The Sergeant, The (1962) - I'll Stuff A Sock In Your Mouth Anna Sten (sharing top billing with Robert Webber as Sergeant McGrath) makes her first appearance in her last movie, as her busload of Korean schoolgirls gets bombed, then found by an American platoon, guide Pak (Dale Ishimoto) warning her about his boss, in The Nun And The Sergeant, 1962.
Wedding Night, The (1935) - Prune Soup American Tony (Gary Cooper) joins Manya (Anna Sten) and her Polish immigrant family for a folksy meal, observing deal-making for her marriage to Fredrik (Ralph Bellamy), in the Samuel Goldwyn production The Wedding Night, 1935.
Wedding Night, The (1935) - Open, Good Book Opening credits into a New York literary party where host and writer Tony (Gary Cooper) can't get an advance on his next book, from Samuel Goldwyn's production of The Wedding Night, 1935, also starring Anna Sten.
Wedding Night, The (1935) - Give Another Pig! Now friends and resigned to her getting married to somebody else, writer Tony (Gary Cooper) and Polish maid Manya (Anna Sten) share candid moments in King Vidor's The Wedding Night, 1935, from Samuel Goldwyn.
Wedding Night, The (1935) - Don't Be So Moral Writer Tony (Gary Cooper), now free from his wife at his farm-house retreat, tries to press his advantage with Polish immigrant maid Manya (Anna Sten), in Samuel Goldwyn's The Wedding Night, 1935.
Nana (1934) - You Are An Actress! Nana (Anna Sten) and her girlfriends (Mae Clarke and Muriel Kirkland) meet the impresario Gaston Grenier (Richard Bennett) in Samuel Goldwyn's Nana, 1934, from the Emile Zola novel.
Nana (1934) - That's Love As the title character Anna Sten makes a smoking Paris theater debut with Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's "That's Love," in Samuel Goldwyn's Nana, 1934, from the Emile Zola novel.
Nana (1934) - Poor Soldier! Nana (Anna Sten) and her cohorts Mimi (Muriel Kirkland) and Satin (Mae Clarke) topple a drunken soldier (Hardie Albright) in a Parisian cafe in Samuel Goldwyn's Nana, 1934.
Nana (1934) - Opening Opening credits from Samuel Goldwyn's Nana, 1934, include a brief acknowledgement of Emile Zola's novel and a grand promotion of star Anna Sten and her supporting cast.
Nana (1934) - I Won't Be Poor! A framing scene featuring the unlikely graphic "Paris, 1868 A.D." shows the title character (Anna Sten) burying her mother and declaring her intentions in Samuel Goldwyn's Nana, 1934.
We Live Again - Opening, "The Prince!" The idyllic Russian opening of We Live Again, 1934, is, as it appears, pure Tolstoy, as Katusha (Anna Sten) is summoned from the fields by her Matrona Pavlovna (Jessie Ralph).

Companions

Fedor Ozep
Husband
Director. Ended in divorce; later co-directed Sten in "Three Russian Girls" (1943).
Eugene Frenke
Husband
Producer, director. Married in the 1930s; died c. 1988.

Bibliography