Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #00116562: BELLA DARVI

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Highly scarce vintage blue fountain pen signature on a 4x6-inch off-white card, acquired in-person by inveterate autograph hound John Verzi in 1965 and decorated with a small Players Directory image. In good condition and nice for matting with a favorite photograph. Gorgeous Polish-French leading lady Bella Darvi survived the tortures of a World War II concentration camp, only to get caught up in the phony glitter and high-living of Monaco's casinos as a young adult. It is there that she was discovered by Darryl Zanuck, who signed her to a movie contract, banking on her appeal as the next Ingrid Bergman. Alas, after high-profile roles in Hell and High Water (1954), The Egyptian (1954) and The Racers (1954), her lack of acting ability proved painfully clear, and audiences mercilessly ridiculed her slight strabismus, heavy foreign accent and pronounced lisp. These, combined with an explosive affair with Zanuck, ended her career, and she returned to a wild lifestyle of drinking and gambling, resulting in an endless string of debts. In 1971, Darvi committed suicide by gassing herself-- a disturbing death, when one thinks of her evading the gas chambers as a child-- aged only 42 years.