Nazimova, Alla

Nazimova, Alla

(nəzĭ`məvə), 1879–1945, Russian-American actress. She turned from music to drama, studying with StanislavskyStanislavsky, Constantin
, 1863–1938, Russian theatrical director, teacher, and actor, whose original name was Constantin Sergeyevich Alekseyev. He was cofounder with Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko of the Moscow Art Theater in 1898, which he would remain associated with for
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 and later appearing at the Moscow Art TheaterMoscow Art Theater,
Russian repertory company founded in 1897 by Constantin Stanislavsky and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko. Its work created new concepts of theatrical production and marked the beginning of modern theater.
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. In 1905 she emigrated to New York City and played Russian roles in her native tongue. She made her English-speaking debut (1906) in Ibsen's Hedda Gabler and thereafter became the foremost interpreter of Ibsen in the United States. In 1910 she took over the Thirty-Ninth Street Theatre, which was renamed the Nazimova. She gave memorable performances in Chekhov's Cherry Orchard (1928) and in O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra (1931). Her films include Camille (1921), A Doll's House (1922), and The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1944).

Bibliography

See biography by G. Lambert (1997).

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Nazimova, Alla

(1879–1945) stage actress; born in Yalta, Russia. A leading performer with the Moscow Art Theatre, she debuted in New York in 1905 in a Russian play; within six months she learned enough English to play Hedda Gabler. Credited as one of the first to take a psychological approach to acting, she was best known for her Ibsen and Chekhov roles on stage but later she made a few movies.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.