Pola Negri Polish Queen

Pola Negri

Pola Negri

Apolonia Chałupiec was born on 3 January 1897 in Lipno in (the region of) Kujawy. Several years later she became Pola Negri, the actress who conquered Hollywood and broke the hearts of many men. Her life is a mystery and even her exact date of birth is unknown. The birth date given on her tombstone is 31 December 1899, but other dates are also given: 22 December 1896/3 January 1897 (two dates were required in Russian-conquered Kingdom of Poland – one date followed the Julian calendar, the other the Gregorian calendar). Pola’s father was exiled to Siberia when she was a little girl. In 1902 she moved with her mother to Warsaw where she attended ballet school and acting classes. Her talents were quickly noticed. She borrowed her surname from Ada Negri, a popular poet of the time. On 1 September 1912 she performed Clara in “Maiden Vows” at the Teatr Mały in Warsaw. Then, in 1914, she made her début in the film “Slave of the Senses”. A few years later, she moved to Berlin. Her most noteworthy movies were in German, such as “The eyes of the Mummy Ma”, “Carmen”, “Madame Du Barry” and “Sumurun”. At the age of 25 she left Berlin and set off to conquer Hollywood. Pola Negri was a breath of fresh air bringing something new to Hollywood. Her career flourished particularly in the 1920s. She was in more than twenty films, earning an incredible $1m a year.

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