Personally selected by Austrian entrepreneur Max Reinhardt as a candidate for stage stardom, Viennese actress Tala Birrell made her film bow in such German productions as The Doomed Batallion (1931). Hollywood producers, unfortunately, could not see beyond Tala's exotic mittel-European accent. When she was brought to Tinseltown in 1933, she was ballyhooed as "the new Garbo," a commodity that was a glut on the market at the time. Wasted in secondary roles in such films as Bringing Up Baby (1938), The Song of Bernadette (1943) and The Power of the Whistler (1945), Ms. Birrell retired, returning to Europe as soon as it was politically feasible.
by Hal Erickson biography