Anna Q. Nilsson

Active - 1912 - 1954  |   Born - Mar 30, 1888   |   Died - Feb 11, 1974   |   Genres - Drama, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Born in Sweden, actress Anna Q. Nilsson was lured to the U.S. as a teenager by dreams of luxury and creature comforts. Her first job was as a nursemaid, but Anna learned English quickly and was able to advance herself professionally. Her striking Nordic beauty made her a much sought-after commercial model; one of the photographers with whom Nillson worked suggested that the girl was pretty enough for motion pictures, and recommended her for a one-reel epic titled Molly Pitcher (1913). She worked her way up to stardom, and her career might have continued unabated had not Nillson been seriously injured in 1925 when, while riding a horse, she was thrown against a stone wall. Nillson was an invalid for one whole year, working arduously with therapists and specialists in Sweden and Vienna until she was finally able to walk without aid. One of Nillson's comeback films was The Babe Comes Home (1927), in which she worked like a Spartan to give her own performance while trying to make baseball star Babe Ruth look good. When talking pictures came in, Nillson, whose career had been faltering since her accident, gave up films to concentrate on charity work. Occasionally she'd accept featured or bit roles, though few are worth mentioning except for her appearance as one of the silent-star "waxworks" - including Buster Keaton and H.B. Warner - in the 1950 film drama Sunset Boulevard. Anna Q. Nilsson retired in 1963 to Sun City, California.

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