Lilia Skala

Active - 1953 - 1990  |   Born - Nov 28, 1896   |   Died - Feb 18, 1994   |   Genres - Drama, Mystery

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Educated at the University of Dresden, actress Lillia Skala launched her stage career in her native Vienna, where she briefly worked with the legendary Max Reinhardt. The advent of Hitler compelled Skala to relocate to the U.S. in 1939; two years later, she made her Broadway bow in Letters to Lucerne. In 1951, she was cast as Duchess Sophie in the Irving Berlin musical Call Me Madam, the role that brought her to Hollywood for the 1953 filming of the same property. During the 1950s, she supplemented her theatre income by playing regular roles on such soap operas as The Guiding Light and Search for Tomorrow. In 1963, Skala was nominated for an Oscar for her finely etched portrayal of the tenacious Mother Maria in Lillies of the Field. She went on to contribute strong performances in such films as Roseland (1977) and Testament (1983). Couch potatoes of the 1960s will immediately recognize Lillia Skala for her occasional appearances as Eva Gabor's mother on the popular sitcom Green Acres.

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