During the '20s and '30s Franciska Gaal was an extremely popular nightclub and theatrical actress in Central Europe. She occasionally appeared on Broadway during the 1920s. In the early '30s, Gaal appeared in several light romances in films made in Hungary, Austria and Germany. Gaal, born Fanny Ziveritch in Budapest, moved to Hollywood in 1938 to star in Cecil B. De Mille's The Buccaneer. After making two more features, Gaal returned to Budapest in 1940 to attend to her mother's illness and was forced to remain through WW II. In 1951, she went to New York to replace Eva Gabor in the Broadway production The Happy Time.