Baclanova is a Russian actress who first appeared onstage at age 16 with the Moscow Art Theater. She moved to the USA after visiting on tour with a Soviet company in 1923. Her first important film role was with Emil Jannings in silent Street of Sin (1928). Along with some Broadway work, she went on to star in several films; most notably, Baclanova was the bewitching trapeze artist who marries a midget for his money in the horror classic Freaks (1932). Retired from the screen in 1933, but in 1943 made one more supporting appearance (in Claudia); Baclanova also hosted a radio show in the late '30s.