Vilma Bánky

Active - 1921 - 1933  |   Born - Jan 9, 1898   |   Died - Mar 18, 1991   |   Genres - Romance, Drama, Comedy, Action, War

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

During her heyday, Hollywood leading actress Vilma Banky was billed as "The Hungarian Rhapsody." She was born Vilma Lonchit, near Budapest at the turn-of-the-century. She was discovered by Sam Goldwyn who was taken by her exquisite beauty and brought her to Hollywood in 1925 to star opposite Rudolph Valentino in The Eagle, and subsequently, The Son of the Sheik (1926). Banky is best known for the work she did opposite handsome leading man Ronald Colman. They appeared in five films together and their chemistry was magical. Unfortunately, Banky's career died with the advent of sound because audiences found it difficult to understand her heavily accented English. She retired from films in the late 1920s after marrying movie star Rod La Rocque; they stayed together until he died in 1969. In 1932 she made one last film, Der Rebell/The Rebel. Banky died in 1991, but news of her passing was not announced until 1992 for it was the embittered Banky's dying request that her death not be formally announced.

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