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Bella Darvi

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Full Name  Bajla Wegier
Role  Film actress
Name  Bella Darvi
Years active  1954-1971
Cause of death  suicide

Bella Darvi Bad39 BELLA DARVI Star of the Week ClassicMovieChatcom
Born  October 23, 1928 (1928-10-23) Sosnowiec, Poland
Died  September 11, 1971, Monte Carlo, Monaco
Spouse  Claude Rouas (m. 1960–1961), Alban Cavalcade (m. 1950–1952)
Parents  Chaym Wegier, Chaya Zygelbaum
Siblings  Jean-Isidore Wegier, Jacques Wegier, Robert Wegier, Sura Wegier
Movies  The Egyptian, Hell and High Water, Good Little Girls, Je suis un sentimental
Similar People  Edmund Purdom, Darryl F Zanuck, Michael Wilding, Jean Simmons, Gene Tierney

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Bajla Węgier (October 23, 1928 – September 11, 1971), better known as Bella Darvi, was a Polish film actress and stage performer who was active in France and the United States.



Bella Darvi Bella Darvi actress 1950s a photo on Flickriver

Darvi was born Bajla Węgier to Jewish parents Chajm Węgier, a baker, and his wife, Chaja (née Zygelbaum). She had three brothers, Robert, Jacques, and Jean-Isidore, and a sister, Sura. Robert died in a concentration camp.

Bella Darvi Picture of Bella Darvi

Jailed by the Nazis during World War II, she was released in 1943. She married a businessman, Alban Cavalcade, on October 7, 1950 and traveled with him to Monaco. She was discovered in Paris by the wife of mogul Darryl F. Zanuck. In 1952, she divorced Cavalcade, and moved into the Zanuck home. She signed a contract in August 1953 with Zanuck, who changed her name to Bella Darvi, Darvi is a combination of the first names of Zanuck and his wife, Virginia. Eventually, she became Zanuck's mistress, although she reportedly dated other men including Robert Stack and Brad Dexter.

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She was Richard Widmark's love interest in Sam Fuller's film Hell and High Water (1954) as well as that of Kirk Douglas in The Racers (1955), but is probably best remembered for the role of Nefer, the seductive Babylonian courtesan, in The Egyptian (1954). She received the role because her lover, Zanuck, preferred her over Marilyn Monroe. According to Ephraim Katz, her "three disappointing Hollywood films" were followed by a "number of undistinguished French and Italian productions". In Hollywood she was well known for her strong and recognizable Polish accent.

Bella Darvi Bella Darvi Celebrities lists

Zanuck left his wife for Darvi, but left her when he discovered that she was bisexual. Darvi later very publicly dated women, as well as men. Despite liaisons with extremely wealthy men, she was unable to establish a permanent relationship or to curb her gambling habit. Zanuck was still paying off her debts as late as 1970. On November 13, 1960, Darvi married Claude Rouas, a restaurant waiter, in Las Vegas; the marriage was annulled less than a year later.


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Darvi committed suicide, after several failed attempts, in Monte Carlo by gas. Her body remained undiscovered for more than a week.


  • Hell and High Water (1954)
  • The Egyptian (1954) as "Nefer"
  • The Racers (1955)
  • Je suis un sentimental (1955)
  • I'll Get Back to Kandara (1956)
  • Rafles sur la ville (1958)
  • Le Gorille vous salue bien (1958)
  • Pia de' Tolomei (1958)
  • La donna di Ghiaccio (1959)
  • The Enigma of the Folies-Bergere (1959)
  • Le Pain des Jules (1959)
  • Il rossetto (1960)
  • L'Urlo dei bolidi (1961)
  • Le bourgeois gentil mec (1969)
  • Les Petites Filles modèles (1971) English title: Good Little Girls
  • References

    Bella Darvi Wikipedia