Anna Sten (Anel Sudakevich)
Photos with Anna Sten
BiographyKiev, Russian Empire [now Ukraine]
Born in Russia to a Ukrainian father and a Swedish mother, Anna Sten studied at the Russian Film Academy and joined the Moscow Art Theater. Strikingly beautiful, she went on to appear in a number of Russian silent films, but it was in the German film Der Mörder Dimitri Karamasoff (1931) that Anna gained notice. Samuel Goldwyn saw a picture of Anna in the paper and rushed to view the film. After the first reel he sent word to sign her, hoping to develop her into a star of the magnitude of Greta Garbo or Marlene Dietrich. Read more... to a contract but forgot to mention the fact that Anna didn't speak a word of English, which made her appearance in sound pictures questionable. She spent a year studying English every day and working out makeup and acting. Goldwyn publicity called her "The Passionate Peasant" and sold her image to papers all over America. However, her first picture, Nana (1934), even though almost completely rewritten and reshot from the original, didn't bring audiences into the theaters. While Anna was looked great, the script and picture were average. Her second film, We Live Again (1934), marginally better suited to her style, also died within weeks at the box office. After her third film for Goldwyn, The Wedding Night (1935), also flopped, she and Goldwyn parted company after it became known around Hollywood as "Goldwyn's Last Sten." Anna made a few more movies, but by the end of the decade she was forgotten.