Lucy Doraine (Ilonka Kovács)
Ilona (Ilonka) Kovacs began her youthful film career in her native Hungary, barely out of her teens. That career was initially guided by the veteran Hungarian director, Mihaly Kertesz (Michael Curtiz), who became her first husband. Given that "Kovacs" in Hungarian is about as ordinary as "Smith" in English, she soon replaced that commonplace surname with the one-of-a-kind, exotic-sounding screen name "Lucy Doraine". And off-screen she became "Mrs Mihaly Kertesz", the director's wife. Read more... political and military turmoil swirling around in Hungary. That turmoil included a Socialist revolution, followed by a Communist revolution and, finally, a Fascist revolution (all in 1918-1919)! Doraine's years of European film stardom continued up to 1927, both while she was still directed by Curtiz during their marriage (1918-23, at least 10 films together), and another few years after their divorce, when she was guided by German and Austrian directors like Basch and Eichberg. Her starring vehicles, post-Curtiz, bore spicy romantic titles like "Her Husband's Wife", "The Prince and the Ballerina" and "Matrimonial Scandal". Doraine in a sense followed Curtiz's footsteps to Hollywood (although he had re-married twice), but her acting career in the US never caught fire, and she found herself playing supporting roles (directed by Frank Lloyd and William K. Howard) when she was only 30. Her last documented film acting was in the "parallel" German-language version (shot in the US) of "Trial of Mary Dugan" (1931), and even speaking German (in which she was more fluent than English), she was cast in a supporting role. After that, Doraine evidently left the screen at age 33, but lived on in the US for many decades, until her death at the ripe old age of 91.