Ludmilla Tchérina (Monique Tchemerzine)
Photos with Ludmilla Tchérina
Ludmilla Tcherina, a grande dame of the international dance world, was born October 10, 1924, into Russian aristocracy as the daughter of Prince Avenir Tchemerzine (he was a general) and Stephane Finette, a Frenchwoman. She began dancing at the age of three and by the time she was seven she was showing marks of brilliance. At eleven she made her professional debut and trained at the school of the Paris Opera. In 1940 she joined Serge Lifar's Monte Carlo Ballet, becoming the youngest prima ballerina in the history of dance under the pseudonym of "Tcherzina. Read more... "Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet" (1942). She was 21 when offered her first film role with French star Louis Jouvet in The Lover's Return (1946). In 1948 she made her British film bow with the stylized fairy tale classic The Red Shoes (1948) and went on to perform gloriously in The Tales of Hoffman (1951). Both of these films also featured her husband and frequent dance partner Edmond Audran. Shortly after the filming of Hoffman, Audran was tragically killed in a road accident. The griefstricken Tcherina went into seclusion but was convinced to return to her art form in 1953 by second husband Raymond Roi, who remained her husband until her death in 2004. It was her film work in Hoffmann that perked the eyes and ears of Hollywood. She made her American debut in Sign of the Pagan (1954) in which she performed a straight dramatic role along with an interpretative dance. This marked her first departure from classic ballet. After starring in the British picture Oh...Rosalinda!! (1955), she would appear less and less in film and devote herself more to painting and sculpting. In 1970 she still enthralled audiences with her dance performance in "Joan of Arc at the Stake." She authored two novels in the 1980s: "L'amour au miroir" (1983) and "La femme a l'envers (1986).