12 May 2015

Tatiana Pavlova

Russian actress Tatiana (or Tatyana) Pavlova (1893-1975) left Moscow after the revolution and found film work in the silent Italian cinema. Later she became an innovating stage director.

Tatiana Pavlova
Italian postcard, no. 107. Photo: Ercole Massaglia, Torino. Collection: Didier Hanson.


Tat'jana Pavlova Zeitman (Russian: Татьяна Павловна Павлова) was born in Yekaterinoslav, Russian Empire (now Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine), in 1893.

In 1911, she began her career as a young stage actress. She first worked in the touring company of Pavel Orlenev and later in Moscow theatres. She made her Moscow debut in 1916 in the lead role of Fröken Julie (Miss Julie) by August Strindberg.

Following the revolution, she abandoned Moscow and worked in Paris, Odessa and Constantinople. In 1919 she went to Italy where she participated in silent films of the Ambrosio studio like La catena/The Chain (Alessandro Rosenfeld, Aleksandr Uralsky, 1920) with Russian actor Ossip Runitsch.

It was followed by other films by Rosenfeld and Uralsky, like L'Orchidea fatale/The fatal Orchid (1920) with Ossip Runitsch. In the meanwhile she studied Italian from Cesare Dondini and Carlo Rosaspina.

In 1923 she founded a theatre company with her own money. It debuted at the Teatro Valle in Rome with Sogno d'amore/Mecta Ljubvi/Dream of love by Alexander Kosorotov. She interpreted and directed authors such as Leonid Andreev, Anton Chekhov, Maxim Gorky, and Ferenc Molnár, with an originality that gave her credit for having helped to create the stage direction in Italy. In her company were a young Tina Lattanzi together with Vittorio de Sica.

Pavlova also continued to work as a film actress. Her films include Creature della note/Creatures of the notes (Amleto Palermi, 1934) with Isa Pola, and La signora di tutti/Everybody's Woman (Max Ophuls, 1934), starring Isa Miranda.

In 1935 she settled in Rome, having been invited by Silvio D'Amico to direct courses in the newly founded National Academy of Dramatic Arts. In 1938 she married the writer and fascist Nino D'Aroma.

Tatiana Pavlova
Italian postcard. Unknown editor.


After the war Tatiana Pavlova increasingly diminished her appearances as an actress. In 1946 he played the role of the mother in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, directed by Luchino Visconti.

Her post-war films include Una lettera all'alba/Letter at Dawn (Giorgio Bianchi, 1948) with Fosco Giachetti, and the Italian-American production Cagliostro/Black Magic (Gregory Ratoff, 1949) starring Orson Welles.

Later she devoted herself mainly to directing operas.

In 1965, she played in three films, including Menage all'italiana/Menage Italian Style (Franco Indovina, 1965) with Ugo Tognazzi, and Io la conoscevo bene/I Knew Her Well (Antonio Pietrangeli, 1965) with Stefania Sandrelli.

Tatiana Pavlova passed away in 1975 at the age of 81 in the nursing home Villa Letizia of Grottaferrata.

Tatiana Pavlova
Italian postcard by Ed. A. Traldi, Milano, no. 878. Photo: Fontana. Pavlova's name is misspelled on the card as Paulovla.

Source: Treccani (Italian), Wikipedia (Italian) and IMDb.

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