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31 August 2015

Anita Janousková

Hungarian actress Anita Janousková or Anita Janová (1907-1965) was one of the first stars of the Czech cinema. She appeared in more than a dozen Czech silent films during the late 1920s.

Anita Janousková
Czech postcard, no. 224. Photo: Ströminger, Vinohrady.

A remarkably successful film career


Anita Janousková was born in 1907 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary as Anna Janousková. Anita started her career in the theatre, but soon would have a remarkably successful film career in the silent Czech cinema.

In 1926, she probably made her film debut with the lead role role of the young and ambitious Helenka, daughter of an old forester (Ferdinand Kaňkovský) in the romance Pohádka máje/May Fairy Tale (Karl Anton, 1926). It is a lyrical tale of the pure  romance between Anita's character and a fairly dissolute, but kind-hearted law student from Prague (Petr Dolan a.k.a. Jiri Voskovec).

This debut was not a case of single luck. The following years, she played supporting parts like in the hilarious comedy Anicko, vrat se!/Anny, come back! (Theodor Pistek, 1927), featuring Anny Ondra and Carl Lamac. Her fair hair, cute face, sharp eyes and smiling lips made her a popular silent film star in Prague.

Anita became the leading lady of Czech films like Sextánka (Josef Medeotti-Bohác, 1928), Filosofka Mája/Philosopher Maja (Oldrich Kmínek, 1928) and Andelíckárka/Abortionist (Oldrich Kmínek, 1930). In these films she was always credited as Anita Janová.

In the early 1930s her film career halted. Her two sound films were failures. She married and retired completely. Between 1935 and 1945 she lived in the Slovak Republic.

Twenty years after her last film, she returned to the screen. During the 1950s, she played several small roles in films like Mladá léta/Youthful Years (Václav Krska, 1953). In 1975, Anita Janousková, one of the first stars of the Czech cinema died forgotten and in seclusion in Prague. She was 67.

Anna Janousková
Vintage postcard. Collection: Didier Hanson.

Source: Jarda "Kribi" Lopour (CSFD - Czech), and IMDb.

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