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Bella Darvi
Bella Darvi

(Bayla Wegier)
23 October 26 is born in Sosnoviec, Poland, to Chaym Wegier, a baker, and his wife, Chaya Zygelbaum. She has three brothers, Robert, Jacques, Jean-Isidore, and a sister, Sura/Denise. Robert will die in a concentration camp. In later years, her parents will divorce; her father will remarry.
War Years is arrested while trying to reach the south during WWII and is then sent to a convent that has been converted into a jail in Toulouse
43 is released from jail and reaches her family in Perigueux, where she finds their house burned, but they escaped
? works as a nurse in a hospital near her family lives
? meets prominent businessman Alban Cavalade in Paris
50 marries Cavalade and frequents the gambling spots on the Riviera
has a highly active social life, which revolves around automobile and fashion shows in Cannes, Deauville, and Enghien
? "prix délegance" in Cannes
? divorces Cavalade
June 51 while in Paris, producer Darryl F. Zanuck and his wife Virginia, with their friend D'Arcy, spot her sitting at a sidewalk café on the Champs-Elysées. She sends flowers to Mrs. Zanuck the next day / actor Alec D'Arcy introduces her to Virginia Zanuck at a Paris fashion show. Virginia introduces her to Darryl.
? when she confirms to Zanuck that she had to sell her clothes to pay gambling debts, he gives her $2,000 to improve her situation and invites her to Hollywood
c. Early 52 is the flame of actor Alex D'Arcy. Columnist Erskine Johnson knows that "Alex introduced her to Darryl Zanuck, who decided she had the making of a new Garbo."
November 52 turns up in Hollywood and moves into Zanuck's beach house at Santa Monica. Darryl's daughter Susan hates her at first sight. During her stay, she and Susan sleep in the same bedroom.
is in Hollywood at Virginia Zanuck's invitation. Soon there are rumors of a ménage à trois formed by her and the Zanucks.
January 53 screen tests for Zanuck in CinemaScope
May 53 columnist Erskine Johnson reports that she will star in Desirée opposite James Mason as Napoleon
August 53 signs a contract with Zanuck, who shortens her name to Bella Darvi - the DAR is for Darryl, the VI for his wife, Virginia
? the press heralds her as the French doll with the impact of TNT. "She's got zip, zoom, and zowie and in parlez-vous she's ravissante, chi-chi, and trés élégante."
? Marlon Brando allegedly cancels his engagement for The Egyptian because he can't stand her
September 53 columnist Hedda Hopper reports that "Virginia Zanuck called to say good-by before she, Darryl, and their new star, Bella Darvi, flew to New York, where Darryl remains until after The Robe opening. The two girls go on to Paris, and Zanuck flies out immediately after the opening to Munich to have a look at Nunnally Johnson's picture. Nunnally has bursitis and is in and out of a German hospital. Bella will beat the Zanucks home. She comes back to test for The Egyptian. Both Virginia and Darryl are mighty pleased with her first screen job in Hell and High Water."
October 53 columnist Dorothy Kilgallen reports that "although Ali Khan spends most of his public hours with Gene Tierney, he holds many a hideaway rendezvous with Bella Darvi"
December 53 is "cupidoodling" with wealthy Bob Calhoun
March 54 at an oriental costume party at Ciro's in honor of Terry Moore's return from entertaining the troops in Korea, Zanuck gets drunk and starts doing acrobatics at the dinner table. When Susan tells her mother that Bella is the reason for the behaviour, Virginia throws her out of the house.
May 54 Fox "doesn't expect her to return from Europe for more movies. She was ho-hum about the whole dreary business of movie acting during filming of The Egyptian. And she bought a one-way ticket to Paris.
July 54 her name is expected to pop up in higher court hearings of Simone Silva's immigration case if the legal blueprint now being drawn up is followed. Simone's lawyers and her producer-boss, Al Petker, will seek to prove that Bella came to Hollywood without a labor permit but was allowed to emote anyhow, and Simone wasn't given the same right.
she and Brad Dexter, the ex of Peggy Lee, are seen together regularly
October 54 Dorothy Kilgallen thinks that Bella and Robert Stack make an incongruous combination
? Zanuck leaves his wife Virginia for Bella and follows her to France
55 Zanuck leaves Bella when he discovers she is a lesbian
February 55 her Paris idyll with Aly Khan almost becomes hot-wire news. "One of her gallic suitors flung insults."
March 55 is in hot water with the U.S. Department of Immigration. "She hopped from Paris to New York for the premiere of The Racers without Uncle Sam's green light."
October 55 is seen at Sardi's with the Al Strelsins. She says she's going back to Paris to make a movie.
columnist Earl Wilson reports that she "came from Paris to New York to be that much nearer her Big Love, who's in Hollywood with his wife"
November 55 Dick Cowell proposes to her, but she is seen at El Morocco with Brad Dexter. Meanwhile, she studies English.
December 55 is a new steady duo with Jean-Pierre Aumont
columnist Earl Wilson reports her flying to Europe "wearing a 13-k. sparkler which she didn't find in an erster"
February 56 is in Miami with Brad Dexter, who keeps her company while her romance is away
May 56 the press reports that she "lost one million Francs gambling at Cannes. Her successor with Darryl F. Zanuck is French actress Lise Bourdin."
July 56 columnist Lee Mortimer thinks there's not all quiet on the Paris front with her and novelist Erich Maria Remarque
August 56 shows up "solo at the Cannes casino two nights running and really rakes it in: $65,000 for the two sessions..."
November 56 is spotted lunching at the Colony with Darryl F. Zanuck. "Her hand is weighted by a 30-carat diamond ring. (Bella even wears little diamond bracelets around the heels of her evening slippers.)"
January 57 has a new admirer in Milan, Italy: the very wealthy Renato Grassi
Early May 57 her big whirl in Cannes is with aviation tycoon Amiot
Late May 57 her new romance is handsome young Marc Michel
June 57 columnist Dorothy Kilgallen knows: "The Brazilian millionaire once captivated by Lana Turner (some society writers thought he'd make her his bride) is now the most important man in Bella Darvi's love life."
July 57 goes steady with Philippe Lemaire, the French matinee idol, who is the ex of Juliette Greco, Zanuck's this-year girl
is dated by Aly Khan, who doesn't seem to be cemented to model Bettina
the latest romantic chapter in her biography features a world-famous author currently vacationing in Paris
October 57 didn't make the grade as a Hollywood star, but is doing all right on the jewel and fur fronts. She's seen with a Hollywood producer at the Cannes Casino.
her most attentive pursuitor is French industrialist / director-producer Bernard Borderie
November 57 she and Juliette Greco, Zanuck's past and present, have a hair-pulling match in a Paris restaurant
February 58 is with Jerry Haskell at the Chateau Madrid to catch Carmen Amaya's act
her new fella is the Shah of Persia's brother, Amut
April 58 Winchell knows that she has a new fella. "His tag is well guarded. He showers her with loot."
June 58 in Monte Carlo, she tries to latch onto Frank Sinatra but gets such a brush-off before the Kings Go Forth premiere for Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier, that she flees to Paris
July 58 she and British TV writer Harold Hoyt are a duet
August 58 water-skis with John Ireland in Cannes. Afterwards he dates Linda Christian in Monte Carlo.
September 58 Winchell reports that she discovered John Ireland
15 February 59 suffers injuries in an auto crash and is taken to a Paris nursing home to recover
May 59 is reported spotting Darryl F. Zanuck and Juliette Greco coming through a hotel lobby together scuttling into a taxi to avoid a face-to-face meeting
July 59 her new admirer is French industrialist and aviator and fabulously wealthy 66-year-old Paul-Louis Weller, ex-escort of young actress Odile Rodin
May 60 has a rugged encounter with a New York stockbroker at the Cannes casino. She calls Boston couturier Joseph Corbett on the trans-Atlantic telephone to ask him to fly to the Riviera and create a whole new set of dresses for her. He airmails a batch of sketches in advance to calm her.
September 60 Winchell expects her to settle down with young San Francisco restaurateur maitre d' Claude Rouas, formerly of Maxim's in Paris
13 November 60 marries Claude Isaac Rouas in Las Vegas, Nevada. He's 27; she's 34. After the wedding, she wins at the Tropicana and begins playing baccarat at the Sands. "Come on, darling," says the bridegroom. "You can't tell me what to do just because we're married," replies the bride. The next day she talks to the lawyers about an annulment. Happily, she abandons the gambling for the groom and saves the marriage.
? she and Rouas divorce
September 61 she and her heavy losses are a topic with the Very Rich Set at the Monte Carlo gambling tables. They say she's pawned some of her fabulous jewels and asked a former beau to lend her $50,000, but he said no. / Zanuck has to borrow money from billionaire Howard Hughes to pay off her gambling IOUs, which total $50,000
? when her gambling gets out of control, Zanuck deserts her
? has to sell her jewels, furs, clothes, and furniture to cover herself financially. Finally, she has to sell her two poodles, too.
August 62 attempts suicide in Monte Carlo
Kilgallen reports Bella frolicking in the Riviera waters. "She's given up drinking and gambling, she says, feels lucky to be alive, and blames her overdose of sleeping pills on a 'moment of craziness.'"
? meets Radhamés Trujillo, Ramfis' younger brother, at a Monte Carlo casino, who becomes her Sugar Daddy for about a year before he marries French actress Danielle Gaubert in February 1964
September 62 Kilgallen tells that Bella "has a beau, who seems to cheer her up: He's Radhamés Trujillo, and there's even talk that he might invest in a picture if Bella got a part in it."
March 64 will open a Paris cafe
August 64 her ex, Claude Rouas, now assistant maitre d' of San Francisco's fashionable Ernie's, is expected to visit her soon
April 66 attemps suicide at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France
June 68 attemps suicide in her hotel room in Monte Carlo
is put in a clinic on the Riviera. When Monaco's Hotel de Paris keeps her clothing in exchange for an unpaid bill, Zanuck comes to help.
10/17 September 71 takes her life at age 42 in a small apartment on 9 avenue d'Ostende in Monte Carlo by opening the gas jets on her stove. Her decomposed body is found one week later.
? is interred in a small grave
September 71 her intimates are afraid she may have left a very revealing
diary
78 her brother Jean-Isidore purchases the family plot in Cimetière parisien de Bagneux and pays for her funeral
86 her father dies at age 94 and is buried in Israel
87 her mother dies at age 91

Sources:
Hugues Marc Antoine Bartoli, Clement Deltenre, The Fox That Got Away by Stephen M. Silverman, Fallen Angels by Kirk Crivello, Hollywood Babylon II by Kenneth Anger, The Hollywood Reporter, Confidential, Silver Screen, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Dixon Evening Telegraph, Pottstown Mercury, Nevada State Journal, The Portsmouth Herald, The Bridgeport Telegram, Mansfield News-Journal, The Port Arthur News, The Lima News, Syracuse Herald-Journal, The Zanesville Signal, Chronicle-Telegram, Burlington Daily Times-News, The Coshocton Tribune, The Daily Intelligencer, The Vidette-Messenger, www.Ancestry.com
Recommended Books:
Fallen Angels by Kirk Crivello
Fox That Got Away by Stephen M. Silberman
Links:
Filmography