Rose Stradner

Rose Stradner (July 31, 1913 – September 27, 1958) was an Austrian stage and film actress, who starred opposite Edward G. Robinson, Gregory Peck, and other leading men of her era.[1] She was married to the film director Joseph L. Mankiewicz.[2]

Rose Stradner
Stradner in 1936
BornJuly 31, 1913
Died27 September 1958(1958-09-27) (aged 45)
OccupationFilm actress
Years active19331953
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
(m. 1939; her death 1958)
ChildrenChristopher and Tom Mankiewicz (sons)
RelativesHerman J. Mankiewicz (brother-in-law)

Life and career

Stradner was born in Vienna, Austria on July 31, 1913.[3] While still an infant, she moved with her parents to Trieste and Isonzo, where her father was stationed as an engineer in charge of troop transportation during World War I. Post-war, she was sent to a convent after returning with her parents to Vienna. After completing her education, during which she learned English, performed in student plays and became an accomplished pianst, she became a pupil of Austrian theatrical producer and film director Max Reinhardt. Trained by him, she was subsequently hired by a Hollywood studio after executives saw photographs of her.[4]

With Reinhardt's guidance, she made her stage debut in 1937.[5]

In 1937, she made her Hollywood film debut opposite Edward G. Robinson in The Last Gangster, in which she played the wife of Robinson's character, Joe Krozac.[6] Washington's Evening Star said of her, in an image caption in its November 10 edition that same year: "Rose Stradner is being hailed by the M-G-M people as the studio's greatest discovery since Garbo, as they seem to feel she is going places in the cinema."[7]

Announcing in 1939 that she had signed a long-term contract with Columbia Pictures, Washington's Evening Star called her "one of the great dramatic stars of the European stage", adding that as "a prominent member of the Max Reinhardt school of the theater, "Miss Stradner has appeared in more than 50 dramas, ranging from Shakespeare, Ibsen and Moliere to noted modern day playwrights [including] .... 'Dinner at Eight,' 'An American Tragedy,' ... 'Faust,' 'Cymbeline,' 'As You Like It,' 'Romeo and Juliet,' 'Hamlet,' 'St. Joan,' and others."[8]

Her final role was starring opposite Gregory Peck in 1944's The Keys of the Kingdom.[9]


On September 27, 1958, Stradner committed suicide at her summer home in Mount Kisco, New York by overdosing on sleeping pills. She was 45 years old. According to Rochester's Democrat and Chronicle:[10]

Police said a nearly indecipherable note was found in her hand.... A caretaker found the body lying on the floor next to a writing table. Police listed the death tentatively as natural pending an autopsy. Mankiewicz, also a writer and director, said he had last seen his wife Friday night [September 26] when he left [their home] for New York to work on a forthcoming Broadway play. She appeared in good spirits at the time, he added. Miss Stradner wed the film executive in 1939.

She was laid to rest at the Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla.

Selected filmography


  1. "Edward Robinson Has New Leading Lady in Picture: Rose Stradner Is Cast Opposite Star in Film". Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina: Roanoke Rapids Herald, November 11, 1937, p. 4.
  2. Eyman p.316
  3. "Columbia Signs Rose Stradner". Washington, D.C.: Evening Star, March 9, 1939, p. C-5.
  4. "Her Career Started the Easy Way: Rose Stradner Just Asked for the Job and Got It. Washington, D.C.: Evening Star, April 30, 1939, p. F-2.
  5. Rose Stradner, in "Marriages of the Stars Undergo Examination". Washington D.C.: Evening Star, November 6, 1937, p. C-20.
  6. "Edward Robinson Has New Leading Lady in Picture: Rose Stradner Is Cast Opposite Star in Film", Roanoke Rapids Herald.
  7. "Has a Bright Future Ahead" (illustration with caption). Washington, D.C.: Evening Star, November 10, 1937, p. B-10.
  8. "Columbia Signs Rose Stradner", Evening Star, March 9, 1939.
  9. "Director's Wife Found Dead". Rochester, New York: Democrat and Chronicle, September 29, 1958, p. 27.
  10. "Director's Wife Found Dead", Democrat and Chronicle, September 28, 1958.


  • Barton, Ruth. Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful Woman in Film. University Press of Kentucky, 2010.
  • Eyman, Scott. Lion Of Hollywood: The Life And Legend Of Louis B. Mayer. Simon and Schuster, 2005.
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