Sari Maritza

Sari Maritza (17 March 1910 July 1987) was an actress in British films of the early 1930s.

Early years

Born Dora Patricia Detring-Nathan in Tianjin, China, Maritza was the daughter of a wealthy industrialist and his Viennese wife. Her stage name was taken from the titles of two then famous European operettas – Sari and Countess Maritza.

Film

Maritza entered films in 1930 and gained some notoriety for dancing a tango with Charles Chaplin at the premiere for his film City Lights in 1931. Although her behaviour was described as lurid, which was silly publicity, she attracted attention and was cast in several low budget, but relatively popular British films.

She made the German-UK film Monte Carlo Madness in Germany in 1932 before traveling to Hollywood, but her few films there for Paramount Studios and RKO Radio Pictures were poorly received.

In America, she was portrayed as an exotic European vamp with emphasis placed on her mother's Austrian heritage, but Maritza had lived most of her life in Britain, and disapproved of the studio's attempts to create a more mysterious facade for her. She retired in 1934 following her marriage, and in later years, admitted that she had been eager to end her career as she did not consider herself to be a capable actress.

The Literary Digest said the name was pronounced SHA-ree MAR-ee-tsa. (Charles Earle Funk, What's the Name, Please?, Funk & Wagnalls, 1936.)

Death

Maritza died in the U.S. Virgin Islands in July 1987.

Filmography

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