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Do you remember the radiant beauty of the Florenz “Flo” Ziegfeld girls? Many people who believe in the concept of a flawless appearance still think of these ladies as re-incarnations of the goddess Venus herself. Without a doubt there is much beauty in this world in many shapes and forms, and so it is in Hungary.
We’re (almost) certain you will have heard about the stunning Hungarian fashion supermodels Barbara Palvin and Enikő Mihalik; but do you know any famous beauties from the past who are either Hungarian or have Hungarian roots?
Famous Hungarian Beauties from the Past:19th Century Amazing Actresses
Why might these actresses be of interest to our readers, and not just because of their great beauty? Well, their names might be familiar to you if you happen to live in Budapest.
Some women are so talented and gifted that they become role models or even legends in their own lifetimes. This was the case with Lujza Blaha. “The nightingale of the nation” as the Hungarians called her, was born in 1850. She grew up amongst actors and her talent, including an incredibly beautiful voice and acting ability, was discovered at a very early age. You may well have passed through Blaha Lujza tér, one of Budapest’s larger squares. It was named after her while she was still alive, no mean feat.
Róza Széppataky Déryné
Yes, Déryné Bistro in Budapest, and many of the places in Miskolc where she lived a long life, were indeed named after this celebrated actress, singer and literary translator. She was the first documented female opera singer to achieve this level of acclaim and played a pioneering role in the development of Hungarian theatre and opera. Besides being the first universally acclaimed actress this country has produced, Déryné translated 12 German plays into Hungarian, and had a leading role in the foundation of the first opera companies in the region.
Mari Jászai’s name is not only immortalised in one of Budapest’s most attractive squares but a crater on Venus was named after her. So too was the premier Hungarian award for national dramatic artists, the Jászai Mari Award. She was one of the most influential actresses in the Hungarian theatrical world. Playing over 300 roles, she also translated a number of plays including Henrik Ibsen’s work.
Famous Hungarian Beauties from the Past: 20th Century Dames
Ilona Massey, film, stage and radio performer (born Hajmássy) was born in Budapest. She was called the “New Dietrich” and appeared in famous movies and acted together with Lon Chaney Jr. In 1943, she appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies, a series of elaborate theatrical productions on Broadway in New York City.
The Legendary Katalin Karády
Generations admired singer and actress Katalin Karády because of her extraordinarily evocative voice and appearance. Her first movie, Halálos tavasz (“Deadly spring”) became a huge success in 1939. After that she became the ultimate sex-symbol and “femme fatale” of Hungary. She is also known as a recipient of the Righteous among the Nations honorific for rescuing a number of Hungarian Jews during the Second World War.
Her mother was a pianist and Budapest native who came from an upper-class Jewish family. She signed her first major contract in 1938 with MGM. Her first film, Algier became a sensation in the very same year. Lamarr played opposite the era’s most popular actors including Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy. She wasn’t just a talented actress but an inventor. She invented an improved traffic stoplight and a tablet that would dissolve in water to create a carbonated drink. She also designed a jam-proof radio guidance system for torpedoes and has also featured on the Science Channel and the Discovery Channel.