Lila Kedrova

Lila Kedrova

Kedrova in 1965.
Born 9 October c. 1918
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died 16 February 2000
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Actress
Years active 1938–1994
Spouse(s) Richard Howard (1968-2000; her death)

Lila Kedrova (9 October c. 1918 – 16 February 2000), was a Russian-born French actress. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Zorba the Greek (1964), and the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for the same role in the musical version of the film.[1]

Life and career

Kedrova claimed to have been born in 1918, in Petrograd, Russia, although the year is impossible to ascertain. Her parents were Russian opera singers. Her father, Nikolay, was a singer and composer, a creator of the first Russian male quartet to perform liturgical chants. Her mother, Sofia Gladkaya (ru: Софья Николаевна Гладкая) (1875–1965), was a singer at the Mariinsky Theatre and a teacher of Conservatoire de Paris. Kedrova's brother, Nikolay (1905–1981) was a Russian singer and composer of liturgical music.

Some time after the October Revolution, in 1922, the family emigrated to Berlin. In 1928 they moved to France, where Kedrova's mother taught at the Conservatoire de Paris, and her father again recreated the quartet "Quatuor Kedroff". In 1932, Kedrova joined the Moscow Art Theatre touring company. Then her film career began, mostly in French films, until her first English appearance in 1964 as Mme Hortense in Zorba the Greek.

Her performance won her the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Kedrova appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's 1966 film, Torn Curtain playing the role of Countess Kuchinska. Kedrova played Fraulein Schneider in the West End stage production of Cabaret in 1968 alongside Judi Dench and Peter Sallis.

She then went on to play a series of eccentric or batty ladies in several Hollywood films. In 1983, she reprised her role as Mme Hortense on Broadway in the musical version of Zorba the Greek, winning both a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical and a Drama Desk Award in the process. In 1989 she played Madame Armfeldt in the London revival of A Little Night Music.


In 2000, Kedrova died at her summer home in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, of pneumonia, after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.[1][2]


List of acting performances in film and television
Title Year Role Notes
Ultimatum 1938 Irina as Lila Kédrova
Weg ohne Umkehr 1953 Ljuba
Défroqué, LeLe Défroqué 1954 uncredited
Flesh and the Woman 1954 Rose French: Le Grand jeu
Impures, LesLes Impures 1955 Mme. Denis, la concierge
Chiffonniers d'Emmaüs, LesLes Chiffonniers d'Emmaüs 1955 Le femme de Bastien uncredited
gens sans importance, DesDes gens sans importance 1955
Futures vedettes 1955 Sophie's mother
Razzia sur la chnouf 1955 Léa
Calle Mayor 1956
Jusqu'au dernier 1957 Marcella Bastia
Ce joli monde 1957 Léa
The Lovers of Montparnasse 1958 Mme. Sborowsky
Mon pote le gitan 1959 La Choute
Jons und Erdme 1959
La Femme et le Pantin 1959 Manuela
Kriss Romani 1963
Mort d'un tueur, LaLa Mort d'un tueur 1964
Zorba the Greek 1964 Madame Hortense Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated — Laurel Award for Female Supporting Performance
High Wind in Jamaica, AA High Wind in Jamaica 1965 Rosa, Tampico Bar Owner
Torn Curtain 1966 Countess Kuchinska
Penelope 1966 Sadaba
Maigret à Pigalle 1967 Rise
Canard en fer-blanc, LeLe Canard en fer-blanc 1967 Rosa
The Girl Who Couldn't Say No 1969 Yolanda's mother
Kremlin Letter, TheThe Kremlin Letter 1970 Sophie
Time for Loving, AA Time for Loving 1972 Madame Olga Dubillard
Rak 1972 mère de David, LaLa mère de David
Escape to the Sun 1972 Sarah Kaplan
Soft Beds, Hard Battles 1974
Alla mia cara mamma nel giorno del suo compleanno 1974 Countess Mafalda
The Cursed Medallion 1975 Contessa Cappelli
Eliza's Horoscope 1975 Lila
Footprints on the Moon 1975 Old woman on the beach French: Le Orme
Tenant, TheThe Tenant 1976 Madame Gaderian French: Le Locataire
Moi, fleur bleue 1977 Countess de Tocqueville
Nido de Viudas 1977 Mother US: Widow's Nest
Paradis des riches, LeLe Paradis des riches 1978 Camille Chevallier
Cavaleur, LeLe Cavaleur 1979 Olga
Égouts du paradis, LesLes Égouts du paradis 1979 Charlotte
Womanlight 1979 Sonia
Tell Me a Riddle 1980 Golden Mask Award
Les Parents terribles 1980
Il Turno 1981 Maria
Blood Tide 1982 Sister Anna
Testament 1983 uncredited
Sword of the Valiant 1984 Lady of Lyonesse
Some Girls 1988 Granny
Star for Two, AA Star for Two 1991
Next Time the Fire 1993 Mother


  1. 1 2 "Lila Kedrova, Known for Oscar-Winning Role in 'Zorba,' Dies". 20 April 2000. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  2. "Lila Kedrova, Who Won An Oscar And Tony For Her Work In `Zorba'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
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