Katalin Karady (Katalin Karady)

Katalin  Karady

Actress, Singer. A ‘sex-kitten’ in around 20 Hungarian films of the 1940s, she is better remembered for her work in saving Jews during World War II. Born Katalin Kanczler she was raised in poverty but due to the charity of others was able to spend five years studying in Switzerland and Holland; returning home she attracted notice with both her language skills and her looks, studied marketing, and in 1931 was married briefly to a somewhat older man. Katalin began acting in small venues, eventually working up to the Comedy Theatre of Budapest before 1939’s feature film “Deadly Spring” established her as a star. Her screen following grew as did stories of a turbulent personal life, with simultaneous rumors of sexual liasons with high government officials and with women. Even after the outbreak of war she continued working, but having become a symbol of her nation the radio broadcast of her songs and eventually her making of movies were halted by the Nazis. During the war she was able to facilitate the protection of numerous Hungarian Jews, even hiding children in her home, but in 1944 she was arrested as an Allied spy and imprisoned for three months during which she was starved and tortured. With the end of the conflict Katalin returned to the screen and to the operetta stage but as she was liked no better by the Communists than she had been by the Nazis her career dried up. She made her last film, “Foro mezok”, in 1949 and left Hungary for good in 1951. Following brief stays in Austria, Switzerland, and Belgium she moved to Sao Paolo, Brazil, in 1953 where she had a fashion botique. In 1968 she immigrated to the USA, ran a New York hat shop, and avoided media contact. Invited home for her 70th. birthday she sent a hat in her stead. Honored in her native land at her death, she was commemorated with the 2001 film “Hamavado Cigarettaveg”. In 2004 she was posthumously awarded a medal by Israel’s Yad Vashem Institute declaring her Righteous Among the Nations.

More Images

  • katalin -


  • December, 08, 1910
  • Hungary


  • February, 08, 1990
  • USA
  • New York


  • Farkasreti Cemetery
  • Hungary

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