Zarah Leander (Zarah Leander)

Zarah Leander

Actress. Born Zarah Stina Hedberg in Karlstad, Sweden. Her career began in revues and operettas in her home country. Her first movies were also made in Sweden, but it was only after the German production “Premiere” (1937) that she managed her breakthrough. She became one of the greatest stars of German film arousing enthusiasm with her cool acting, especially with her fascinating and deep voice, singing songs that were specifically composed for her. From then on each of her movies became ‘Zarah Leander’ vehicles in which she impersonated a femme fatale, tinged by a certain sadness. Some of her greatest movies (1937-1943) are “Zu neuen Ufern,” “Der Blaufuchs” and “Damals.” With the German actor Willy Birgel she found herself an ideal male counterpart. In 1943 Zarah Leander left the increasingly difficult situation in Germany and returned to Sweden. There she was met with hostility as a Nazi sympathizer, which meant she had difficulties to find work. With the passing of time she somewhat managed to eradicate this sullied reputation, but the claim that she had worked as an allied agent was met with incredulity. After the war she went back to Germany but could not get a working permit and it was only in 1948 that she was able to work as a singer again. She was not able to build on her earlier successes and only took part in a few movies during 1953-1964. Apart from film she also appeared in some operettas and musicals. (bio by: Lennart Haglund)


  • March, 15, 1907
  • Sweden


  • June, 06, 1981
  • Sweden


  • HĂ€radshammars kyrkogĂ„rd
  • Sweden

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