Alla Nazimova (1879 - 1945)
The Russian-born American actress and screenwriter’s career expanded early and by 1903, she was a major theatre comedian in her native country. In 1906, she made her début in New York where she became very popular. Rapidly, she was remarked by Hollywood and starred in various silent productions before writing her own films in the beginning of the 1920s and launching the career of Rudolph Valentino. An assumed lesbian, she shocked puritan America and film studios who rejected the highly emancipated woman and the debauched parties she would give within her Sunset Boulevard mansion named ‘The Gardens of Alla’.