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Greta Nissen (Grethe Ruzt-Nissen)

(1905-1988), Norwegian dancer and actress

Sitter in 1 portrait

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Anjel Candy

8 October 2017, 14:17

Greta Nissen - actress and dancer was born 30 January 1905 as Grethe Rutz Nissen in Oslo, Norway to parents Carl Andreas Frantz Nissen (1870-) and Agnes Magdalene Larsen (1879-1949). The couple separated in 1908 and Greta moved with her mother to Copenhagen, where she attended the National Ballet School and studied with Mikhail Fokine (1880-1942) from 1918-1919. In 1922 she was a solo ballerina with the Danish National Company and toured with them to New York in 1924.

Greta Nissen appeared in two Danish films before going to America and acted in more than twenty films altogether from 1925-1937. She married actor Weldon Heyburn (1903-1951) in 1932, which was eventually annulled in 1936. Meanwhile in 1933 she moved to Britain and continued with her film career until 1937. Returning to the United States she married industrialist Stuart Drake Eckert (1907-1993) in 1941. They had one son, Tor Bruce Nissen Eckert (1943-). She died 17 May 1988 in Montecito, California aged 83.

additional details:

As a dance student and solo ballerina Greta Nissen was the protege of Maud of Wales, the Queen of Norway (1869-1938). Despite her scandinavian accent Greta Nissen did make the transition from silent movies to talkies. However when filming Hell's Angels in 1927/28, she was replaced by Jean Harlow when producer Howard Hughes (1905-1976) decided to make a sound version of the film.

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