Florence Marly (2 June 1919 – 9 November 1978) was a Czech-born French film actress. During World War II, Marly moved to neutral Argentina with her Jewish husband, film director Pierre Chenal, where she appeared in several films. She also acted in two of her husband's films while they were in Chile.
Marly in an ad for the film Sealed Verdict
2 June 1919
|Died||9 November 1978 (aged 59)|
Glendale, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Pierre Chenal (1937–1955); Count Degenhart von Wurmbrand-Stuppach (1956)|
Marly was born Hana Smékalová in Obrnice, Czechoslovakia. She studied French and her dream was to become an opera singer. At 18 she went to Paris to study art, literature and philosophy at Sorbonne. She met her future husband Pierre Chenal who cast her in his movie The Alibi. She played a major role in René Clément's Les Maudits, a fictionalized account showing the fate of Nazi refugees. After moving to Hollywood, she acted in Paramount's Sealed Verdict opposite Ray Milland. Next year, she starred in Stuart Heisler's Tokyo Joe (1949) alongside Humphrey Bogart. In it she played Bogart's wife, who divorces him after he moves to the United States from Japan before Peal Harbor brought the United States into World War II. The film met with mixed responses from critics. Clive Hirschhorn wrote in his book, The Columbia Story, that it was "a little more than a Bogart parody". Marly's acting in the espionage film Tokyo File 212 brought her appreciations. Robert J. Lentz wrote in Korean War Filmography that she had given the best performance in the film. It was Hollywood's first feature film to be shot entirely in Japan.
In 1962 she appeared in a small role as a gangster's girlfriend in the Twilight Zone episode Dead Man's Shoes. She had the eponymous role of a blood-thirsty vampire queen in Curtis Harrington-directed science fiction horror film Queen of Blood (1966), based on a novel by Charles Nuetzel. It met with positive reviews. Paul Meehan wrote in Saucer Movies that she gave a "convincing" performance. Marly made a 16 mm sequel to Queen of Blood titled Space Boy! (1973).
At a dinner, director Fritz Lang bit Marly's hand. During the early years of her acting career, the U.S. Consulate mistook her for the Russian-born, left-inclined, singer and songwriter Anna Marly, and she was subsequently blacklisted in Hollywood by the House Un-American Activities Committee. Even after she was cleared from the blacklist, at a Hollywood party Jack L. Warner "turned his back on [her]". Noël Coward, in a letter, called her a "rather sweet" "beautiful Czech lady". She was married to Chenal from 1937 to 1955. In 1956 she married the Austrian Count Degenhart von Wurmbrand-Stuppach (1893-1965) but divorced the same year.
- The Alibi (1937) - La maitresse de Gordon
- The Lafarge Case (1938) - Emma Pontier
- Café de Paris (1938) - Estelle
- Sirocco (1938) - Diana
- Savage Brigade (1939) - Isa Ostrowski
- Le Dernier Tournant (1939) - Madge, la dompteuse
- La piel de Zapa (1943) - Fedora
- End of the Night (1944)
- Viaje sin regreso (1946)
- The Damned (1947) - Hilde Garosi
- Krakatit (1948) - Princess Wilhelmina Hagen
- Sealed Verdict (1948) - Themis DeLisle
- Tokyo Joe (1949) - Trina Pechinkov Landis
- Tokyo File 212 (1951) - Steffi Novak
- Gobs and Gals (1952) - Soyna DuBois
- El ídolo (1952) - Cristina Arnaud
- Confession at Dawn (1954)
- Undersea Girl (1957) - Leila Graham - Gang Moll
- Queen of Blood (1966) - Alien Queen
- Games (1967) - Baroness, Party Guest
- Doctor Death: Seeker of Souls (1973) - Tana
- Space Boy (1973, Short)
- The Astrologer (1975) - Diana Blair (final film role)
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- Films in Review. 30. National Board of Review of Motion Pictures. 1979. p. 59.
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- Focus on Film. 19–31. Tantivy Press. 1974. p. 27.
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- Films in Review. 27. National Board of Review of Motion Pictures. 1976. p. 551.