Marija Leiko

Marija Leiko (14 August 1887 – 3 February 1938), also known as Marija Leyko, was a Latvian stage and silent film actress in Europe, especially popular in Latvia, Germany,[1] and Russia.

Marija Leiko
Marija leiko.jpg
Born14 August 1887
Died3 February 1938 (aged 50)
Years active1907–1928

Life and film careerEdit

Leiko conquered the German big screen first, starring in The Diamond Foundation (1917), Kain (1918), Ewiger Strom (1919), Die Frau im Käfig (1919) and Lola Montez (1919) as the dancer.[citation needed]

When the silent movie era ended Leiko retired from film acting. After the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, she returned to her native Latvia. In 1935 she visited the Soviet Union and stayed to join the company of the Latvian State Theatre in Moscow.[citation needed]

During the so-called "Latvian Operation" the theatre was shut down, and on 15 December 1937, Leiko was arrested on charges of belonging to a "Latvian nationalist conspiracy". On 3 February 1938 at the age of 50 she was shot and buried in a mass grave at the secret NKVD killing field at Butovo, near Moscow.

Maria Leiko was posthumously rehabilitated for the absence of a crime (corpus delicti) on May 12, 1958.[citation needed]


On May 14, 2017 in Moscow on the wall of the house 9, building 3 at Obolensky lane memorial sign Last Address of Maria Karlovna Leiko was posted.[2]



  1. ^ Marija Leiko profile Archived 2007-11-23 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 10 February 2016.
  2. ^ Russian: Москва, Оболенский переулок, дом 9, корпус 3 // Сайт «Последний адрес».


  • Guna Zeltina, Anita Uzulniece Russian: Мария Лейко : Актриса театра и кино, 1887-1937 Language: Latvian Riga Liesma 155 pages (Illustrated) January 1989 ISBN 5-410-00276-8 ISBN 9785410002769

External linksEdit