Osa Massen

Osa Massen (born Aase Madsen Iversen, 13 January 1914[2] – 2 January 2006) was a Danish actress who became a successful movie actress in Hollywood. She became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1941.[3]

Osa Massen
Osa Massen - 1944.jpg
Aase Madsen Iversen

(1914-01-13)13 January 1914
Copenhagen, Denmark
Died2 January 2006(2006-01-02) (aged 91)
Years active1935 – 1981
Spouse(s)Allan Hersholt (1938–1945)
Dr. Harvey R. Cummins (1947–1951)
Dr. Stanley Vogel (1953–1962?)

Background and early careerEdit

Born in Copenhagen, Denmark,[4] she began her career as a newspaper photographer, then became an actress. She first came to the United States in 1937. She was recorded as Aase Madsen-Iversen, Danish actress, aged 23, on the manifest of the S/S Normandie, which sailed from Southampton, England, on December 18, 1937, and arrived at the Port of New York on December 23, 1937.

Massen's first film was Kidnapped (1935).[5] She notably appeared as Melvyn Douglas' unfaithful wife dealing with blackmailer Joan Crawford in A Woman's Face (1941). She also appeared as a mysterious woman with something to hide in Deadline at Dawn (1946). She also starred with Lloyd Bridges in the movie Rocketship X-M (1950), the first space adventure of the post-World War II era.

Later in her career, Massen appeared in guest roles on many television programs. She made three guest appearances on Perry Mason. In 1958, she played Lisa Bannister in "The Case of the Desperate Daughter", where she was reunited with her "Master Race" daughter Gigi Perreau, and in 1959, she played Sarah Werner in "The Case of the Shattered Dream". Her last television role was in 1962 when she played Lisa Pedersen in "The Case of the Tarnished Trademark".

Personal lifeEdit

She was married three times, including once to Allan Hersholt, the son of Jean Hersholt, on December 15, 1938.[2]:229


Massen died on January 2, 2006, 11 days before her 92nd birthday, following unspecified surgery in Hollywood, California.[6][note 1][7] Her remains are buried at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California[4] with a plaque that lists her name as Osa Massen Vogel.


Year Title Role Notes
1935 Kidnapped Grethe
1935 Bag Københavns kulisser Eva Lindemann
1939 Honeymoon in Bali Noel Van Ness
1941 Honeymoon for Three Julie Wilson
1941 A Woman's Face Vera Segert
1941 Accent on Love Osa
1941 You'll Never Get Rich Sonya
1941 The Devil Pays Off Valeria DeBrock
1942 Iceland Helga Jonsdottir
1943 Background to Danger Ana Remzi
1943 Jack London Freda Maloof
1943 Undercover Sailor's Girlfriend uncredited
1944 The Black Parachute Marya Orloff
1944 Cry of the Werewolf Elsa Chauvet
1944 The Master Race Helena
1946 Tokyo Rose Greta Norburg
1946 Deadline at Dawn Helen Robinson
1946 The Gentleman Misbehaves Chincilla
1946 Strange Journey Christine Jenner
1948 Million Dollar Weekend Cynthia Strong
1949 Night Unto Night Lisa
1950 Rocketship X-M Dr. Lisa Van Horn
1955 Wiegenlied Ernestine Schumann-Heink
1958 Outcasts of the City Leda Mueller


  1. ^ The book Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2006: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture says Massen "... died of complications from surgery in a Santa Monica, California, convalescent home ...".


  1. ^ "The Master Race". IMDb.com. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b Hans J. Wollstein (1994). Strangers in Hollywood: the history of Scandinavian actors in American films from 1910 to World War II. Scarecrow Press. p. 227. ISBN 978-0-8108-2938-1. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  3. ^ Copy of Petition for Naturalization #90276, filed in Los Angeles, California under the name 'Aase Madsen Iversen Hersholt, Ancestry.com; accessed 30 September 2015.
  4. ^ a b Wilson, Scott (17 August 2016). "Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed". McFarland. Retrieved 8 June 2019 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "Osa Massen, 91; 1940s Danish-Born Actress Famous as Femme Fatale". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 13 September 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  6. ^ Willis, John; Monush, Barry (1 May 2010). "Screen World 2007". Hal Leonard Corporation. Retrieved 8 June 2019 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ Lentz, Harris M. III (2007). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2006: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. McFarland. pp. 230–231. ISBN 9780786452118. Retrieved 13 September 2017.

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