Tamara Desni

Tamara Desni (22 October 1913 – 7 February 2008) was a German-born British actress. She appeared in films in the 1930s and 1940s.

Tamara Desni
Tamara Brodsky

(1913-10-22)22 October 1913
Died7 February 2008(2008-02-07) (aged 94)
Years active1931–1950
Hans Wilhelm
(m. 1929; div. 1930)

(m. 1937; div. 1940)

Roland Gillett
(m. 1942; div. 1945)

(m. 1947; div. 1951)

Albert Lavagna
(m. 1956; died 2002)
Parent(s)Xenia Desni


Born as Tamara Brodsky,[1] the daughter of actress Xenia Desni, Tamara Desni was born in Berlin. Her mother was born in Kiev, Russian Empire and emigrated to Germany sometime before Desni's birth. She became a star of German cinema during the silent era.

She studied ballet as a child and appeared on stage and in several German films. She married a dentist while a teenager, although they divorced before Desni landed her first London acting role in 1931 in the musical White Horse Inn. She followed this up with another leading role in the musical Casanova, featuring music by Johann Strauss, Jr.

Desni's film career took off in 1933 with Falling for You, and continued through 1950. Other film credits include Dick Barton at Bay, The Torso Murder Mystery, Fire Over England, and Hell's Cargo.


She met her second husband, actor Bruce Seton, on the set of Blue Smoke in 1934. They married in Hendon in March 1937,[2] but divorced in 1940. She next married film producer Roland (Bill) Gillett, though that marriage was dissolved before the end of World War II. Her fourth marriage was to the Canadian-born actor Raymond Lovell in 1947, the two separating in 1951. Her stepdaughter during this short marriage was the actress Simone Lovell.

In France, she met Albert Lavagna, a builder. They built the popular inn 'L'Auberge Chez Tamara', marrying in 1956, shortly after Desni discovered she was pregnant for the first time. They had two daughters.


Desni's health began declining while in her late eighties. She died, a widow, on 7 February 2008 in Valence d'Agen, France, aged 94.


Year Title Role Notes
1931 Terror of the Garrison Annemarie
1931 In the Employ of the Secret Service Natascha, hans datter
1931 Marriage with Limited Liability
1933 Falling for You Sondra von Moyden
1934 Jack Ahoy Conchita
1934 The Diplomatic Lover Helen
1934 Bypass to Happiness Tamara
1934 Forbidden Territory Marie-Louise
1935 McGlusky the Sea Rover Flame
1935 Dark World Birgitta
1935 Blue Smoke Belle Chinko
1936 Love in Exile Tanya
1937 Fire Over England Elena
1937 The Squeaker Tamara
1939 Traitor Spy Marie Dufreyne
1940 His Brother's Keeper Olga
1945 Flight from Folly Nina
1946 Send for Paul Temple Diana Thornley
1947 The Hills of Donegal Carole Wells
1950 Dick Barton at Bay Anna (final film role)


  1. ^ "Tamara Desni" The Telegraph (15 February 2008). Retrieved 29 September 2010.
  2. ^ "Snow-Flecked Bride". Belfast News-Letter. 8 March 1937. Retrieved 28 December 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.

External linksEdit