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Katalin Karady

She would be 106 years old today. A heroine, not only on the screen. Her life story still fascinates.

Key facts: she starred in 22 films between 1939 and 1944, mostly playing the femme fatale in Hungarian noir films.

In 1944 she was captured by the Gestapo and tortured for 3 months, due to her relationship with Istvan Ujszaszy, who was chief of the secret service.

When she was released she used her jewellery and her fame to save Jewish children that were to be shot into the Danube by the Hungarian SS. She hid Jewish families in her three flats until the end of the war.

After the war she got less and less work in films or the theatre. The decadent image of the diva did not suit the new, socialist regime.

In 1951 she emigrated to the West.

She lived in Europe and in Brazil. Robert Kennedy helped her to finally be allowed to settle in the US, where she opened a hat shop in New York. She never returned to Hungary.

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