NILS ASTHER d1989. Danish born Swedish actor known for his beautiful face, once nicknamed the male Greta Garbo. Between 1916-63, he appeared in over 70 films including 16 during the silent era. He left for Hollywood in 1927, where his first film was Topsy and Eva. The film also featured the Duncan sisters and in 1930 he married one of them (Vivian) with whom he had a daughter, Evelyn. By 1928 his good looks had made him into a leading man, playing opposite such stars as Pola Negri / Marion Davies / Joan Crawford and Greta Garbo (with whom he made two films). With the arrival of sound in movies, Asther took diction and voice lessons to minimize his accent and was generally cast in roles where an accent wasn't a problem, such as the Chinese General Yen in The Bitter Tea of General Yen. Between 1935-1940, he was forced to work in England after an alleged breach of contract led to a studio-based blacklist. He made six films there before returning to Hollywood in 1940. Although he made another 19 films up until 1949, his career wasn't the same. In the early 1950s he tried to restart his career in TV but managed only to secure roles in a few episodes of minor TV series. In 1958, he returned to Sweden almost destitute. He managed to get an engagement with a local theatre and made four film roles in Sweden / Denmark before finally giving up on acting in 1963 and devoting his time to painting.
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