Bella Darvi

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Bella Darvi (23 October 192811 September 1971) was a Polish-born French actress.


Darvi was born Bayla Wegier to Chaym Wegier, a baker, and his wife, Chaya (née Zygelbaum). She has three brothers, Robert, Jacques Wegier, Jean-Isidore, and a sister, Sura. Robert died in a concentration camp.

Jailed by the Nazis during World War II, she was released in 1943. She married a businessman, Alban Cavalcade, on 7 October 1950[1] and traveled with him to Monaco. Discovered in Paris by the wife of mogul Darryl Zanuck. In 1952, she Divorced Cavalcade, and moved into the Zanuck home. In August 1953, she signed a contract with Zanuck, who changed her name to Bella Darvi, Darvi a combination of the first names of Zanuck and his wife, Virginia.[2] Eventually, she became Zanuck's mistress, although she reportedly dated other men including Robert Stack and Brad Dexter.

She was Richard Widmark's love interest in Sam Fuller's 1954 film Hell and High Water, but is probably best known for the role of Nefer, the seductive Babylonian courtesan, in The Egyptian. Her performance, stymied by her thick accent and a lisp, was roundly panned by the critics.

Zanuck left his wife for Darvi, but left her when he discovered that she was a lesbian. On 13 November 1960, Darvi married Claude Rouas, a restaurant waiter, in Las Vegas; the marriage was annulled less than a year later.


Darvi committed suicide in Monte Carlo by gas. Her body was not found for more than a week.


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