Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Look Out, Miss Lotte Lenya

Here at SSUWAT, we often celebrate divas who, if necessary, could hide a switchblade in their hair. For our latest Mystery Guest, however, we chose one who could hide a lethal blade in her orthopedic shoes: Miss Lotte Lenya! As the widow of Kurt Weill, Lenya worked diligently to keep his work and name before the public, performing annual concerts of his music.

Perhaps Weill's most famous song, "Mack the Knife," was inspired by Lenya in 1928; and when Louis Armstrong and Bobby Darin recorded pop versions of it in the 1950's, Lenya was name-checked as an ad-lib lyric. Perhaps not too coincidentally, this rise in her mainstream profile was quickly followed by two showy supporting roles in major Hollywood films: as an impoverished countess in The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961) and as the evil, blade-running Rosa Klebb in From Russia with Love (1963). For the former, Lenya earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nod.

The always-clever, ever-sophisticated Toby Worthington, naturally, was the first to guess. He has his pick between the two sensible-shoe-clad SPECTRE agents pictured above. Yours from SSUWAT with love, darling!


  1. My husband's father, Richard Revy, discovered Lotte Lenya when she was 16 years old and introduced her to Kurt Weil in Germany. The two family's stayed friends from pre-war Germany thru the Weil's and Lenya's success in America.
    There was so much talent in that emigre group that escaped Nazi Germany for the freedom of New York and Hollywood.

  2. You've zeroed in on Robert Shaw at his all-time hottest! A period that did not last very long, IMHO.

  3. So grateful for my door prize, dear TJB!
    The selection won't be too difficult owing to my weakness for the Gestapo type. Come to think of it that would apply to both Mr Shaw AND Ms Lenya...

  4. No mention of Cabaret? She had one of the most poignant songs in the show.

  5. I’m only familiar with her playing the delicious switchblade wielding agent Rosa Klebb. So convincing in this characterization that the ‘Bond Girl’ remarked, “Horrible woman”!

  6. LOL. What is she about to do with that gloved hand in the last picture?