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Popularity of the Baby Name Bajla


Posts that Mention the Name Bajla

The Debut of Darvi

bella darvi, 1950s, actress
Bella Darvi

In the mid-1950s, the unusual name Darvi appeared just twice in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1957: unlisted
  • 1956: 6 baby girls named Darvi
  • 1955: unlisted
  • 1954: 5 baby girls named Darvi [debut]
  • 1953: unlisted

What put it there?

Actress Bella Darvi, whose story is somewhat similar to that of Miroslava: both were born in Europe in the 1920s, both were of Jewish descent and had to deal with the Nazis, both tried to become famous Hollywood actresses in the 1950s, and both ended up taking their own lives.

Bella Darvi was born Bajla Wegier in Poland in 1928. She was imprisoned by the Nazis during World War II and released in 1943.

In 1951, she happened to meet American film producer Darryl Zanuck and his wife Virginia while they were in Europe. They brought her to the U.S., changed her name to Bella Darvi — “Darvi” being a combination of Darryl and Virginia — and helped her get into the movies.

She was featured in several relatively high-profile films in 1954 and 1955 (The Egyptian, Hell and High Water, and The Racers). She even co-won the “New Star of the Year” Golden Globe Award in January of 1954 for her parts in the first two films.* But ultimately her career didn’t take off.

She returned to Europe, where she continued to appear in films, but in 1971 committed suicide in Monte Carlo.

*Interestingly, according to the official Golden Globes site, Darvi won her award before either of her 1954 films came out (one was released in February, the other in August). And, in fact, that particular awards show (the 11th Golden Globes) was supposed to be focused on movies from 1953. So I have no idea how she managed to win…unless Zanuck had something to do with it?

Sources: Bella Darvi – IMDb, Bella Darvi – Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen