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Who’s That Girl in Assiut? Lina Murari

Isn’t this a lovely vintage photo?  I picked this up off from an ephemera dealer in a virtual antique mall and thought she looked stunning.  Of course, I picked up this postcard for the beautiful shawl.  When I got her home and did a little research, I discovered her tragic tale.

Lina Murari – Italian Silent Picture Actress

Lina Murari was a stage name for the titled aristocrat Countess of Santa Fiora di Padua.  Her husband and her separated, leaving her destitute and struggling to make it as an actress.  Though she was quite beautiful, her voice wasn’t very strong.  In a time before amplification, this left her with few performance opportunities.  However, she did appear in several silent pictures in the early 1920s. 

“Hissed to Death?”

There is little information about this actress on the web.  However, there are some conflicting stories of her date of death.

Legend says she died from an overdose of Veronal, an early barbiturate used as a sleeping aid, after being “Hissed to Death.”  After a particularly bad performance, an audience booed and hissed her off the stage.  The theater owner fired her and she went back to her room in despair and took a lethal amount of her medicine.  

Other sources have pointed out that she appeared in Florence in several performances after an attempted suicide.  Perhaps an Italian archival researcher will one day find the answer.

Whatever the truth might be, she was an undeniable beauty, and I’m happy to have this postcard to share.

Happy Dance and Costuming,
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
October 13, 2021

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