|Vintage Pulp | Musiquarium||Nov 12 2009|
She fizzled on the screen, but achieved immortality in song.
A nice piece of Chinese pulp fell into our hands. It’s a shot of Ukrainian actress Anna Sten, née Anna Stenska or Anna Sudakevich, from a Chinese newspaper circa 1934. Sten began in silent movies in Germany, transitioned smoothly into talkies, but saw her career founder after mogul Samuel Goldwyn brought her to Hollywood to make her a star. It was the accent that did her in. She tried like hell but couldn’t shake it. But even if she never wowed them in Tinseltown, and her roles are mainly forgotten, she lives forever in song thanks to Cole Porter, who mentioned her in his timeless hit “Anything Goes.” Anna’s bit comes in about two thirds through, with the lines:
When Sam Goldwyn can with great conviction,
instruct Anna Sten in diction,
then Anna shows,
Not quite a star on the Walk of Fame, but as consolation prizes go, it’s pretty damned good. Anna Sten died today in 1993, aged 84.