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Alla Nazimova

The margaritas have kicked in as the gal-pals let their geek flags fly and talk about movie universes they would love to be in before rooting for syphilis to take out an abusive father. Bonnie’s 1 Cool LGBT Thing is about actress Alla Nazimova who was paid more than Mary Pickford, had a theater and hotel named after her and had a large number of female relationships that spanned the silver screen to the presidency.

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Show Notes & Extras:

  • Looking for our other gal’s 1 Cool LGBT thing? Check out Leah’s on comedian Moms Mabley, and Katie’s on the idea of two moms.
  • Get-to-know-you question: What game or movie universe would you most like to live in?
  • We let our geek flags fly and wonder if any of our universe picks would put Bonnie’s art skills to use? How much does Disney want our geek money?
  • Bonnie’s 1 Cool LGBT Thing is Alla Nazimova: actress in theater and early film.
  • “My ambition is not to make my audience laugh or cry, I want to feel that when they go away I have made them think.” – Alla Nazimova
  • Book Nazimova by Gavin Lambert


  • Her father wanted to make a pill to replace food. Katie is not onboard!
  • Her father was horrible and even broke her arm over a report card.
  • Her parents finally get divorced but she’s sent to her aunt and uncle.
  • How can you tell a woman is a city whore?
  • Dad comes back with a new wife and new step-siblings.
  • Maybe it’s Syphilis.
  • Alla’s sent to a boarding school the students call her the “anti-Christ” and ironically she school burns down.
  • Alla joins a theater school where she has relationships with women but to pay the bills, she’s dabbling in prostitution.
  • “I vote for Syphilis!” -Leah (T-shirt coming soon)
  • Joins a theater company
  • “You remind me of my first love” the only English words you need to know.
  • Affairs and murders.
  • Signs a contract with Shubert brothers
  • Great success in Henrik Ibsen plays.
  • CORRECTION: In trying to land on Sarah Bernhardt’s name Clara Bow (not Clara Barton) was a silent-film star “It Girl”.
  • She has a theater named after her.


  •  She marries Charles Brant but probably still married to a guy in Russia. 
  • She has an affair with Mercedes de Acosta.
  • She starts in film with War Brides
  • Was a member of the National Women’s Suffrage Association.
  • She has ties to Nancy Regan’s mom.
  • Alla was paid more than Mary Pickford.
  • Her house on Sunset Boulevard was called “The Garden of Alla” and was eventually turned into a hotel renamed Garden of Allah Hotel.
By Postcard publisher circa 1918 – Internet, Public Domain
  • She’s created with the term “sewing circle” meaning lesbian and bisexual actresses.
  • She (and many Hollywood ladies) were open about their same-sex relationships in a time when you could say “pregnant” in the mail.
  • The book is on the Library wishlist! If you would like to buy the book and have it sent to the Gal’s Guide library click here.
  • Leah doesn’t bury the lead on her Charlie Chaplin knowledge.


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What if you could only share 1 cool thing about a topic? Would it be about ancient history? Would it be breaking news? Would it be safe for work? A group of gals gathers to present to you one cool thing on topics like painting, gaming, movies, music and more.

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