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Fernanda Eliscu

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Fernanda Eliscu, from a 1911 publication.
Fernanda Eliscu, from a 1911 publication.

Fernanda Eliscu (April 24, 1880 – September 27, 1968) was a Romanian-born actress in the United States, in English and Yiddish productions on stage and screen.

Early life

Fernanda Eliscu was born in Iași, Romania (some sources say Bucharest). She moved to the United States as a girl with her parents.[1] She trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and at Cooper Union.[2]


Early in her acting career, Eliscu was associated with Minnie Maddern Fiske and Maude Adams.[3] On stage, Eliscu acted in The Little Minister, Cyrano de Bergerac (1899), Beau Brummel (1899), Her Majesty (1900), Don Caesar's Return (1901), The Smoldering Flame, Pickpockets, Jacque Duval, Romeo and Juliet (1903), Marta of the Lowlands (1903),[4] The Light from Saint Agnes (1906), Ruth (1907),[5] The Third Degree (1909-1910),[6] The Outsider (1924, 1928),[7] If I Were You (1931), Triplets (1932), Creeping Fire (1935), and Winterset (1936).[8] Her extensive collection of hair ornaments, combs, pins, and clasps, was considered remarkable.[9]

In 1909, the Los Angeles Times theatre critic raved about Eliscu, assuring readers that "If the name of Fernanda Eliscu is not inscribed high in the records of dramatic accomplishment during the next ten years, it will be because either dramatic accomplishment or Fernanda Eliscu has ceased to exist."[10]

Eliscu also appeared in films, including Winterset (1936), Background to Danger (1943),[11] Berlin Express (1948),[12] Harbor of Missing Men (1950), and Charge of the Lancers (1954).

Personal life

Fernanda Eliscu married actor Carl Anthony Pfeil. They had three children before Pfeil died in 1930.[13] Fernanda Eliscu died in 1968, in Los Angeles, California, aged 88 years.


Year Title Role Notes
1936 Winterset Piny
1943 Background to Danger Turkish Wife on Train Uncredited
1943 The Song of Bernadette Townswoman Uncredited
1944 You Can't Ration Love Mrs. Boskowsky Uncredited
1944 Uncertain Glory Middle-Aged Woman at Meeting Uncredited
1945 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Minor Role Uncredited
1945 Her Highness and the Bellboy Diplomat's Wife Uncredited
1946 Gilda Bendolin's Wife Uncredited
1946 The Verdict French Housekeeper Uncredited
1947 Unconquered Squaw Uncredited
1947 Desire Me Old Woman Uncredited
1947 A Double Life Landlady Uncredited
1948 Arch of Triumph Flower Woman Uncredited
1948 Berlin Express German Woman Uncredited
1949 Samson and Delilah Herdswoman Uncredited
1950 Black Hand Minor Role Uncredited
1950 Harbor of Missing Men Mama Corcoris
1952 Viva Zapata! Fuentes' Wife Uncredited
1953 Remains to Be Seen Minor Role Uncredited
1954 Charge of the Lancers Keta
1957 Istanbul Cleaning Woman Uncredited, (final film role)


  1. ^ "Theatrical" Monroe News-Star (March 3, 1910): 5. via Newspapers.comopen access
  2. ^ "New Dramatic Stars Announced for Next Season; Charlotte Walker and Fernanda Eliscu Talented Young Players" Wichita Daily Eagle (June 2, 1907): 17. via Newspapers.comopen access
  3. ^ "Fernanda Eliscu May Be Starred" New York Times (May 16, 1907): 7. via Newspapers.comopen access
  4. ^ "Fernanda Eliscu's Rise" Wilkes-Barre Record (November 30, 1903): 12. via Newspapers.comopen access
  5. ^ "Local Amusements" Pittston Gazette (September 27, 1907): 5. via Newspapers.comopen access
  6. ^ "'The Third Degree' Seen Again With New Actress" Brooklyn Daily Eagle (September 13, 1910): 20. via Newspapers.comopen access
  7. ^ Thomas S. Hischak, Broadway Plays and Musicals (McFarland 2009): 348. ISBN 9780786453092
  8. ^ Fernanda Eliscu, Playbill database.
  9. ^ "Makes Fad of Hair Ornaments" Akron Beacon Journal (May 20, 1910): 16. via Newspapers.comopen access
  10. ^ "Music and the Stage" Los Angeles Times (October 13, 1909): 115.
  11. ^ Everett Aaker, George Raft: The Films (McFarland 2013): 102. ISBN 9780786493135
  12. ^ Paul Mavis, The Espionage Filmography: United States Releases, 1898 through 1999 (McFarland 2011): 123. ISBN 9780786449156
  13. ^ "Carl Anthony, Actor, Dies at 52" New York Times (July 29, 1930): 15.
  • Fernanda Eliscu at IMDb
  • A photograph of Fernanda Eliscu, circa 1931, in the New York Public Library Digital Collections.
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Fernanda Eliscu
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