Steffi Duna was a Hungarian-born actress and a ballet dancer. As a thirteen-year-old ballet dancer in Europe, she first caught the public’s attention at the age of nine.
Duna made her stage debut performing dramatized fairy tales at the Children’s Theater of Budapest. She soon danced in most of the capitals of Europe after her father sent her to the best schools for dancing in the Hungarian capital.
Duna made her professional debut as a dancer in 1932 on the London stage in the revue Words and Music by Noël Coward. In addition to performing professionally in Salzburg, Berlin, and London, she acted in Wonder Bar’ and ‘Words and Music’ (John Mills).
Duna arrived in New York City to pursue an acting career in 1932. Though she could not speak a word of English, she proved to be a fast learner. Her directors advised her to get away from her Hungarian friends so that she could learn English faster. She was able to speak six different languages within a few years. Duna played a variety of nationalities during the 1930s. Although European in origin, she was cast as fierce Latina femme Fatales in films that exploited her charismatic and exotic appearance, as in La Cucaracha (1934), the first live-action short film to be shot in three-strip Technicolor.
Duna made her film debut in a 1932 British comedy film, ‘The Indiscretions of Eve.’ She played Nedda in the British film version of Pagliacci in 1936. Duna played the lead role in various films, including ‘Panama Lady (1939)’, ‘Anthony Adverse (1936)’ and ‘Waterloo Bridge (1940)’.
Duna was married twice. She was first married to life actor John Carroll in 1935. The couple had a daughter. The marriage lasted only for three years and ended with a divorce. She married actor Dennis O’Keefe in 1940, and they had two children, a son and a daughter. They remained together until his death.
Steffi Duna’s death
Duna retired from acting in 1940 and spent the rest of her life with her kids. She died of cancer at her home in Beverly Hills in May 1992.
Here below are some gorgeous photos of the beautiful Hungarian actress Steffi Duna.