Thursday, December 18, 2008

Della Lind - "Swiss Miss"

Della Lind was a Viennese musical star who was brought to Hollywood in the 1930s to appear in several movies. She'd previously appeared on stage and in musical comedy movies in her native Austria, under her birth name Grete Natzler.

Her best-remembered Hollywood movie is 1938's "Swiss Miss", in which she co-starred with Laurel and Hardy.

Al Kilgore, one of the founding members of the Sons of the Desert (the International Laurel and Hardy Society), asked me if I could locate her. This was in 1978. Researching the clippings files at the New York City Performing Arts Collection at Lincoln Center, I'd found reference to Ms. Lind being married to composer Franz Steininger. Further research found an obituary - he died in 1974, and was survived by Ms. Lind. Mr. Steininger was affiliated with the Turnabout Theatre in Hollywood founded by fellow composer/songwriter Forman Brown. I called the theatre and spoke to Mr. Brown, who was still in contact with Ms. Lind. He gave me her phone number and contact was made.

It was a few years before I found a nice portrait of Ms. Lind. I sent it to her in 1982, and she returned it within two weeks.

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