Russian actress (1876-1949). A diminutive, soft-spoken woman, she studied singing in Warsaw and acting with the Moscow Art Theater, where she learned Method acting under Stanislavski himself. She came to the United States in 1923 and remained to perform on Broadway. She also ran an acting school in New York before working on a film in Hollywood called "Dodsworth" to help fund the school in 1936.

With her dark eyes and thick Slavic accent, she was a popular character actor, but she is best known as the mysterious gypsy fortune-teller in 1941's "The Wolf Man" who speaks the famous lines:

"Even a man who is pure in heart
And says his prayers by night
May become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms
And the autumn moon is bright."

Of course, she appeared in numerous other films, including "Sverchok na pechi" (her first film, in 1915, back in Mother Russia), "The Rains Came," "Waterloo Bridge," "The Man I Married," "Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet," "The Shanghai Gesture," "The Mystery of Marie Roget," "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man," "Tarzan and the Amazons" (she played the Amazon Queen, believe it or not), "Wyoming," and "A Kiss in the Dark."

Ouspenskaya died of a stroke just three days after she'd been injured when a lit cigarette set fire to her bed.

Some research from the Internet Movie Database (

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