Ita Rina

Ita Rina

Ita Rina in 1928 or 1929
Born Italina Lida Kravanja
(1907-07-07)7 July 1907
Divača, Gorizia and Gradisca, Austro-Hungary
Died 10 May 1979(1979-05-10) (aged 71)
Budva, SR Montenegro, SFR Yugoslavia
Occupation Actress
Years active 19271960

Italina Lida "Ida" Kravanja (7 July 1907 – 10 May 1979), known under her pseudonym Ita Rina, was a Slovenian and Serbian film actress and beauty queen. She was one of the major film stars in Germany and Czechoslovakia in the late 1920s and the early 1930s. Rina retired from her career shortly after her wedding in 1931, when she changed her religion from Roman Catholic to Serbian Orthodox and her name to Tamara Đorđević.

Life and career

Early life and modeling career (1907—1926)

Ita Rina was born on 7 July 1907 in the small town of Divača (then Austro-Hungarian Empire, later Yugoslavia, now Slovenia) as Italina Lida Kravanja.[1] She was called Ida Kravanja for short.[1] The first daughter of Jožef and Marija Kravanja, Rina had a younger sister Danica.[1] Shortly after the outbreak of the World War I, the family moved to Ljubljana, where Rina matriculated in 1923. She was not a good student; she repeated the third grade of elementary school.[1] However, her dream was to be an actress.

In October 1926, Slovenski narod (Slovenian People) magazine organized a beauty pageant, and Rina entered the competition.[1] She was crowned Miss Slovenia and was to travel to the final event for Miss Yugoslavia, which was supposed to be held on 20 December 1926 in Zagreb.[1] However, her mother did not want to let her go to Zagreb. After a group visit from the Slovenian delegation, Marija Kravanja relented. Unfortunately, when Rina arrived in Zagreb, the jury was already choosing the most beautiful of three finalists.[1] She was, however, noticed by Adolf Müller, the owner of Balkan Palace cinema in Zagreb. He immediately sent her photographs to German film producer Peter Ostermayer.[1][2] As her mother did not want to let her go to Berlin, Rina ran away from home.[1]

Film breakthrough and success (1927—1939)

Rina arrived in Berlin in 1927.[1][2][3] Shortly after she had her first audition, following which she had classes in acting, diction, dancing, driving and riding.[2] She made her debut in the 1927 film What Do Children Hide from Their Parents, directed by Franz Osten.[2] After several small film roles in 1927 and 1928, the critics finally noticed her in the 1928 film The Last Supper.[2] The same year, Rina met her future husband Miodrag Đorđević, a student.[1] Her big breakthrough came the following year, in the film Erotikon, directed by Gustav Machatý.[1][2][3] She starred in the leading female role, Andrea. The great success of the film upset some moral and Christian organizations.[1] The Catholic Abbot Battleme, wrote: "... First, they lie next to each other, and then one to another ... It is true that the cover hides their figures, but it certainly does not hide their movements... The protagonists are shown in particularly long shots, especially Ita... A viewer can recognize her excitement, then her expression of anxiety mixed with longing, then the pain and at the end... I blush while describing the scenes".[1] This was, however, the best advertisement for the film, and the beginning of Rina's career.[1]

In 1930, Rina acted in three films, most notable being the first talking Czech film Tonka Šibenice, which is often named her best role.[2] Meanwhile, she married Miodrag Đorđević in 1931, and changed her religion from Roman Catholic to Serbian Orthodox.[1][2][3] Rina was baptised in Russian Orthodox Church, and also got her new Orthodox name, Tamara Đorđević.[1][2][3] "I wanted to be named Ljubica, but the Russian Minister would not allow that name. He proposed to me the Russian variety, Ljubov, but I refused it. So, I was named Tamara", Rina stated about her change of name.[1] The same year, Rina was given an offer from Hollywood, but her husband forced her to choose between her career and their marriage; Rina chose to stay with him.[1][2] Although she had announced her retirement from her film career, she acted until the outbreak of World War II. Her last prewar film was crime drama Zentrale Rio.[1]

Marriage, later years and death (1940—1979)

After she left film career, Rina and her husband settled in Belgrade.[1][2][3] In 1940, she gave birth to their son Milan.[1] After the bombing of Belgrade in 1941, the family moved to Vrnjačka Banja, where Rina gave birth to a daughter, Tijana.[1][2] They moved back to Belgrade after the end of World War II in 1945. Although she was promised several roles in Yugoslav films, all projects were cancelled.[1][2] After a letter she had written to President Tito, Rina began working as a co–production advisor in Avala Film.[1] She returned to the silver screen once, in 1960 film Atomic War Bride, directed by Veljko Bulajić.[1][2] This was her last role.

As she suffered from asthma, Rina and her husband moved to Budva (then Yugoslavia, now Montenegro) in 1967.[1][2] There, she took care of her husband, who was ill with sclerosis.[1] Rina died on 10 May 1979 of an asthmatic attack.[1][2][3] She was buried a few days later in Belgrade, in the presence of numerous film artists, admirers, friends and family.[1][2][3]


Year Title Format Role Notes
1927 Was die Kinder ihren Eltern verschweigen Film
Zwei unterm Himmelszelt Film
1928 Because I Love You Film
Das letzte Souper Film Maria
1929 Wilde Ehen Film
Erotikon Film Andrea
Spring Awakening Film Ilse
Hanba Film Marta Holanová
1930 Tonka Šibenice Film Tonka Šibenice
Die Galgentoni Film Tonka Šibenice
Tonischka Film Tonka Šibenice
Der Walzerkönig Film Seine Tochter
1933 Život teče dalje Film
Das Lied der Schwarzen Berge Film Jela Gruić
1935 A zivot jde dál Film Marie
1937 Die Korallenprinzessin Film Anka, Vukowitsch' Pflegetochter
1939 Zentrale Rio Film Chiquita Salieri
1960 Atomic War Bride Film Mother


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