Nora Gregor

Nora Gregor

Nora Gregor in 1932
Born Eleonora Hermina Gregor
(1901-02-03)3 February 1901
Gorizia, Austrian Littoral, Austria-Hungary (now in Italy)
Died 20 January 1949(1949-01-20) (aged 47)
Viña del Mar, Chile
Years active 1920–1945
Spouse(s) Mitja Nikisch (ca. 1925 – ca. 1934)
Ernst Ruediger, Prince von Starhemberg (1937–1949)

Nora Gregor (3 February 1901 – 20 January 1949) was a stage and film actress.


She was born Eleonora Hermina Gregor in Gorizia, a town which then belonged to Austria-Hungary but is now part of Italy, to Austrian Jewish parents.[1][2]

Her first husband was Mitja Nikisch, a pianist and son of celebrated orchestral conductor Arthur Nikisch. They divorced circa 1934.

In the mid 1930s Gregor became the mistress of the married vice chancellor of Austria, the Austro-fascist, nationalist politician Prince Ernst Ruediger von Starhemberg, with whom she had a son, Heinrich (1934–1997).[3] On 2 December 1937, five days after the prince's marriage to his first wife, the former Countess Marie-Elisabeth von Salm-Reifferscheidt-Raitz, was annulled, he and Gregor wed in Vienna.

In 1938, the Starhembergs emigrated to France through Switzerland, and her husband joined the Free French forces; cut off from their money and eighty family estates, they were supported for a period by Starhemberg's close friend Friedrich Mandl, the Austrian armaments magnate. In 1942, the Starhembergs moved to Argentina where they lived under humble circumstances. She was depressed by her South American exile and many sources claim her early death in Viña del Mar, Chile, was a suicide.[4] However, her biographer Hans Kitzmüller calls a suicide unlikely and notes that her death was probably from natural causes.[5]


Gregor entered films in the early 1920s. She worked briefly in Hollywood during the early talkie era, appearing in the foreign-language versions of such films as The Trial of Mary Dugan (1929) and His Glorious Night (1929). She was considered to be one of Austria's most popular film stars during that time and she also appeared as a stage actress at the famous Burgtheater.[6]

During her French exile, Gregor played her most famous screen role as Christine de la Chesnaye in Jean Renoir's 1939 film La Règle du Jeu. Her last appearance was in the 1945 Chilean film La Fruta mordida.


Names and Styles


  2. Alexander Waugh, "The House of Wittgenstein", Random House, 2009, page 201
  3. Born Heinrich Ruediger Gregor in Switzerland and legally named his father's heir in 1937 as Prince Heinrich von Starhemberg, the couple's only child was an actor, novelist, and playwright, professionally known as Heinrich Gregor, Henry Gregor, and Heinrich von Starhemberg. See,9171,758568,00.html
  4. Kinn, Gail; Piazza, Jim (2008). "Rules of the Game". The Greatest Movies Ever. Black Dog Publishing. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-57912-782-4. Retrieved November 22, 2009.
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