Vilma Bánky (1898 -1991)

Vilma Banky - Silent Movie Star

“The Hungarian Rhapsody”

Silent film star Vilma Bánky was born Vilma Konsics on January 9th, 1898 near Budapest, Hungary. Her first films were made in her own country, in addition to France and Austria. On a trip to Budapest, Samuel Goldwyn spotted Vilma, thought she was beautiful, and brought her to Hollywood with a film contract. Vilma was dubbed “The Hungarian Rhapsody”, and starred in some of the most successful films of the silent era, including “The Dark Angel” (1925), with Ronald Colman, “The Eagle” (1925) and “The Son of the Sheik” (1926) opposite Rudolph Valentino, and “The Winning Of Barbara Worth” (1926), also with Ronald Colman and a young Gary Cooper. Vilma married actor Rod La Rocque in 1927, in an extravagant wedding paid for by Goldwyn, and it was a record marital union in Hollywood that was to last decades, until Rod’s death in 1969.

With the coming of sound Vilma’s film career in Hollywood was basically over, since she barely spoke English, and she had a distinct accent which would have limited her American roles in any case. Her last American film was a sound picture with Edward G. Robinson called “A Lady to Love” (1930); after that she went to Germany and made two more films before retiring from the screen, her last film being “The Rebel” (1933). After Rod’s death, Vilma became somewhat reclusive, but still remained as active as she could, playing golf, a sport she loved. Vilma Bánky died from cardiorespiratory arrest, on March 18th, 1991, in Los Angeles, California. Her death was not announced publicly until 1992. ~ Copyright © 2004

Vilma Bánky Photo Gallery

Photo One  Photo Two

Vilma Bánky’s Silent Films

This Is Heaven (1929) …. Eva Petrie
Awakening, The (1928) …. Marie Ducrot
Two Lovers (1928) …. Donna Leonora de Vargas
Dame von Paris, Die (1927)
… aka Lady From Paris, The (1927) (USA: literal English title)
Magic Flame, The (1927) …. Bianca, the Aerial Artist
Night of Love, The (1927) …. Princess Marie

Vilma looking lovely, as usual

Vilma, looking lovely, even dressed as a peasant

Winning of Barbara Worth, The (1926) …. Barbara Worth
Son of the Sheik, The (1926) (as Vilma Banky) …. Yasmin, André’s Daughter
Soll man heiraten? (1925)
… aka Intermezzo einer Ehe in sieben Tagen (1925)
Eagle, The (1925) (as Vilma Banky) …. Miss Mascha Troekouroff

Vilma and Ronald Colman

Vilma with Ronald Colman, her frequent co-star

Dark Angel, The (1925) …. Kitty Vane
Schöne Abenteuer, Das (1924)
… aka Lady from Paris, The (1924) (USA)
Verbotene Land, Das (1924)
… aka Leben des Dalai Lama, Das (1924)
Zirkuskönig, Der (1924)
… aka Circusmania (1924) (UK)

Vilma Banky and her husband Rod La Rocque

Vilma with husband actor Rod La Rocque

… aka Clown aus Liebe (1924)
… aka King of the Circus (1924) (USA)
Letzte Stunde, Die (1924)
… aka Hotel Potemkin (1924)
Bildnis, Das (1923)
… aka Image, L’ (1923)
Halott szerelme, A (1922)
… aka Auge des Toten, Das (1922)
Kauft Mariett-Aktien (1922)
Schattenkinder des Glücks (1922)
Galathea (1921)
Tavaszi szerelem (1921)
Veszélyben a pokol (1921)
Im letzten Augenblick (1919)

To learn more about Vilma Banky visit her profile on The Internet Movie Database


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