Palmer, Lilli 1914 - 1986

Lilli Palmer was born in Posen, Prussia in 1914, the daughter of Rose Lissman, an Austrian Jewish actress, and Alfred Peiser, a German Jewish surgeon. She studied drama in Berlin and began her acting career at age 18. Shortly after this, her family moved to Paris, fleeing the rise of Hitler. Palmer later moved to England where she re-established her acting career.

Lilli Palmer made her British cinematic debut in 1935 in the film “Crime Unlimited” before going on to feature in films such as Hitchcock’s “Secret Agent” (1936). During the 1940s Palmer featured in many films that tackled the theme of war such as “Thunder Rock” (1942) and “The Rake’s Progress” (1945) which was her first film with her husband Rex Harrison, who she had married in 1943.

Lilli Palmer and Rex Harrison had a son, Carey Harrison. They moved to America in 1945 where Lilli and Rex became a well-known acting couple on Broadway and in film. Lilli Palmer was awarded the Venice Film Festival Award for her performance in “The Four Poster” (1952) and was TV host of “The Lilli Palmer Show” in 1953.

In 1957, several months after her divorce from Rex Harrison, Palmer married Carlos Thompson, an Argentine actor and her co-star in “Between Time and Eternity” (1956).

She continued to work for international productions, mainly in German and French with a few Hollywood productions. Lilli Palmer was also a writer, publishing her best-selling autobiography “Change Lobsters and Dance” in 1975. She also wrote novels such as “The Red Raven” (1978).

Lilli Palmer died of cancer in 1986 aged 71 in Los Angeles.