Anna Q. Nilsson

Anna Q. Nilsson

Infobox actor
bgcolour = silver
name = Anna Q Nilsson

birthname = Anna Quirentia Nilsson
birthdate = birth date|1888|3|30|mf=y
location = Ystad, Sweden
spouse = Guy Coombs (1916-1916)
J. Marshall Gunnerson (1923-1925)
children = none
deathdate = death date and age|1974|2|11|1888|3|30|mf=y
deathplace = Hemet, California
yearsactive = 1911 - 1954

Anna Quirentia Nilsson (March 30, 1888February 11, 1974) was a Swedish born actress who achieved success in American silent movies.

Early life and career

Anna Q. Nilsson was born in Ystad, southern Sweden in 1888. Her middle name, "Quirentia," is derived from Saint Quirinius' Day, March 30, her date of birth. At the age of 8 her father got a job at the local sugar factory in Hasslarp, a small community outside Helsingborg in Sweden where she spent most of her school years. She did very well in school, graduating with highest remarks. Due to her good grades she was hired as sales clerk in Halmstad on the Swedish west coast, unusual for a young woman from a workers family at the time. But she had set her mind on going to America. In 1905, she emigrated to the USA through Ellis Island. In the new country, the Swedish teenager started working as a nursemaid and learned English quickly. Soon she started working as a model. Already in 1907, she was named "Most beautiful woman in America". Nilsson's modeling led her to getting a role in the 1911 film "Molly Pitcher".

She stayed at the Kalem studio for several years, ranked behind their top star Alice Joyce. In the twenties she freelanced successfully for Paramount, First National and many other studios and reached a peak of popularity just before the advent of talkies, despite a serious horse-riding accident which kept her from filming for almost two years. In 1923, she portrayed "Cherry Malotte" in the second movie based upon Rex Beach's "The Spoilers", a role that would be played in later versions by Betty Compson (1930), Marlene Dietrich (1942), and Anne Baxter (1955).


With the introduction of sound films, Nilsson's career went into a sharp decline, although she continued to play small, often uncredited parts in films into the 1950s. Her best known performance in a sound film is arguably her turn as "herself", referred to as one of the "waxworks" in Swanson's "Sunset Boulevard" (1950), where she has one small line.

Nilsson has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to motion pictures at 6150 Hollywood Boulevard. She died in Hemet, California on February 11th, 1974, of heart failure.


* Swanson, Gloria : "Swanson on Swanson, The Making of a Hollywood Legend". Hamlyn, 1981. ISBN 0-600-20496-0

NAME= Nilsson, Anna Q
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Nilsson, Anna Quirentia
DATE OF BIRTH= 1888-3-30
PLACE OF BIRTH= Ystad, Sweden
DATE OF DEATH= 1974-2-11
PLACE OF DEATH= Hemet, California

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