Known as the Mary Pickford of Germany, Fern Andra was born in Watseka, Illinois.
Andra began her entertainment career as a tightrope walker. Taught by her stepfather, aerialist Frank St. Clair, she was performing with the famous Millman Trio, a high wire and vaudeville act, by the time she was fifteen.
She headed to Europe with the Millman Trio, but eventually went out on her own as a stunt performer and actress. She received critical acclaim starring in a review in London and performed for an Austrian film company. She eventually moved to Berlin and starred in her first German silent film in 1913.
Filmmaker in Germany
When World War I broke out, Andra found herself trapped in Germany. She set up her own production company and produced more than 80 films, as well as starring in over 20 films. After the war, she remained in Germany and continued to make movies. When her career began to falter, she returned to the U.S. and worked in radio and theater. She made her last two movies in Hollywood in 1930.
In 1937, Andra came to Hartford to meet with playwright Samuel Dockrell who she eventually married in 1938. This was her fourth and final marriage as they remained married until his death in 1973. She passed away a few months later at the age of 81.
Section 14, Lot 10
Hartford Courant. “Baroness Here to Discuss Play with Dockrell.” October 30, 1937
New York Times. “Fern Andra, Producer and Star of German Silent Movies, Dies.” February 12, 1974
Fern Andra, Public Domain