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National Science and Media Museum

Lilli Palmer: Actress as Artist

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Rarely-seen selections from our archives explored the career of actress, writer and painter Lilli Palmer.

Lilli Palmer was a talented German Jewish actress who flourished on the British screen. She fled Germany during Hitler’s rise to power and performed cabaret in Parisian nightclubs. In 1934, Hungarian film producer Alexander Korda invited her to London with the promise of a screen test. She signed a contract with the Gaumont-British Picture Corporation and her cinematic career began.

Our collection chronicles the evolution of Lilli Palmer’s image throughout her five-decade career. In addition to three photograph albums from her early film career, which provide fascinating examples of early British film studio photography, we have a Television Movie Awards nomination certificate for her performance in the miniseries Peter the Great in 1986.

Lilli Palmer: Actress as Artist paired images from the Lilli Palmer Collection and the Daily Herald Archive to highlight key moments in the development of her career and image.