27 October 1902
30 June 1968|
United States of America
Records show that Lillian Woods was born in Hungary as Anna Karina (Karena) of Austrian parents. It's not clear when she or her parents immigrated to the USA. She said that she was married at age 14. By 1920, she was dancing in the Ziegfeld Frolics in New York City. A cohort suggested she adopt an American name. As Lillian Woods, she toured with Ziegfeld as a dancer and was noticed and received good reviews. Late in 1923 she joined a vaudeville tour which took her to California where she remained until 1930. An October of 1925 newspaper blurb says she was in the Roach Studio casting office as F. Richard Jones and H.M. Walker passed through on their way to lunch and saw her and immediately cast her for the Clyde Cook movie they were working on.|
She continued touring in vaudeville with a dancing partner to good reviews but few movie offers. About 1928 she noted that foreign born actors with foreign names were getting good movie offers so she went back to her birth name, Anna Karina, and started getting film offers again, the last being "Tanned Legs" released in late 1929. She is quoted as saving up her money to buy a dress shop. Ironically, in 1940 she was working as a "millinery model" in the New York City garment district.
In 1931 (NYC) she married Jay Liebman Jr. About 6 months later she was filing for divorce saying that she thought he was wealthy but it turned out that all he had was a rich imagination.
The 1950 Census has her working (NYC) as "showroom head for a hat factory"; born "Austria": divorced, living alone: aged 47. In New York City on January 16, 1956 she was granted US Citizenship as "Anna Karina". She died in Florida in 1968.
There was another prominent vaudeville performer with the same name but she died in 1917.
ANM's LILLIAN has 3 birth places in newspaper blurbs: Cincinnati, Toronto and Hungary. Cincinnati is given as a photo caption. Toronto is part of a blurb interview about her upcoming marriage to a wealthy scion from Pittsburgh that never took place. Toronto, OH is 50 miles from Pittsburgh, PA.
Hungary along with a name change from KARINA / KARENA to WOODS and back to KARINA is documentable.
The newspaper narrative snips (at the end) are links in the "sources". Only one photo snip is linked in the "sources".
Real name: Anna Karina
||Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography.|