My favorite moment in the film is when the supremely graceful, sensuous dancer turns the runaway priest into a deer in the headlights as she mesmerizes him and everyone else within sight. As I watched this film again last night, it clicked with me where I have seen her before: Lotus in "The Good Earth", the dancer who charms the farmer then drains him of his money when she's brought into his household.
From IMDB, here is her filmography:
Duel in the Sun (1946)as Mrs. Chavez~~Pearl's alluring, volatile mother, an adultress who is murdered, along with her lover, by her husband
The Good Earth (1937) as Lotus
The Garden of Allah (1936) as Irena
Limelight (1936) as Dancer
Simply on the strength of her appearance in "Garden of Allah", her name should be noted. For me, there's more chemistry between her and Charles Boyer than he has with Marlene Dietrich. In that scene, he's hers for the taking! Isn't he absolutely delicious in that film? He is pretty, even beautiful, here, and I love the character's vulnerability that he communicates so wonderfully. For me this is a standout scene in a remarkable film. Face it: Tilly doesn't say a word, yet she manages to steal the limelight.
Are there any others who have noticed this lovely lady? How unfortunate that her dancing was not used more.
From her IMDB site, here is some trivia about her that I found fascinating:
Trained in dance at the Vienna Imperial Opera ballet school at 6 and became a full member of the ballet corps at 15. She made her professional debut and reputation dancing Viennese waltzes.
Dance partners included Fred Astaire and Harold Kreutzberg.
Chief ballerina to George Ballanchine.
Second husband was the Earl of Carnarvon, whose father discovered King Tut's tomb. This marriage gave her the title Lady Carnarvon, an English countess.
The trouble with reality is there's no background music.