Pola Negri (born Apolonia Chalupec: January 3, 1897 – August 1, 1987) was a Polish stage and film actress who achieved worldwide fame during the silent and golden eras of Hollywood and European film for her tragedienne and femme fatale roles.
She was the first European film star to be invited to Hollywood, and became one of the most popular actresses in American silent film. Her varied career included work as an actress in theater and vaudeville, as a recording artist, as a ballerina, and as an author.
Pola Negri died on August 1, 1987, aged 90. Her death was caused by pneumonia; however, she was also suffering from a brain tumor, for which she had refused treatment. Dr. Juan Nieto, a physician from San Antonio, Texas pronounced her death. At her wake at the Porter Loring Funeral Home in San Antonio, her body was placed on view wearing a yellow golden chiffon dress with a golden turban to match. Her death received extensive coverage in her hometown newspapers San Antonio Light, and San Antonio Express-News, and in publications such as Los Angeles Times and Variety magazine.
Negri was interred in Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles next to her mother, Eleonora, who died in 1954 from pancreatic cancer. (Her tombstone adds a couple of years to her birthdate.)
As Negri had no children or siblings, she left most of her estate to St. Mary's University in Texas, including a collection of memorabilia and several rare prints of her films. St. Mary's University also set up a scholarship in her name. In addition, a generous portion of her estate was given to the Polish nuns of the Seraphic Order; a large black and white portrait hangs in the small chapel next to Poland's patron, Our Lady of Częstochowa, in San Antonio, Texas.