The Unfamous of Hollywood — Natalie Bucknell — From Secret Service to Studios (1934) 🇺🇸

Natalie Bucknell | www.vintoz.vom

February 02, 2022

Natalie Bucknell bosses the best research department in Hollywood — that of M-G-M. If they need to photograph a Swedish fire-plug, a mule cart in Barcelona, or the third left eyelash of the Venus de Milo, Natalie is the girl who tells them how to do it and supplies a photo and description of the actual object.

by Jack Jamison

She can do it, without ever a miss, because there’s not a spot on the bulging globe that isn’t as familiar to her as her own front parlor. She has roamed Europe in a life of unparalleled adventure.

In 1917 Natalie, tiny and dainty and blond, was a student at the College of St. Anne in St. Petersburg, in her native Russia. Her family belonged to the nobility, and she was studying to be — of all things — an engineer. She quit drawing blueprints of Russian battleships to join the famed Women’s Battalion of Death. Her company of girls defended the Tsar’s palace against the Bolsheviks, women shooting men and men shooting women. Scores of girls were shot to death all around her, hot rifles in their hands.

During the War Natalie served as a nurse on the hospital trains of the Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana. The trains steamed up close behind the lines, to get the wounded and take them to hospitals. Innumerable times they were bombed by low-flying German planes. Once a train rushing along the next track was blown to bits. Another time the Germans cut off the trains as they raced across the Polish lowlands, and captured the train behind Natalie’s. She missed internment in a German prison-camp by inches.

Marrying a young naval officer attached to the British armored car division in Russia, she joined the British Secret Service and served as a spy against the Bolsheviks. You don’t need to be told what would have happened to her if they had caught her. Once they nearly did. The Bolsheviks raided the British embassy in 1918, shot Captain Crombie in charge — he died in Natalie’s arms — and threatened Natalie and the others with machine-guns. She is the only person alive today who witnessed the assassination. After a third degree she was dragged to prison, twice stood before a firing squad to scare her into a confession, then released so Bolshevik agents could follow her. Knowing she was followed, she nevertheless carried letters for the British secret agents held in rat-ridden dungeons in the Fortress of Peter and Paul, disguised as a peasant girl or a nurse. Due to her they were released alive.

She has the Order of the British Empire, the Golden Medal of St Anne, and St. George’s medal for bravery under fire.

After the war, missing the excitement, she came to America to gather dope for a book. Concealing her identity, she persuaded Col. Joe Miller to let her travel with the Cossacks in his famous 101 Ranch Show. Hollywood took her fancy. Now she’s — but go back and read the beginning again.

Source: New Movie MagazineFebruary 1934


This article is part of our Unfamous of Hollywood series: Gilmor BrownNatalie BucknellBebe Daniels & Pauline GallagherHoward DietzElmer DyerGeorge HurrellBilly HillSally RandMurray SpivackGeorge E. Stone