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Maria Ouspenskaya (1876-1949)
Maria Ouspenskaya and Lon Chaney Jr. in "The Wolf Man."
Before the horror: The petite Russian actress and acting teacher defected to the U.S. in the early 1920s and became a respected Broadway star, later founding the School of Dramatic Arts in New York. In order to keep the institution funded, she agreed to appear in William Wyler's 1936 drama "Dodsworth," for which she earned a supporting actress Oscar nomination. She earned a second supporting actress Oscar nomination for her work in 1939's "Love Affair."
Iconic Universal roles: She nearly stole 1941's "The Wolf Man" as Maleva, the elderly Gypsy woman who warns Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr.) of his fate after he's attacked by a wolf in the forest. She reprised her role in 1943's "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man" with Chaney.
Memorable quote: "Whoever is bitten by a werewolf and lives becomes a werewolf himself." ("The Wolf Man")