World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Lilia Skala

Lilia Skala
Skala in 1969
Born Lilia Sofer
(1896-11-28)November 28, 1896
Vienna, Austria
Died December 18, 1994(1994-12-18) (aged 98)
Bay Shore, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1931–1990
Spouse(s) Erik Skala (1922-?) (his death) (2 children)

Lilia Skala (November 28, 1896 – December 18, 1994) was an Austrian-American actress.


  • Personal life 1
  • Career 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Personal life

Skala was born Lilia Sofer in Vienna, Austria. Her mother, Katharina Skala, was Catholic, and her father, Julius Sofer, was Jewish and worked as a manufacturers representative for the Waldes Koh-i-noor Company.[1][2] Skala was one of the first women to graduate in architecture and engineering from the University of Dresden, before practicing architecture professionally in Vienna.[3]

In the late 1930s, she was forced to flee her Nazi-occupied homeland with her husband, Louis Erich Skala, and their two young sons.[2][4] (Lilia and Erich adopted the non-Jewish sounding surname of Lilia's mother.) Skala and her husband managed to escape (at different times) from Austria and eventually settled in the United States.

Skala was a Christian Scientist.[5][6][7] She was introduced to the religion in Vienna in the 1920s.[8]


Lilia Skala appeared on countless television shows and serials from 1952 to 1985 (for example, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour in 1965), and as Grand Duchess Sophie kept company on Broadway with Ethel Merman in Call Me Madam not too many years after toiling in a Queens zipper factory as a non-English-speaking refugee from Austria.

She was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress for her most famous role as the Mother Superior in 1963's Lilies of the Field opposite Oscar-winning Sidney Poitier. Skala also appeared in Ship of Fools (1965), Charly (1968), Deadly Hero (1976), Eleanor and Franklin (1976), Roseland (1977), Heartland (1979) Flashdance (1983) and House of Games (1987).[9]

She died in Bay Shore, New York, of natural causes at age 98. Her life is the subject of an eponymous one-woman play Lilia! The play is written and performed by her granddaughter, Libby Skala.[10]

See also


  1. ^ Tallmer, Jerry (2009-08-14). "Libby Skala encapsulates 100 years of life, love, dance". Chelsea Now. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ "Lilia Skala Bio". Retrieved 12 March 2012.
  4. ^ Theatrical tribute to a special grandmother
  5. ^ "AT THE THEATER; Lilia Skala, thinking out loud". 7 January 1986. 
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ Gibson, Gwen (31 March 1988). "Versatile Lilia Skala Is Seeking New Fields". Chicago Tribune. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Taylor, Clarke (November 24, 1977). "'"Skala as Rosa; Grande Dame of 'Roseland.  
  10. ^ Libby Skala Interviews & Press

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from School eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.