Although Eliane Tayar is undoubtedly a fascinating figure, she is a relative footnote in any study of the silent film era, having made her first appearance as a film actress at the end of the 1920s. Daughter of Salomon Tayar, a Libyan stockbroker of Caucasic origins, and of Jeanne Monteauzé, a French woman, she had a difficult childhood. She lost her mother when she was six years old and grew up in a convent until the age of seventeen, marrying soon after in 1921. It may be that she established contacts in the cinema world through her first husband, Fraisse Zamisky, who was probably introduced to her by her father, and who was a banker and owner of the celluloid factory Anel et Fraisse. Tayar’s father died in 1922 and Zamisky, who was addicted to gambling, killed himself in 1923 after filing for bankruptcy (Mazet 2000, 14). At nineteen years old, Tayar was both orphan and widow. She had a younger sister, Henriette, who studied fine arts starting in 1930 and most likely introduced Eliane into the Parisian artistic milieu.
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