Lilia Sofer Skala
(November 28, 1896 — December
18, 1994) was an Austrian-American actress.
born Lilia Sofer in Vienna, Austria.
mother, Katharina Skalla, was Catholic
her father, Julius Sofer, was Jewish
as a manufacturers representative for the Waldes
Koh-i-noor Company. In the late
1930s, she was forced to flee her Nazi-occupied homeland with her
husband, Louis Erich Skala, and their two young sons. Skala and her husband
managed to escape (at different times) from Austria to England, and
eventually settled in the USA.
Lilia Skala appeared on countless television shows and serials from
1952 to 1985 (for example, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
1965), and as Grand Duchess Sophie kept company on Broadway with
in Call Me Madam
not too many years
after toiling in a Queens zipper factory as a non-English-speaking
refugee from Austria. The family later moved to Englewood, New
She was nominated for an Best Supporting
for her most famous role as the Mother Superior in
Lilies of the Field
opposite Oscar-winning Sidney
. Skala also appeared in Ship of Fools
, Eleanor and Franklin
and House of Games
in Bay Shore, New
York, of natural causes at age 98.
Her life is
the subject of an eponymous one-woman play Lilia!
is written and performed by her granddaughter, Libby Skala.
- Theatrical tribute to a special
- Libby Skala Interviews & Press