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She was born as Ilona Zimka near Budapest on October 5, 1919, and married Istvan Hertelendy in 1940. She became a successful stage actress in Budapest, essaying such roles as Ophelia (Hamlet), Irina (Chekhov's Three Sisters), in Molnar's Liliom and in J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls.
Hanna Hertelendy starred in several Hungarian movies at the end of World War II. In 1945 she married American consul Ernst Polutnik, who helped many Hungarians to obtain visas and passage to the United States. She came to New York City and, in 1947, became a lifelong member of the Actors Studio.
She worked for Radio Free Europe and was featured in many television dramas in the 1950s under her American stage name, Hanna Landy, including one of the first General Electric Theaters (1954), the Kraft Television Theatre, Lux Video Theatre, the Alcoa Hour, Ford Television Theatre, et al.
She continued to act on television in such series as Peter Gunn, Perry Mason, Barnaby Jones, Ironside, Marcus Welby, M.D., The Fugitive, Dr. Kildare, and Columbo. She changed her name back to Hanna Hertelendy in the mid-1970s and acted in films and television until the 1990s, including featured roles on Matlock, Hill Street Blues, Remington Steele, Family Ties, St. Elsewhere, Magnum, P.I., and Cannon.
Notable films in which she appeared include Rosemary's Baby, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Girl from Petrovka, Two-Minute Warning, Being There and Christmas Lilies of the Field. Others included independent films such as Return (1985).
She was active for more than 40 years with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and with the North Hollywood-based Theater West.
Hanna Hertelendy was the third and last wife of film star Robert Walker, whom she married on July 27, 1949. Walker died at the age of 32 in 1951 reportedly due to an allergic reaction to a drug administered by his psychiatrist. Hertelendy was also married three times; her last husband was the Hungarian-American actor Stephen Bekassy.
She died in her West Hollywood home on May 15, 2008, aged 88.