Nazimova: A Biography, by Gavin Lambert

From the New York Times review of Nazimova published not long after the book was released in 1997:

How in four years she went from being an unknown actress who spoke no English to an American star for whom the Shuberts named a theater is an amazing tale, and Gavin Lambert, in ”Nazimova,” a gracefully written, highly entertaining, surprisingly poignant biography, makes the most of it. The author of a biography of Norma Shearer (among many other works of fact and fiction set in Hollywood), Mr. Lambert charts Nazimova’s up-and-down career and squishy private life. Having jettisoned a casually acquired Russian husband when she emigrated, she lived for many years with a British actor, Charles Bryant, who piggybacked on her acting successes and soaked her for money but otherwise appears to have performed few husbandly functions. Still, he was publicly identified as her husband, and when he left her for another woman the truth emerged that she had lived with him out of wedlock, causing something of a scandal. She survived it. The secret she felt most compelled to guard was that most of her romances were with women, one of whom, Glesca Marshall, shared her final years, from 1929 to 1945. (Among the more incredible facts of this stranger-than-fiction story: Nazimova was Nancy Reagan’s godmother.)