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2006 (age 76-77)|
|Other names||Ursula Hansen, Ursula Bellah|
|Spouse(s)||Bryan Grant Pearson (divorced), Charles Kapple (widowed), James Bellah|
Ursula Pearson Bellah (1929–2006) was a German-born, American actress, author, and businesswoman, most famous for her role as Hilda in the science fiction film Teenagers From Outer Space (1959) and for her autobiographical perspective on Nazi Germany Surviving the Judas Factor: A Childhood Entombed in Nazi Germany.
Life in Nazi Germany
Born Ursula Gadischke in 1929 in Berlin, Germany, the girl who went by the name "Ulli" had a tough time while growing up. Brainwashed by the propaganda of Adolf Hitler at a very young age, Ulli allowed herself to be subjugated by the Nazis' totalitarian regime until personal tragedy and wisdom of age forced her to come to terms with the atrocities they committed. Her father, Hermann, was a captain in the 8th SS Cavalry Division, also known as the Florian Geyer. Both he and her much-loved older brother were killed in combat, forced to continue fighting even after their superiors had fled.
First marriage and Teenagers from Outer Space
After the liberation of Germany by American troops, Ursula left Germany for America. Following a chance whirlwind romance with former BBC and theater actor Bryan Pearson in the mid-1950s, the couple moved to Los Angeles in the hopes of reinvigorating Bryan's career. Unfortunately, Bryan's first investment was the funding of Tom Graeff's ill-fated feature Teenagers From Outer Space, in which Bryan starred as the villain "Thor". Ursula, billed as "Ursula Hansen", was featured as a secretary named "Hilda".
The low-budget film failed at the box office, and after a drawn out legal dispute to retrieve their investment, the couple decided to leave the entertainment industry. A few years later, the Pearsons divorced, and Bryan Pearson moved to Hawaii to pursue business interests.
Writing and later life
Following her marriage to Bryan, Ursula married Charles Kapple ("Cap"), an experienced high seas sailor. After his early death, Ursula married author James Bellah, son of author and World War II Royal Air Force pilot James Warner Bellah.
Towards the end of her life, Ursula began to write an autobiography of growing up in Nazi Germany, inspired by her daughter's desire to see her mother's life-story written up for posterity. The book served as a warning to all about the dangers of blindly following a pied piper leading a nation into darkness. While not a professionally written book, the honest and deeply personal account is incredibly moving; Ursula confronts her past with both anger and regret.
She planned to complete a follow-up, which would have detailed the resurrection of Germany and her life after the war, but she died before completing it; her children have dedicated themselves to finding and publishing the manuscript.
- Bill Warren (2017). Keep Watching the Skies!: American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties. McFarland. pp. 1854. ISBN 9781476625058. https://books.google.com/books?id=B7kUCwAAQBAJ&pg=PT1854.