Abstract from Wikipedia : Alla Nazimova (Russian: Алла Назимова; June 3 [O.S. May 22] , 1879 – July 13, 1945) was a Russian actress, who immigrated to the United States in 1905. On Broadway, she was noted for her work in the classic plays of Ibsen, Chekhov and Turgenev. Her efforts at silent film production were less successful, but a few sound-film performances survive as a record of her art. Nazimova openly conducted relationships with women, and her mansion on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard was believed to be the scene of outlandish parties. She is credited with having originated the phrase ‘sewing circle’ as a discreet code for lesbian or bisexual actresses.