Mata Hari


Mata Hari was born on August 7th, 1876 in Leeuwarden, Friesland, Netherlands and is the Criminal from Kingdom of the Netherlands. Discover Mata Hari's biography, age, height, physical stats, dating/affair, family, hobbies, education, career updates, and networth at the age of 41 years old.

Date of Birth
August 7, 1876
Kingdom of the Netherlands
Place of Birth
Leeuwarden, Friesland, Netherlands
Death Date
Oct 15, 1917 (age 41)
Zodiac Sign
Courtesan, Dancer, Exotic Dancer, Spy
Mata Hari Height, Weight, Eye Color and Hair Color

At 41 years old, Mata Hari physical status not available right now. We will update Mata Hari's height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, and measurements.

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Hair Color
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Eye Color
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Mata Hari Religion, Education, and Hobbies
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Mata Hari Spouse(s), Children, Affair, Parents, and Family
Rudolf John MacLeod, ​ ​(m. 1895; div. 1906)​
Dating / Affair
Not Available
Adam Zelle (father), Antje van der Meulen (mother)
About Mata Hari

Margaretha Geertruida "Margreet" MacLeod (née Zelle; 7 August 1876 – 15 October 1917), better known by the stage name Mata Hari (), was a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan who was convicted of being a spy for Germany during World War I and executed by firing squad in France.

Early life

Margaretha Geertruida Zelle was born 7 August 1876 in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. She was the eldest of four children to Adam Zelle (1840–1910) and his first wife Antje van der Meulen (1842–1891). She had three younger brothers; Johannes Hendriks, Arie Anne, and Cornelis Coenraad. She was affectionately called "M'greet" by her family. Despite traditional assertions that Mata Hari was partly of Jewish, Malaysian, or Javanese, i.e. Indonesian descent, scholars conclude she had no Jewish or Asian ancestry and both of her parents were Dutch. Her father owned a hat shop, made investments in the oil industry, and became affluent enough to give Margaretha and her siblings a lavish early childhood that included exclusive schools until the age of 13.

Soon after Margaretha's father went bankrupt in 1889, her parents divorced, and her mother died in 1891. Her father remarried in Amsterdam on 9 February 1893 to Susanna Catharina ten Hoove (1844–1913). The family fell apart, and Margaretha was sent to live with her godfather, Mr. Visser, in Sneek. Subsequently, she studied to be a kindergarten teacher in Leiden, but when the headmaster began to flirt with her conspicuously, she was removed from the institution by her godfather. A few months later, she fled to her uncle's home in The Hague.


In 1903, Zelle moved to Paris, where she performed as a circus horse rider using the name Lady MacLeod, much to the disapproval of the Dutch MacLeods. Struggling to earn a living, she also posed as an artist's model.

By 1904, Mata Hari began to rise to prominence as an exotic dancer. She was a contemporary of dancers Isadora Duncan and Ruth St. Denis, leaders in the early modern dance movement, which around the turn of the 20th century looked to Asia and Egypt for artistic inspiration. Gabriel Astruc became her personal booking agent.

Promiscuous, flirtatious, and openly flaunting her body, Mata Hari captivated her audiences and was an overnight success from the debut of her act at the Musée Guimet on 13 March 1905. She became the long-time mistress of the millionaire Lyon industrialist Émile Étienne Guimet, who had founded the Musée. She posed as a Javanese princess of priestly Hindu birth, pretending to have been immersed in the art of sacred Indian dance since childhood. She was photographed numerous times during this period, nude or nearly so. Some of these pictures were obtained by MacLeod and strengthened his case in keeping custody of their daughter.

Mata Hari brought a carefree provocative style to the stage in her act, which garnered wide acclaim. The most celebrated segment of her act was her progressive shedding of clothing until she wore just a jeweled breastplate and some ornaments upon her arms and head. She was never seen bare-chested as she was self-conscious about having small breasts. She wore a bodystocking for her performances that was similar in color to her own skin, but that was later omitted.

Although Mata Hari's claims about her origins were fictitious, it was very common for entertainers of her era to invent colourful stories about their origins as part of the show. Her act was successful because it elevated erotic dance to a more respectable status and so broke new ground in a style of entertainment for which Paris was later to become world-famous. Her style and free-willed attitude made her a popular woman, as did her eagerness to perform in exotic and revealing clothing. She posed for provocative photos and mingled in wealthy circles. Since most Europeans at the time were unfamiliar with the Dutch East Indies, Mata Hari was thought of as exotic, and it was assumed her claims were genuine. One evidently enthusiastic French journalist wrote in a Paris newspaper that Mata Hari was "so feline, extremely feminine, majestically tragic, the thousand curves and movements of her body trembling in a thousand rhythms." One journalist in Vienna wrote after seeing one of her performances that Mata Hari was "slender and tall with the flexible grace of a wild animal, and with blue-black hair" and that her face "makes a strange foreign impression."

By about 1910, myriad imitators had arisen. Critics began to opine that the success and dazzling features of the popular Mata Hari were due to cheap exhibitionism and lacked artistic merit. Although she continued to schedule important social events throughout Europe, she was held in disdain by serious cultural institutions as a dancer who did not know how to dance.

Mata Hari's career went into decline after 1912. On 13 March 1915, she performed in what would be the last show of her career. She had begun her career relatively late for a dancer and had started putting on weight. However, by this time she had become a successful courtesan, known more for her sensuality and eroticism than for her beauty. She had relationships with high-ranking military officers, politicians, and others in influential positions in many countries. Her relationships and liaisons with powerful men frequently took her across international borders. Prior to World War I, she was generally viewed as an artist and a free-spirited bohemian, but as war approached, she began to be seen by some as a wanton and promiscuous woman, and perhaps a dangerous seductress.


How Mata Hari was executed for being a traitor after being accused of spying for Germany in WWI, October 7, 2022
Dutch exotic dancer Mata Hari (pictured left in 1911 and right in 1906), who was enlisted to spy for France, was executed by firing squad at the age of 41 after MI5 helped to compile evidence that she was acting as a double agent for Germany. She was killed in 1917 after being found guilty of allegedly revealing details about the Allies' new weapon - the tank - to Germany. Hari is known to have had Allied military officers of different nationalities among her lovers. Her alleged leaks were said to have resulted in the deaths of thousands of soldiers,...

Invaders duped by a dating app teen who lures Russian soldiers into giving away their location, October 6, 2022
A teenage Ukrainian girl, forced by war to flee her home in Kherson, has revealed she went on a dating app posing as a Russian to track down enemy troops and expose where they were based. She was so successful that one soldier boasted he was fighting to earn money for a luxury car and sent her pictures from a boarding school used as a military base. Another showed a mansion where he was guarding a senior officer.