Elda Hartley

Who was Elda Hartley

Elda Emily Voelkel (sometimes spelled “Vokel“) Hartley (March 6, 1911 – March 6, 2001) was a stage and motion picture actress, and later a producer and promoter of documentary films, from Dallas, Texas. Following a brief career as a Hollywood actress, which lasted from 1930 to 1932 and during which she accumulated four screen credits.

Voelkel married filmmaker Irving Hartley, with whom she produced numerous documentary films on a wide range of subjects. In 1976, she created the Hartley Film Foundation, which was dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of religion and spirituality.


Interview with Elda Hartley in 1997 (86 years old) – World of Wisdom with Linda Arnold
Elda Hartley, film producer and author of Perennial Wisdom, discusses the commonality between the world’s religions and holistic health. In this interview, Hartley discusses her experience making films and her beliefs about religion, spirituality and an integrated approach to health care. At a vital 86, Hartley enjoys spreading her positive energy and wisdom.

Books by Elda Hartley

Perennial Wisdom — Forms the esoteric core of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Christian mysticism, as well as being embraced, in the whole or in part, by individuals ranging from Spinoza to Einstein, Schopenhauer to Jung. William James to Plato. This common thread inspired both this book and the film “Perennial Wisdom”. In them, Elda Hartley distills the essence of the six major religions and shows the thread common to them all. Perhaps this approach to the wisdom at the heart of all the great spiritual traditions will take us a step closer to understanding our planetary neighbors and, ultimately, to world peace. — from book’s back cover