Ursula Zandt was a young Jewish girl in Austria when Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seized control of the country. Most of her family was killed during riots in the town of Linz, and Ursula and her younger sister suffered at the hands of the national socialists. Ursula managed to escape, but her younger sister died while they were attempting to escape from Nazi occupied Europe. Ursula made her way to America where, motivated by the death or her parents and her sister, she became the gun-toting vigilante known as Silhouette.
In 1939, Ursula became the crime fighter, Silhouette. She was the first member of the Minutemen who went public with her career as a super-hero, when she busted a child pornography ring in New York. The beating she gave the publisher and cameraman was so severe that it made the papers.
After reading an advertisement for people who where costumed heroes, she joined the Minutemen (masked hero team of the time). Supposedly she never told anyone her name while she was a part of the group. She was usually seen smoking.
Retirement & Death
The first Silk Spectre disliked The Silhouette and voted with the rest of the Minutemen that she be kicked off the team. This was due to her controversial (for the time) sexuality and it was hoped that her being gone would make the P.R issues a bit more bearable. She and her lesbian lover were found dead in their bedroom together six weeks later, by the hands of an old rival.
Later in an interview, Sally said that it was wrong of the Crimebusters to expel Ursula for her sexuality because it wasn't fair or honest since she wasn't the only gay person on the team (referring to Captain Metropolis and Hooded Justice). She is mentioned in Rorschach's journal.
Silhouette appears in the Watchmen movie played by Apollonia Vanova. Her role in the film is relatively minor, but fairly true to the character's appearance in the comics. The portrayal of her death has sparked some controversy. Her superhero costume is more militaristic than it is in the comics.