Emil Jannings

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Emil Jannings

Emil Jannings and wife (May 1929)
BornTheodor Friedrich Emil Janenz
(1884-07-23)23 July 1884
Rorschach, Switzerland
Died2 January 1950(1950-01-02) (aged 65)
Strobl, Austria
OccupationActor
Years active1914–1945
 
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Emil Jannings

Emil Jannings and wife (May 1929)
BornTheodor Friedrich Emil Janenz
(1884-07-23)23 July 1884
Rorschach, Switzerland
Died2 January 1950(1950-01-02) (aged 65)
Strobl, Austria
OccupationActor
Years active1914–1945

Emil Jannings (23 July 1884 – 2 January 1950) was a Swiss-born German/Austrian actor. He was the first actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, as well as the first person to be presented an Oscar. He later starred in a number of Nazi propaganda films.

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Early life

He was christened as Theodor Friedrich Emil Janenz in Rorschach, Switzerland, the son of a German mother and an American father. While he was still young the family moved to Görlitz in Germany and in the town state theatre Jannings started his stage career. He worked in Bremen and Leipzig before joining the Max Reinhardt theatre company in Berlin.[1]

Career

Jannings was a theater actor who went into films. He starred in the 1922 film version of Othello and in F. W. Murnau's The Last Laugh (Der Letzte Mann, 1924), as a proud but aged hotel doorman who is demoted to a restroom attendant. Jannings worked with Murnau on two other films, playing the title character in Herr Tartüff (1925) and Mephistopheles in Faust (1926). Jannings eventually started a career in Hollywood. In 1929 he won the Oscar for two films, The Way of All Flesh, and The Last Command.

His Hollywood career came to an end with the advent of talkies; his thick German accent was difficult to understand, and his dialogue was dubbed by another actor in the part-talkie The Patriot (1928), although after Jannings objected, his voice was restored. He returned to Europe, where he starred opposite Marlene Dietrich in the 1930 film The Blue Angel, filmed in English simultaneously with its German version Der blaue Engel.

According to Susan Orlean, author of Rin Tin Tin: The Life and The Legend (Simon and Schuster, 2011), Jannings was not actually the winner of the first best actor vote -- he was the runner-up. While researching her book, Orlean discovered that it was in fact Rin Tin Tin, the German Shepherd dog, one of the biggest movie stars of his time, who won the vote. The Academy, however, worried about being taken seriously if they gave the first Oscar to a dog, chose the runner-up. [2]

Later life

With Joseph Goebbels in 1938

During the Third Reich, he starred in several films which were intended to promote Nazism, particularly the Führerprinzip: The Youth of Frederick the Great (1935), Der Herrscher ("The Ruler" 1937), Ohm Kruger (Uncle Kruger, 1941) and The Dismissal of Bismarck (1942). Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels named him "Artist of the State" in 1941.[citation needed]

When troops of the Allied Powers entered Germany in 1945, Jannings reportedly carried his Oscar statuette with him as proof of his former association with Hollywood. His active role in Nazi propaganda meant that he was subject to denazification, and no comeback attempt was possible. He retired near Salzburg, Austria, and became an Austrian citizen in 1947.[1]

Marriages

Jannings was married three times. All three marriages were to stage and film actresses and all three ended in divorce. His first marriage was to Hanna Ralph, his second to Lucie Höflich and his final marriage was to Gussy Holl.

Death

Jannings died in 1950, aged 65, in Strobl, from liver cancer.[3] His Best Actor Oscar is now on display at the Berlin Filmmuseum.

Cultural depictions

Hilmar Eichhorn portrayed a fictional version of Jannings in Inglourious Basterds, directed by Quentin Tarantino.

Filmography

YearFilmRoleNotes
1914Arme Eva
Im Schützengraben
Passionels Tagebuch
1916Aus Mangel an BeweisenDr. Langer
Die Bettlerin von St. MarienBaron Gelsburg
Frau Eva
Im Angesicht des TotenPaul Werner
Life Is a Dream
Nächte des Grauens
Stein unter Steinen
1917Das Fidele GefängnisQuabbe, the jailerThe Merry Jail (Europe: English title)
Wenn vier dasselbe tunSegetoff
Hoheit Radieschen
The Marriage of Luise RohrbachWilhelm Rohrbach
Der Zehnte Pavillon der Zitadelle
Das GeschäftS. H. Haßler
Lulu
Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari
Die Seeschlacht
Unheilbar
1918Keimendes Leben, Teil 1James Fraenkel, Börsenmarktler
John Smith, amerikanischer Ingenieur
Die Augen der Mumie MaRadu, an Arabaka The Eyes of the Mummy
Fuhrmann Henschel
Nach zwanzig JahrenHorst Lundin 'Korn'
1919Rose BerndArthur Streckmann
Madame DuBarryLouis XVaka Passion
VendettaTomasso
Die Tochter des MehemedVaco Juan Riberda, Fabrikbesitzer
Keimendes Leben, Teil 2
Der Mann der TatJan Miller
1920Colombine
Anna BoleynHenry VIIIaka Deception
Der Schädel der PharaonentochterOsorcon, Pharao of Egypt
Algol - Tragödie der MachtRobert Herne
Das Große LichtLorenz Ferleitner
Kohlhiesels TöchterPeter Xaveraka Kohlhiesel's Daughters
1921Die RattenBruno
Der Schwur des Peter Hergatz
DantonDantonaka All for a Woman
Der Stier von OliveraGeneral François Guillaume
Die Brüder KaramasoffDimitri Karamasoffaka The Brothers Karamazov
1922Peter der GroßePeter der Großeaka Peter the Great (USA)
OthelloOthello
Das Weib des PharaoPharao Amenesaka Loves of the Pharaoh
Die Gräfin von Parisaka The Countess of Paris (USA)
1923Alles für GeldS. I. Rupp
Tragödie der LiebeOmbradeaka The Tragedy of Love (USA)
1924The Last LaughHotelportier (hotel porter)The Last Laugh (USA)
Nju - Eine unverstandene FrauEhemannaka Husbands or Lovers (USA)
Das WachsfigurenkabinettHarun al Raschidaka Waxworks
1925VarietéBoss Hulleraka Jealousy (USA)
Quo Vadis?NeroneExtant
Liebe macht blindEmil Janningsaka Love Makes Us Blind
1926Herr TartüffTartüff
Faust - Eine deutsche VolkssageMephistoExtant
1927The Way of All FleshAugust SchillingAcademy Award for Best Actor; Lost film
1928Sins of the FathersWilhelm Spenglerexcerpts and clips are preserved of this film. Unconfirmed about the total film
The PatriotCzar Paul ILost film
Street of SinBasher BillLost film
The Last CommandGen. Dolgorucki / Grand Duke Sergius AlexanderAcademy Award for Best Actor; Extant
1929BetrayalPoldi Moser
Fighting the White Slave Traffic
1930Liebling der GötterAlbert Winkelmannaka Darling of the Gods
Der blaue EngelProf. Immanuel Rathaka The Blue Angel (USA)
1932Stürme der LeidenschaftGustav Bumkeaka Storms of Passion aka Tempest
1933Die Abenteuer des Königs PausoleKing Pausoleaka The Adventures of King Pausole
The Merry MonarchKing Pausole
1934Der Schwarze WalfischPeter Petersenaka The Black Whale (International: English title)
1935Der Alte und der junge König - Friedrichs des Grossen JugendFriedrich Wilhelm I. König von Preussenaka The Making of a King (USA)
1936TraumulusDirektor Prof. Niemeyeraka The Dreamer
1937Der Zerbrochene KrugAdam, Dorfrichteraka The Broken Jug
Der HerrscherMatthias Clausenaka The Ruler
1939Robert Koch, der Bekämpfer des TodesDr. Robert Koch
Der Trichter. (Nr. III)scenes deleted
1941Ohm KrügerOhm Krügeraka Uncle Kruger (International: English title)
1942Die EntlassungBismarckaka Bismarck's Dismissal (UK)
1943Altes Herz wird wieder jungFabrikdirektor Hoffmann
1945Wo ist Herr Belling?Firmenchef Eberhard Bellingaka Where Is Mr. Belling?

References

  1. ^ a b c "Herr Emil Jannings A Great Film Actor" (Obituaries). The Times (London). Wednesday, 4 January 1950. Issue 51580, col E, p. 7.
  2. ^ Throw Rin Tin Tin A Bone & Give Back The Pooch's Best Actor Oscar by Susan Orlean
  3. ^ Chroniknet.de, 2 January 1950Obituary for Emil Jannings]

Further reading

See also

External links