Biography of Emil Jannings (1884-1950)

Film and theatrical, nationalized German entertainer, whose real name was Theodor Friedrich Emil Janenz. He/She was born in Rorschach am Bodensee (Switzerland), in 1884, and died in Strobl am Wolfgangsee (Austria), in 1950. Famous both for the characters of the classical theater who played as by which they made for cinema, he/she was one of the most important German actors of the 20th century.

American father and German mother (perhaps originating in Russia), embarked in London to escape from poverty and in search of adventure.Back to Görlitz a friend who worked as a roadie in a theater initiated him into the world of the scene. At eighteen he/she broke with his family and became an itinerant actor, playing by all Germany classic roles, from Karl Moor Schiller King Lear by Shakespeare, which caught the attention of Reinhardt. His mimicry and its rare expressiveness allowed access to very different roles. He/She entered at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin, and played Othello, the characters of Wedekind and Goethe. Idolized by the public, since 1914 it became Germany's most popular film actor. He/She worked mainly with the producer Max Reinhardt, and acted under the orders of Ernst Lubitsch or F. w. Murnau, before moving to Hollywood in 1926. He/She was the first winner of an Oscar for best actor for his roles in the films the fate of the flesh (1927), Victor Fleming and the last command (1928) of Josef von Sternberg. He/She returned to Germany after that their dialogues in an incomprehensible English were eliminated the risk of betrayal (1929) Lewis Milestone film. Possibly, the most important role of his career has been that of Professor Unrat, a school master naive seduced by a singer played by Marlene Dietrich, emblem of the femme fatale, the Blue Angel (1930), the first sound film of Josef von Sternberg. His sympathy for national socialism provided him a seat on the Board of Directors of the Universum Film-Aktiengesellschaft (UFA), German major production studios, in 1940. Goebbels proclaimed him "artist of the State", and the regime broke him honors. After the defeat of the nazis in 1945, Jannings suffered a loss of prestige, and the criticisms put an end to his career. He/She retired to Strobl (Austria), where he/she died on January 2, 1950.


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