- Elisabeth Bergner
name = Elisabeth Bergner
caption = Elisabeth Bergner, 1935
birthname = Elisabeth Ettel
birthdate = birth date|1897|7|22
location = Drohobycz,
Austro-Hungarian Empire(now Drogobych, Ukraine
deathdate = Death date and age|1986|5|12|1897|7|2
notable role =
Elisabeth Bergner (
August 22 1897– May 12 1986) was an actress.
She was born Elisabeth Ettel in Drohobycz,
Austro-Hungarian Empire(now Drogobych, Ukraine).
She began acting in
Innsbruckat the age of 15. In Vienna, she worked as an artist's model, posing for sculptor Wilhelm Lehmbruck, who fell in love with her. She eventually moved to Munichand then Berlin.
In 1923 she made her film debut in "Der Evangelimann". With the rise of Naziism, Bergner moved to
Londonwith director Paul Czinnerand they were married in 1933. Her stage work in London included The Boy David (1936) by J.M. Barrie, his last play which he wrote especially for her, and " Escape Me Never" by Margaret Kennedy. "Catherine the Great" was banned in Germanybecause of the government's racial policies, reported Timemagazine (March 26, 1934). She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actressfor " Escape Me Never" (1935). She repeated her stage role of Rosalind, opposite Laurence Olivier's Orlando, in the 1936 film "As You Like It", the first sound film version of Shakespeare's play, and the first sound film of "any" Shakespeare play filmed in England. Ms. Bergner had previously only played the role on the German stage, and several critics found that her accent got in the way of their enjoyment of the film, which was not a success. Throughout, she returned intermittently to the stage, for instance in the title role of John Webster's " The Duchess of Malfi" in 1946.
She temporarily returned to Germany in 1954, where she acted in movies and on the stage; the Berlin district of Steglitz named a city park after her. Later she moved to
London, where she died aged 88.
All About Eve
Bergner is considered by several critics to be the inspiration for the character of Margo Channing in
Joseph L. Mankiewiczclassic film, " All About Eve". Bergner had a true life incident about a real-life would-be Eve Harrington that she recounted to writer Mary Orr(1910 - 2006). Ms. Orr published a piece about the matter for "Cosmopolitan" magazine and named it "The Wisdom of Eve", in which Eve does not get a comeuppance -- as was required by the Hollywood Production Codefor the film -- but gets away with everything and is last seen heading to Hollywoodwith a "thousand dollar a week contract in her pocketbook."
* Anne Jespersen: Toedliche Wahrheit oder raffinierte Taeuschung. "Die Frauen in den Filmen Elisabeth Bergners" in Michael Omasta, Brigitte Mayr, Christian Cargnelli (eds.): "Carl Mayer, Scenarist: Ein Script von ihm war schon ein Film" - "A script by
Carl Mayerwas already a film". Synema, Vienna 2003, ISBN 3-901644-10-5 (German/English)
* [http://film.virtual-history.com/person.php?personid=662 Virtual History - Tobacco cards]
* [http://www.xs4all.nl/~androom/biography/p013553.htm Elisabeth Bergner - Androom Archives]
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