Henny Porten

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Henny Porten
File:Henny Porten, 1922.jpg
Born Frieda Ulricke Porten
(1890-01-07)7 January 1890
Magdeburg, Germany
Died 15 October 1960(1960-10-15) (aged 70)
Berlin, Germany
Occupation Actress, film producer
Years active 1906–1955

Frieda Ulricke "Henny" Porten (7 January 1890 – 15 October 1960) was a German actress and film producer of the silent era, and Germany's first major film star. She appeared in more than 170 films between 1906 and 1955.

She was one of the few German actress of the era to enter film without having stage experience.[1] Many of her earlier films were directed by her husband Curt A. Stark, who died during World War I in Transylvania on the Eastern Front in 1916.[2][3] Her father, Franz Porten, was also an actor and film director.

In 1921, she remarried, to Wilhelm von Kaufmann.[4] When the Nazis took power and she refused to divorce her Jewish husband, she found that her career, while doing twelve films a year, dissolved immediately.[5] When she resolved on emigration, she was denied an exit visa to prevent a negative impression.[5] She made ten films during the Nazi era. Her placid and reassuring persona helped calm audiences confronted with Allied bombardment.[5] In 1944, after an aerial mine destroyed her home, she and her husband were out on the streets, as it was forbidden to shelter a full Jew.[5]

She starred in the 1924 film Gräfin Donelli, which was directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst.[6]

Selected filmography


  1. Cinzia Romani, Tainted Goddesses: Female Film Stars of the Third Reich p33 ISBN 0-9627613-1-1
  2. Curt A. Stark biographical data in IMDB. Retrieved 2013-10-16.
  3. Curt A. Stark biography on film-zeit.de. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  4. Cinzia Romani, Tainted Goddesses: Female Film Stars of the Third Reich p34 ISBN 0-9627613-1-1
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Cinzia Romani, Tainted Goddesses: Female Film Stars of the Third Reich p35 ISBN 0-9627613-1-1
  6. "Progressive Silent Film List: Gräfin Donelli". Silent Era. Retrieved 11 September 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links