Theodor Friedrich Emil Janenz
23 July 1884
2 January 1950
Cause of death
Emil Jannings (23 July 1884 – 2 January 1950) was a Swiss-born German/Austrian actor. He was the first person to be presented with an Oscar when he was honored with the first Academy Award for Best Actor, at the 1929 ceremony.
- Early life 1
- Career 2
- Later life 3
- Marriages 4
- Death 5
- Cultural depictions 6
- Filmography 7
- See also 8
- References 9
- Further reading 10
- External links 11
He was christened as Emil Jannings in Rorschach, Switzerland, the son of a Russian-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.
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 first Best Actor Oscar for his work in two films: The Way of All Flesh (now lost), and Josef von Sternberg's The Last Command.
His Hollywood career came to an end with the advent of talkies as his thick German accent was difficult to understand. His dialogue was initially dubbed by another actor in the part-talkie The Patriot (1928), although Jannings' own voice was restored after he objected. Returning to Europe, he starred opposite Marlene Dietrich in the 1930 film The Blue Angel, which was filmed simultaneously in English 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, but 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 to award the Oscar to the human runner-up.
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.
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.
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.
- Hilmar Eichhorn portrayed a fictional, but not sanitized, version of Jannings in Inglourious Basterds, directed by Quentin Tarantino.
- In the 1972 film Cabaret, singer Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli) finds herself at a high-society dinner party; she tries to impress someone at the table by suggesting that she is a friend of Emil Jannings.
|1916||Aus Mangel an Beweisen||Dr. Langer|
|Die Bettlerin von St. Marien||Baron Gelsburg|
|Im Angesicht des Toten||Paul Werner|
|Life Is a Dream|
|Nächte des Grauens|
|Stein unter Steinen|
|1917||Das Fidele Gefängnis||Quabbe, the jailer||The Merry Jail (Europe: English title)|
|When Four Do the Same||Segetoff|
|The Marriage of Luise Rohrbach||Wilhelm Rohrbach|
|Der Zehnte Pavillon der Zitadelle|
|Das Geschäft||S. H. Haßler|
|Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari|
|1918||Keimendes Leben, Teil 1||
James Fraenkel, Börsenmarktler
John Smith, amerikanischer Ingenieur
|Die Augen der Mumie Ma||Radu, an Arab||aka The Eyes of the Mummy|
|Nach zwanzig Jahren||Horst Lundin 'Korn'|
|1919||Rose Bernd||Arthur Streckmann|
|Madame DuBarry||Louis XV||aka Passion|
|Die Tochter des Mehemed||Vaco Juan Riberda, Fabrikbesitzer|
|Keimendes Leben, Teil 2|
|Der Mann der Tat||Jan Miller|
|Anna Boleyn||Henry VIII||aka Deception|
|Der Schädel der Pharaonentochter||Osorcon, Pharao of Egypt|
|Algol - Tragödie der Macht||Robert Herne|
|Das Große Licht||Lorenz Ferleitner|
|Kohlhiesel's Daughters||Peter Xaver|
|The Oath of Peter Hergatz|
|Danton||Danton||aka All for a Woman|
|Der Stier von Olivera||General François Guillaume|
|The Brothers Karamazov||Dimitri Karamasoff||aka Die Brüder Karamasoff|
|1922||Peter the Great||Peter der Große||aka Peter der Große|
|The Loves of Pharaoh||Pharao Amenes||aka Das Weib des Pharao|
|Die Gräfin von Paris||aka The Countess of Paris (USA)|
|1923||Alles für Geld||S. I. Rupp|
|Tragödie der Liebe||Ombrade||aka The Tragedy of Love (USA)|
|1924||Der Letzte Mann||Hotelportier (hotel porter)||The Last Laugh (USA)|
|Nju - Eine unverstandene Frau||Ehemann||aka Husbands or Lovers (USA)|
|Das Wachsfigurenkabinett||Harun al Raschid||aka Waxworks|
|1925||Varieté||Boss Huller||aka Jealousy (USA)|
|Liebe macht blind||Emil Jannings||aka Love Makes Us Blind|
|Faust - Eine deutsche Volkssage||Mephisto||Extant|
|1927||The Way of All Flesh||August Schilling||Academy Award for Best Actor; Lost film|
|1928||Sins of the Fathers||Wilhelm Spengler||excerpts and clips are preserved of this film. Unconfirmed about the total film|
|The Patriot||Czar Paul I||Lost film|
|Street of Sin||Basher Bill||Lost film|
|The Last Command||Gen. Dolgorucki / Grand Duke Sergius Alexander||Academy Award for Best Actor; Extant|
|Fighting the White Slave Traffic|
|1930||Darling of the Gods||Albert Winkelmann||aka Darling of the Gods|
|Der blaue Engel||Prof. Immanuel Rath||aka The Blue Angel (USA)|
|1932||Storms of Passion||Gustav Bumke||aka Stürme der Leidenschaft aka Tempest|
|1933||Die Abenteuer des Königs Pausole||King Pausole||aka The Adventures of King Pausole|
|The Merry Monarch||King Pausole|
|1934||Der Schwarze Walfisch||Peter Petersen||aka The Black Whale (International: English title)|
|1935||Der Alte und der junge König - Friedrichs des Grossen Jugend||Friedrich Wilhelm I. König von Preussen||aka The Making of a King (USA)|
|1936||The Dreamer||Direktor Prof. Niemeyer|
|1937||The Broken Jug||Adam, Dorfrichter||aka The Broken Jug|
|Der Herrscher||Matthias Clausen||aka The Ruler|
|1939||Robert Koch||Dr. Robert Koch|
|Der Trichter. (Nr. III)||scenes deleted|
|1941||Ohm Krüger||Ohm Krüger||aka Uncle Kruger (International: English title)|
|1942||Die Entlassung||Bismarck||aka Bismarck's Dismissal (UK)|
|1943||Altes Herz wird wieder jung||Fabrikdirektor Hoffmann|
|1945||Wo ist Herr Belling?||Firmenchef Eberhard Belling||aka Where Is Mr. Belling?|
- Roman Rocek: Die neun Leben des Alexander Lernet-Holenia. Eine Biographie. Böhlau, Wien u.a. 1997; ISBN 3-205-98713-6. S. 186
- Frank Noack: "Jannings. Der erste deutsche Weltstar". Collection Rolf Heyne, München 2012
- "Herr Emil Jannings A Great Film Actor" (Obituaries). The Times (London). Wednesday, 4 January 1950. (51580), col E, p. 7.
- "Throw Rin Tin Tin A Bone & Give Back The Pooch's Best Actor Oscar", deadline.com; January 2012.
- Emil Jannings at the Internet Movie Database
- Chroniknet.de, Obituary for Emil Jannings (2 January 1950), chroniknet.de]; accessed 26 October 2014.
- Frank Noack: Jannings. Belleville, München 2009 ISBN 978-3-933510-50-1
- Carl Zuckmayer: Geheimreport. Hrsg. von Gunther Nickel und Johanna Schrön. Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2002, ISBN 3-89244-599-0; pp. 136–45
- Emil Jannings: Theater, Film - Das Leben und ich. Autobiographie. Berchtesgaden: Verlag Zimmer & Herzog, 1951. (posthumous)
- Herbert Ihering: Emil Jannings: Baumeister seines Lebens und seiner Filme. Heidelberg 1941
- Emil Jannings at Find a Grave
- Photographs of Emil Jannings