Porten, Henny

BORN 7 Jan 1890, Magdeburg, Sachsen-Anhalt - DIED 15 Oct 1960, Berlin
REAL NAME Porten, Henny Frieda Ulrike
GRAVE LOCATION Berlin: Friedhof der Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirchengemeinde, Fürstenbrunnerweg 69-79 (Middle southern wall (at the chapel) (Ehrengrab))

Henny Porten was the daughter opera singer Franz Porten. In 1895 the familiy moved to Berlin, where she grew up at Albrachtstrasse 40 in Berlin-Steglitz (there's a plaque now).

In 1906 her father directed her in her first movie "Meißner Porzellan". In 1911 she appeared in "Das Liebesglück der Blinden", written by her sister Rosa Porten (b.1884). She was the most popular German moviestar between 1910 and 1920. In 1920 she played the title role in "Anne Boleyn", next to Emil annings and directed by Ernst Lubitsch. For many years she lived at Kürfürstenstraße 58 in Berlin, now Café Einstein.

In 1919 she founded her own movie company. In 1924 it merged with Carl Froelich's company. In 1921 she married Wilhelm von Kaufmann-Asser (1888-1959), who was the director of a sanatorium in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It was her second marriage. Her first husband was actor and director Curt A. Stark (1878-1916).

In 1930 she first played in a sound movie, "Skandal um Eva". It was a success, but after she refused to divorce her Jewish husband in 1933 the nazi's hardly allowed her to work. After the war she had trouble resuming her career. Because she obtained only one small movie part in Western Germany in 1949, she played in two DEFA movies in Eastern Germany during the fifties, much to the dismay of the Western press.

After her husband lost his practice in 1955 and she publicly asked for work, there no longer was a place for her in the movie business. She returned to West Berlin where she and her husband lived in poor circumstances. She outlived him for a year and died in 1960.

Related persons
• cooperated with Biebrach, Rudolf


Emil Jannings and Henny Porten in "Anna Boleyn".


Henny Porten.


Henny Porten.


The grave of Henny Porten at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Friedhof, Berlin.
Picture by Androom (29 Mar 2007)


The grave of Henny Porten at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Friedhof, Berlin.
Picture by Androom (29 Mar 2007)


Henny Porten in "Kammermusik".


Henny Porten.

• Hammer, Klaus, Historische Friedhöfe & Grabmäler in Berlin, Stattbuch Verlag, Berlin, 1994
Henny Porten – Wikipedia
Portrait of the actress Henny Porten by Thomas Staedeli

Possart, Anna von

Published: 13 May 2007
Last update: 26 Jun 2016