Ahlers, Annie

BORN 21 Dec 1907, Hamburg - DIED 14 Mar 1933, London
CAUSE OF DEATH fall from window
GRAVE LOCATION Hamburg: Ohlsdorfer Friedhof, Fühlsbüttler Strasse 756 (G18 (296), gravestone moved to Garten der Frauen)

Annie Ahlers already appeared in a circus as a dancer when she was only four years old. She studied singing and she made her name in Berlin with a role in Ralph Banetzky's version of the operetta "Casanova" by Johann Strauss. She appeared in further operettas like "Die Blume von Hawaii" and "Das Veilchen vom Montmartre" in Vienna.

She also appeared in several movies, among them "Die Faschingfee" (1931) and "Die Liebesfiliale" (1931). In 1932 she played Dubarry in the operetta "The Dubarry". Although she hardly knew any English it was a success because of her singing. In London she dated the recently divorced Sir Merrick Burrell who commisioned a portrait of her from Philip Alexius De Laszlo.

But she already suffered from tuberculosis and the weather in London worsened her condition. She became addicted to the morphine she against her pain and in 1933 she fell or probably jumped from the window of her hotel in London. She broke her neck and was dead immediately. Although according to her maid she was a sleepwalker, the coroner ruled her death a suicide.

Half of her ashes were buried at the Ohlsdorf Cemetery in Hamburg, the other half in Shipley churchyard near Knepp Castle. In later years her gravestone in Hamburg was moved to the Garten of Frauen (Garden of Women) area of the cemetery.

At the time of her death the portrait wasn't finished and Sir Merrick's daughter Dreda sat for its completion, wearing Annie's dress.

Related persons
• cooperated with Wittrisch, Marcel


The gravestone of Annie Ahlers can now be found at the Garten of Frauen at the Ohlsdorfer Friedhof, Hamburg.
Picture by Androom (30 Aug 2012)


Anny Ahlers – Wikipedia

Aikman, Frederick Robertson

Published: 14 Apr 2018
Last update: 12 Mar 2022