Langer, Gilda

BORN 16 May 1896, Oderfurt, Mähren (now: Ostrava-Privoz) - DIED 31 Jan 1920, Berlin
BIRTH NAME Langer, Hermengild
CAUSE OF DEATH lung infection
GRAVE LOCATION Stahnsdorf, Brandenburg: Südwestkirchhof, Bahnhofstrasse (Block Lietzensee, Gartenblock I, Gartenstelle 171)

Gilda Langer was born in Oderfurt (now Privoz). Not much is known about her background, but around 1915 she met screenwriter Carl Mayer in Vienna. It seems he fell in love with her and took her to Berlin, where she was engaged at the Residenz-Theater in 1917.

In the same year she played in the movie "Das Rätsel von Bangalor", next to the young Conrad Veidt. In 1919 she was contracted by Decla film, where Fritz Lang was also under contract. She played in his movies "Halbblut" (1919) and "Der Herr der Liebe" (1919).

Decla bought the script of "Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari", written by her friends Carl Mayer and Hans Janowitz, but the female parts in that movie went to Lil Dagover and Carola Toelle. Still Decla had big plans with her and her breakthrough seemed only a matter of time.

In the beginning of 1920 she became engaged to director Paul Czinner, but at the end of January she sadly died of a lung infection. However, not everybody believed it went just like that. Janowitz said that her own sudden engagement had put her under severe mental stress, adding to her unexpected demise and Herbert G. Luft claimed she overdosed on drugs. Certain is that Paul Czinner moved on to marry Elisabeth Bergner in later years.

On 4 Feb 1920 Gilda Langer was buried at the then fashionable cemetery at Stahnsdorf near Berlin. In 1995 her gravestone was rediscovered in an at that time unkempt part of the very large cemetery by movie historian Olaf Brill. The headstone had come down but it was still there. Carl Mayer was the one who had erected it there after her death and apart from her name, notes from the theme of lovers from Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde" were engraved upon it.

Thanks to Mr. Brill's careful notes the gravestone could be located again in 2004. After rubbing off a lot of mud it turned out to be still readable. In 2020 it was still there.

Related persons
• was a friend of Mayer, Carl
• cooperated with Veidt, Conrad


The grave of Gilda Langer at the Südwestfriedhof, Stahnsdorf, Berlin.
Picture by Androom (13 Nov 2004)


The neglected tombstone of Gilda Langer at the Südwestfriedhof, Stahnsdorf, Berlin (in the background in the middle of the picture).
Picture by Androom (13 Nov 2004)


Gilda Langer.
Picture by Anny Eberth, Berlin


Gilda Langer.
Picture by Atelier Ebrth, Berlin



Lange-Weber, Aloisia

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 03 Jan 2022