Wedekind, Tilly

BORN 11 Apr 1885, Graz, Steiermark: Leonhardstrasse - DIED 20 Apr 1970, München, Bayern
BIRTH NAME Newes, Mathilde Emilie Adolfine
GRAVE LOCATION München, Bayern: Waldfriedhof (017-W-88)

Tilly Wedekind was born in Graz as the daughter of Eduard Newes (1842-1915), who worked for a bank before he became a wine merchant. She started her acting career in Cologne and Vienna. In 1905 she played the part of Lulu in Frank Wedekind's "Die Büchse der Pandora" ("Pandora'x Box"). She started an affair with Wedekind, but after he insulted her in Berlin she jumped into the Spree. She was saved and Wedekind, who was twenty years her senior, proposed to her. They married in 1906.

After her marriage she no longer appeared in plays by others because of her husband's extemely jealous nature and she only acted together with Wedekind in his plays. She and Wedekind had two daughters, Pamela and Kadidja. In 1916 Tilly and Frank they acted together for the last time.

Her sister Paula had killed herself on 7 January 1907 and on 7 January 1915 her mother Mathilde Newes-Engländer committed suicide. In 1917 Tilly tried to kill herself as well but she survived. Wedekind wanted to leave her but before they could divorce he died in 1918 after several stomach operations.

At the time of his death his plays finally made money and she lived comfortable from the royalties for several years. She had affairs with other men, among them Gottfried Benn. Benn was a great love to her, but she didn't know that he conducted an affair with another woman at the same time. The pilot Ernst Udet was a close friend. In 1936 she appeared in the movie "Schlußakkord" and in 1938 she played in "Fahrendes Volk".

During the Second World War she stayed in Germany and Gustav Gründgens and Emmy Göring helped her daughter Pamela to some acting work. After the war Kadidja reproached her sister and her mother that they had been cowards during the nazi era. With the help of Kadidja she wrote her autobiography "Lulu - die Rolle meines Lebens" (1969) in which she frankly relates how difficult her marriage was. She died in Munich in 1970 and she was buried in Frank Wedekind's grave at the Waldfriedhof.

• Daughter: Wedekind, Pamela
• Daughter: Wedekind, Kadidja
• Husband: Wedekind, Frank (1906-1918, Berlin: Moabit)

Related persons
• was the lover of Albers, Hans
• was the lover of Benn, Gottfried
• is brother/sister of Newes, Martha Maria
• was a friend of Orloff, Ida
• was a friend of Udet, Ernst

29/5/1905Private performance in Vienna of Frank Wedekind's "Die Büchse der Pandora". The play was first performed at 1 Feb 1904 at the Intimen Theater in Nürnberg, but banned by the German censors afterwards. Karl Kraus organised a private performance at the Trianon Theatre in Vienna. Tilly Newes played Lulu and Albert Heine played Schigolg and was the director. Adele Sandrock had the part of Gräfin Geschwitz, Ida Orloff was Kadidja di Santa Croce and Karl Kraus was Kungu Pote. Wedekind himself played the murderer Jack. [Kraus, Karl][Orloff, Ida][Sandrock, Adele][Wedekind, Frank]
28/3/1929Performance of Frank Wedekind's "Der Marquis von Keith" in honour of the recently deceased Albert Steinrück. It took place at the Schauspielhaus at the Gendarmemarkt in Belrin. Director was Leopold Jessner and Heinrich Mann speeched. Among the participating actors were Heinrich George, Werner Krauss, Carola Neher, Tilla Durieux, Jakob Tiedtke, Conrad Veidt, Max Pallenberg, Elisabeth Bergner, Paul Wegener, Hans Albers, Käthe Dorsch and Veit Harlan. [Albers, Hans][Bergner, Elisabeth][Brausewetter, Hans][Dietrich, Marlene][Durieux, Tilla][George, Heinrich][Goetz, Curt][Harlan, Veit][Körber, Hilde][Kortner, Fritz][Krauss, Werner][Mann, Heinrich][Pallenberg, Max][Steinrück, Albert][Veidt, Conrad][Wedekind, Frank][Wegener, Paul]


The grave of Frank, Tilly and Kadidja Wedekind at the Waldfriedhof in Munich.
Picture by Androom (23 Aug 2010)


Internet Movie Database
• Regnier, Anatol, Du af deinem höchtsten Dach, Tilly Wedekind und ihre Töchter, BTB Verlag, 2005
• Scheibmayr, Erich, Letzte Heimat, Persönlichkeiten in Münchner Friedhöfen 1784-1984, Scheibmayr Verlag, München, 1985
Albert Steinrück: Abschiedsvorstellung am Gendarmenmarkt
Wedekind: "Die Büchse der Pandora"

Wedgwood, Emma

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 29 May 2023