Horney, Brigitte

BORN 29 Mar 1911, Berlin - DIED 27 Jul 1988, Hamburg: Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
CAUSE OF DEATH cancer of the liver
GRAVE LOCATION Wilzhofen, Bayern: Friedhof der St. Valentin-Kirche

Daughter of business lawyer Oskar Horney and the well known psychologist Karen Horney-Danielsen (1885-1952). In 1926 Karen left Oskar with her three daughters. Brigitte went to school in Berlin-Zehlendorf and then in Znoz in Switzerland. In 1928 she joined the Trümpy dance school, where she was educated for two years. She was also taught by Mary Wigman and took acting lessons with Ilka Grüning.

In 1930 she received the Max-Reinhardt-Preis for best young actress and during the same year she had her first movie part. Success came with her part as Ruby in "Liebe, Tod und Teufel" (1934). Other successes were "Savoy-Hotel 217" (1936) and "Münchhausen" (1943). She also appeared in some British movies, among them "Secret Lives" (1937). Next to her movie career she continued to act in theatres. In 1940 she married her first husband, the camera man Konstantin Irmen-Tschet. In 1941 her friend and fellow actor Joachim Gottschalk committed suicide.

In 1944 she agreed to act in the propaganda movie "Am Ende der Welt", probably because she was afraid of what the nazis might do to herself. Goebbels wasn't satisfied with the movie and it wasn't released until after the war. Horney fled to Switzerland, leaving her husband behind in Germany.

After the war she worked at the Theatre in Zürich (1946-1948) and in 1948 she returned to the movies with "Die Frau am Weg". During a visit to her mother in Boston she met the German art historian Hanns Swarzenski who became her second husband in 1953. After her mother died she moved to Boston permanently. Her husband had his work there and she could look after her mother's clinic. In 1953 she became an American citizen.

She frequently returned to Germany, where she had a house in Bavaria, to do movies and theatre work. In 1985 her husband died and in 1986 she fell ill herself. In 1988 she died of cancer and was buried next to her husband in Wilzhofen, Bavaria.

Related persons
• cooperated with Gottschalk, Joachim


Brigitte Horney.

Brigitte Horney.


Brigitte Horney.


Brigitte Horney.

Brigitte Horney.
Picture by Foto Ufa


The house at the Johann-Strauss-Platz 11 (Babelsberg-Nord near Berlin) belonged to the silk manufacturer Hans Gugenheim. After his emigration in 1936 it was inhabited by Brigitte Horney.
Picture by Androom (27 Mar 2007)


Brigitte Horney in "Solange Du da bist".
Picture by NDF/Schorchfilm


Brigitte Horney.
Picture by Foto Binz


The grave of Brigitte Horney at the Friedhof der St. Valentin-Kirche, Wilfhofen, Bayern.
Picture by Androom (25 Aug 2010)


The grave of Brigitte Horney at the Friedhof der St. Valentin-Kirche, Wilfhofen, Bayern.
Picture by Androom (25 Aug 2010)


Horta, Victor

Published: 19 Sep 2010
Last update: 03 Mar 2022