Jannings, Emil

BORN 23 Jul 1884, Rorschach am Bodensee, St. Gallen - DIED 2 Jan 1950, Strobl am Wolfgangsee, Salzburg
BIRTH NAME Janenz, Theodor Friedrich Emil
CAUSE OF DEATH liver cancer
GRAVE LOCATION St. Wolfgang im Salzkammergut, Oberösterreich: Friedhof, St. Wolfgang-Strasse

Emil Jannings was the son of the American merchant Emil Janenz and his German wife Margarethe Schwabe. He grew up in Switzerland, Leipzig and Görlitz. In 1900 he left school to work on a ship and in 1901 he started working as a volunteer at the Stadttheater in Görlitz. Soon he took acting parts under the name of Baumann in Nürnberg, Leipzig and Königsberg. In 1915 he was contracted by Max Reinhardt's Deutsches Theater and now he was able to play character parts. In 1918 he was Dorfrichter Adam in "Der zerbrochenen Krug" by Herman von Kleist.

In the 1910s his film career took off as well. His collaboration with Ernst Lubitsch started n 1916 and he had parts in "Madame Dubarry" (1919, Lubitsch), "Der letzte Mann" (1924, F.W. Murnau), "Faust" (1926, F.W. Murnau) .From 1926 to 1929 he worked in the USA and in 1927 he received the Oscar for best actor.

The era of silent movies was over and he returned to Germany, where he made a comeback in "Der Blaue Engel" (1930, with Marlene Dietrich). From 1933 onwards he continued working under the nazi regime and he was one of Hitler's favourite actors. In 1937 he starred in a film version of "Der Zerbrochene Krug". Goebbels decorated him with an Adlerschild in 1938.

In 1941 he was Ohm Krüger in the propaganda movie of the same name. In that year he received the title of Staatsschauspieler (Actor of State). During the war he had further movie parts, but after 1945 he was no longer allowed to work. He retired to Strobl near Salzburg in Austria where he owned a country home since 1929. In 1947 he became an Austrian citizen. He also converted to catholicism before he died in 1950 from liver cancer.

Jannings was first married to Lucy Höfling. He divorced her in 1919. His marriages with the actresses Lucie Höflich and Hanna Ralph also ended in divorce. In 1923 he married another actress, Gussy Holl. She was buried beside him after her death in 1966.

• Wife: Holl, Gussy (1923-1950)
• Wife: Höflich, Lucie (1920-1921) (divorce or separation)

Related persons
• was directed by Murnau, Friedrich Wilhelm


Emil Jannings and Henny Porten in "Anna Boleyn".


The grave of Emil Jannings at the cemetery in St. Wolfgang im Salzkammergut.
Picture by Androom (01 Sep 2014)


Internet Movie Database
Emil Jannings – Wikipedia

Janu, Zorka

Published: 18 Apr 2015
Last update: 14 May 2024