Harry Liedtke

Harry Liedtke

Darsteller
*12.10.1882 Königsberg (heute Kaliningrad, Russland); †28.04.1945 Bad Saarow-Pieskow

Biography

Harry Liedtke was born October 12, 1882, in Königsberg (today: Kaliningrad, Russia), as the seventh of eleven childrens of an import and export merchant who dealt with linseed and hemp. After his father's death in 1896, he lived in an orphanage. He attended Altstädtisches Gymnasium in Königsberg and started an apprenticeship as a merchant in a bank and in a crop commission business after his graduation. He then worked in shop for colonial produce.

During a visit to Berlin, Liedtke met Hans Oberländer, the artistic director of Königliches Schauspielhaus. After several acting lessons, he became a cast member at Stadttheater Freiberg, Saxony, and later worked at Elysium-Theater Bromberg, and at Stadttheater Görlitz, Bad Rothenfelde, Göttingen, and Magdeburg (where he performed under a false name).

Liedtke then became a cast member of Kleines Theater in Berlin but went for a year to New York's New German Theatre, when he hardly got any more role offers in Berlin. After his return, Liedtke got a five-year contract at Deutsches Theater and made his debut at Kammerspiele on May 4, 1909, in Ernst von Wolzogen's comedy "Der unverstandene Mann", directed by Felix Hollaender. He starred in classic and in contemporary plays, for instance, under director Max Reinhardt as Marcellus in "Hamlet" (1909), as Melchior Gabor in "Frühlings Erwachen" ("Spring Awakening", 1910), and as Alwa Schön in "Der Erdgeist" ("Earth Spirit", 1913). In 1913/14, he worked at Mannheim's Hof- und Nationaltheater, then at Berlin's Residenz-Theater. After his one-year military service in Potsdam, he returned to Deutsches Theater where he stayed until 1916.

Liedtke made his movie debut in 1912 and mainly played noble, elegant characters in Messter productions (for instance, in "Eva"). From 1915 on, Liedtke most often appeared in films by Rudolf del Zopp. In 1916, he starred in Stuart Webbs and in Joe Deebs detective stories like "Der Amateur", directed by Ernst Reicher, and "Wie ich Detektiv wurde", directed by Joe May. In 1917, he appeared in several films by Paul Leni, for instance, in "Prima vera", in the role of Sir Archibald in "Das Rätsel von Bangalor" ("The Mystery of Bangalor"), and as the prince in "Dornröschen".

Liedtke then became one of Ernst Lubitsch's preferred actors. He played the youthful charmer in burlesque films, for instance, the rogue Reitzenstein in Lubitsch's "Fledermaus" adaptation "Das fidele Gefängnis" ("The Merry Jail"), or the scruffy prince Nucki in "Die Austernprinzessin" ("The Oyster Princess"). But Liedtke also starred in the historic epics, as Armand de Foix in "Madame Dubarry" ("Passion"), and as Ramphis in "Das Weib des Pharao" ("Pharao's Wife") – "despite his sparse apparel a charming Berlin character; the smile of his mouth and in his eyes is so attractive that jumps into the Nile river in vain as everybody knows that it is the Spree or the Havel river." (K. Pinthus, Das Tage-Buch, March 18, 1922).

Liedtke then played the leading role in "Der Mann ohne Namen" ("The Man Without a Name"), the first six-part film version of Ewald Gerhard Seeliger's best-selling novel "Peter Voß, der Millionendieb"; while his bonvivant charme became his signature feature. Full of cockiness and optimism, Liedtke, one of the first male stars of German cinema, embodied vital recklessness and winning chutzpah. Either as a destitute aristocrat in "Die Finanzen des Großherzogs" ("The Grand Duke's Finances") or as a representative of bourgeois domesticity in "Madame wünscht keine Kinder" ("Madame Doesn't Want Children"), in evening dress or in uniform, in Richard Eichberg's military comedies like "Liebe und Trompetenblasen", or in Friedrich Zelnik's film operettas like "Die Försterchristel" ("The Bohemian Dancer") or "An der schönen blauen Donau" ("The Beautiful Blue Danube"), Liedtke always stood in the centre of attention, an agile gentleman.

"He has an expression of mischievous power, of masculinity without brutality and the air of importance, and smiling, roguish heroics that are truly refreshing." "Normally, us men are never quite convinced when a woman falls in love with another man. But with Harry Liedtke… it’s pretty clear." (B. Balázs, Der Tag, October 30, and March 16, 1923).

The advent of the sound film ended his rise because "Harry Liedtke's voice clouds his great smile." (S. Kracauer, Frankfurter Zeitung, April 13, 1931). Once more, he sailed the seven seas as a disappointed and mysoginic womanizer in "Nie wieder Liebe" ("No More Love") who is put in irons by a mermaid (Lilian Harvey). With his role of the elegant baron who is hooked by Dolly Haas in "Der Page vom Dalmasse-Hotel", Liedtke initiated his change into the department of graying gentlemen and fathers.

But it took him until 1941 until he was able to prove his conversion in a leading role alongside Käte Haack and her daughter Hannelore Schroth and under director Heinz Rühmann as the cheerful and detached patriarch in "Sophienlund" who has to acknowledge the catastrophe of his family idyll because of a concealed misstep.

Liedtke was first married to Hanne Schutt. From 1920 to 1926, he was married to the actress Käthe Dorsch. Together with his third wife, the Reinhardt actress Christa Tordy (= Dr. phil. Anneliese Uhlhorn), Harry Liedtke was killed on April 28, 1945, by members of the Red Army during the occupation of Bad Saarow-Pieskow, his place of residence.

Filmography

1957/1958 Das gab's nur einmal
Participation
 
1949/1950 Sie sind nicht mehr
Participation
 
1943/1944 Das Konzert
Cast
 
1943/1944 Der Majoratsherr
Cast
 
1942/1943 Sophienlund
Cast
 
1941 Quax, der Bruchpilot
Cast
 
1938 Preußische Liebesgeschichte
Cast
 
1937/1938 Es leuchten die Sterne
Cast
 
1937 Gefährliches Spiel
Cast
 
1936 Stadt Anatol
Cast
 
1935 Liebesleute
Cast
 
1933/1934 Zwischen zwei Herzen
Cast
 
1933 Der Page vom Dalmasse-Hotel
Cast
 
1933 Wenn am Sonntagabend die Dorfmusik spielt
Cast
 
1932 Liebe in Uniform
Cast
 
1931 Nie wieder Liebe!
Cast
 
1931 ...und das ist die Hauptsache
Cast
 
1930/1931 Der Liebesarzt
Cast
 
1930 Der keusche Josef
Cast
 
1930 Die große Sehnsucht
Cast
 
1930 Der Korvettenkapitän. (Blaue Jungs von der Marine.)
Cast
 
1929/1930 Donauwalzer
Cast
 
1929/1930 O Mädchen, mein Mädchen, wie lieb' ich Dich!
Cast
 
1929/1930 Delikatessen
Cast
 
1929 Die Konkurrenz platzt
Cast
 
1929 Vater und Sohn
Cast
 
1929 Der schwarze Domino
Cast
 
1929 Der lustige Witwer
Cast
 
1929 Der Erzieher meiner Tochter
Cast
 
1928/1929 Rund um die Liebe
Participation
 
1928/1929 Der Held aller Mädchenträume
Cast
 
1928 Die Zirkusprinzessin
Cast
 
1928 Der moderne Casanova
Cast
 
1928 Ich küsse Ihre Hand, Madame
Cast
 
1928 Robert und Bertram
Cast
 
1928 Das Spiel mit der Liebe (Harry und die Hochstaplerin)
Cast
 
1928 Der Herzensphotograph
Cast
 
1928 Der Faschingsprinz
Cast
 
1928 Großstadtjugend
Cast
 
1927/1928 Mein Freund Harry
Cast
 
1927/1928 Dragonerliebchen (Das Smoking-Girl)
Cast
 
1927/1928 Amor auf Ski
Cast
 
1927 Regine. Die Tragödie einer Frau
Cast
 
1927 Die letzte Nacht
Cast
 
1927 Wochenendzauber
Cast
 
1927 Das Fürstenkind (Der Fürst der schwarzen Berge)
Cast
 
1927 Der Bettelstudent
Cast
 
1927 Ein Mädel aus dem Volke
Cast
 
1927 Die Geliebte
Cast
 
1927 Das Heiratsnest
Cast
 
1927 Das Schicksal einer Nacht
Cast
 
1927 Die rollende Kugel
Cast
 
1927 Die Spielerin
Cast
 
1926/1927 Faschingszauber
Cast
 
1926/1927 Eine tolle Nacht
Cast
 
1926 Die lachende Grille
Cast
 
1926 Die Welt will belogen sein
Cast
 
1926 Kreuzzug des Weibes
Cast
 
1926 Der Veilchenfresser
Cast
 
1926 Der Soldat der Marie
Cast
 
1926 An der schönen blauen Donau
Cast
 
1926 Nixchen
Cast
 
1926 Madame wünscht keine Kinder
Cast
 
1926 Die Wiskottens
Cast
 
1926 Das Mädel auf der Schaukel
Cast
 
1926 Der Feldherrnhügel
Cast
 
1925/1926 Die Försterchristl
Cast
 
1925/1926 Der Mann ohne Schlaf
Cast
 
1925 Liebe und Trompetenblasen
Cast
 
1925 Die Frau für 24 Stunden
Cast
 
1925 Die Insel der Träume
Cast
 
1925 Der Abenteurer
Cast
 
1925 Gräfin Mariza
Cast
 
1924/1925 Um Recht und Ehre
Cast
 
1924 Muß die Frau Mutter werden ?
Cast
 
1924 Die Puppenkönigin
Cast
 
1924 Orient
Cast
 
1923/1924 Der Film im Film
Participation
 
1923/1924 Die Finanzen des Großherzogs
Cast
 
1923/1924 Nanon
Cast
 
1923/1924 Ein Traum vom Glück
Cast
 
1923 Der Kaufmann von Venedig
Cast
 
1923 Die Liebe einer Königin
Cast
 
1923 Der Seeteufel. 2. Teil
Cast
 
1923 Der Seeteufel. 1. Teil
Cast
 
1922/1923 Die Fledermaus
Cast
 
1922 So sind die Männer
Cast
 
1921 Das Weib des Pharao
Cast
 
1921 Die Sünden der Mutter
Cast
 
1920/1921 Der Sprung über den Schatten
Cast
 
1920/1921 Der Mann mit den eisernen Nerven
Cast
 
1920/1921 Die goldene Flut
Cast
 
1920/1921 Gelbe Bestien
Cast
 
1920/1921 Der Kaiser der Sahara
Cast
 
1920/1921 Der Millionendieb
Cast
 
1920 Sumurun
Cast
 
1920 Der Gefangene. Sklaven des XX. Jahrhunderts
Cast
 
1920 Der Schauspieler der Herzogin
Cast
 
1920 Mein Leben als Nachtredakteur
Cast
 
1920 So ein Mädel
Cast
 
1919/1920 Das einsame Wrack
Cast
 
1919/1920 Die Tänzerin Barberina
Cast
 
1919/1920 Indische Rache
Cast
 
1919 Madame Dubarry
Cast
 
1919 Vendetta
Cast
 
1919 Die Tochter des Mehemed
Cast
 
1919 Die Austernprinzessin
Cast
 
1919 Komtesse Doddy
Cast
 
1919 Im Schatten des Geldes
Cast
 
1919 Tropenblut
Cast
 
1919 Rebellenliebe
Cast
 
1919 Retter der Menschheit
Cast
 
1919 Moral und Sinnlichkeit. Keimendes Leben. III
Cast
 
1919 Der Tempelräuber
Cast
 
1919 Kreuziget sie!
Cast
 
1918/1919 Das Karussell des Lebens
Cast
 
1918/1919 Irrungen
Cast
 
1918 Der gelbe Schein
Cast
 
1918 Die Augen der Mumie Ma
Cast
 
1918 Das Opfer
Cast
 
1918 Carmen
Cast
 
1918 Der Flieger von Goerz
Cast
 
1918 Das Mädel vom Ballett
Cast
 
1918 Der Rodelkavalier
Cast
 
1917/1918 Das Rätsel von Bangalor
Cast
 
1917 Wer weiß?
Cast
 
1917 Ehre
Cast
 
1917 Die Hochzeit im Excentric-Club
Cast
 
1917 Das fidele Gefängnis
Cast
 
1917 Dornröschen
Cast
 
1917 Lulu
Cast
 
1917 Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari
Cast
 
1917 Prima vera
Cast
 
1917 Eine Nacht in der Stahlkammer
Cast
 
1916/1917 Die leere Wasserflasche
Cast
 
1916 Arme Eva Maria
Cast
 
1916 Das rätselhafte Inserat
Cast
 
1916 Wie ich Detektiv wurde
Cast
 
1916 Des Guten zuviel
Cast
 
1916 Der Amateur
Cast
 
1916 Das Bild der Ahnfrau
Cast
 
1916 Die bleiche Renate
Cast
 
1916 Leutnant auf Befehl
Cast
 
1916 Liebe und List
Cast
 
1916 Die Verschollene
Cast
 
1916 Die einsame Frau
Cast
 
1916 Börse und Adel
Cast
 
1916 Mausi
Cast
 
1915 Die Söhne des Grafen Steinfels
Cast
 
1915 Sein erstes Kind
Cast
 
1915 Meyer und Meier oder Die Kunststopferin
Cast
 
1915 Er soll dein Herr sein (oder: In der eigenen Schlinge gefangen)
Cast
 
1915 Die Austernperle
Cast
 
1915 Von sieben die Häßlichste
Cast
 
1915 Die Tat von damals
Cast
 
1914/1915 Der Krieg brachte Frieden
Cast
 
1914/1915 Über alles die Pflicht!
Cast
 
1914/1915 Eine Liebesgabe
Cast
 
1914 Das Vaterland ruft
Cast
 
1913 Der wankende Glaube
Cast
 
1913 Eva
Cast
 
1913 Schuldig
Cast
 
1912/1913 Harry Raupach
Cast
 
1912 Zu spät
Cast
 

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