Kortner, Fritz

Kortner, Fritz

▪ Austrian actor and director
original name  Fritz Nathan Kohn 
born May 12, 1892, Vienna [Austria]
died July 22, 1970, Munich, West Germany

      famous stage and film actor of the 1920s German avant-garde who, after his return from exile in 1949, revitalized German theatre with his innovative concepts in staging and direction. He was known particularly for his unconventional interpretations of the classics.

      Kortner graduated from Vienna's Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. After working for various German theatres, he joined Max Reinhardt (Reinhardt, Max) in Berlin in 1911 and Leopold Jessner (Jessner, Leopold) in 1916. He started appearing in silent films in 1916, becoming one of Germany's most celebrated character actors by playing a variety of sinister or menacing roles. His explosive energy and impressive delivery suited him perfectly for Jessner's Expressionist drama; among his most famous roles were Gessler in Friedrich Schiller's Wilhelm Tell and the conniving king in Jessner's directorial tour de force, Shakespeare's Richard III.

      Forced to flee Germany after the Nazis came to power in 1933, Kortner eventually made his way to the United States, where he worked as a character actor in films and wrote and directed a few plays. He returned to Germany in 1949, becoming one of its most brilliant stage directors. He directed a series of meticulously detailed, scrupulously acted productions of plays by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim), Schiller, Molière, Tennessee Williams (Williams, Tennessee), and Samuel Beckett (Beckett, Samuel), among others. Among his more notable productions were Richard III (1964), which ended with the king crawling over heaps of corpses, and August Strindberg (Strindberg, August)'s The Father (1967). Kortner's work was widely acclaimed, and he was active in the theatre until his death.

      In addition to his stage work, Kortner appeared in more than 90 motion pictures, including the silent films Danton (1920 and 1931), Die Hintertreppe (1921; Backstairs), directed by Jessner, Die Schatten (1923; Warning Shadows) by Arthur Robison, Orlacs Hände (1925; The Hands of Orlac) by Robert Wiene, and G.W. Pabst's Die Büchse der Pandora (1928; Pandora's Box). He starred in Beethoven (1927; The Life of Beethoven). Among the films he directed are Die brave Sünder (1931; The Upright Sinner) and Die Stadt ist voller Geheimnisse (1955; City of Secrets).

      Kortner's gruff everyman looks were well suited to a wide variety of character parts. Although he is best remembered for portraying flamboyant villains, his great emotional range also allowed for memorable turns as mild-mannered types and historical figures.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • KORTNER, FRITZ — (1892–1970), Austrian actor. Born in Vienna, he made his debut in 1910 in Mannheim and performed in Vienna, Dresden, and Hamburg before working with leopold jessner at the Staatstheater Berlin (in 1919–23 and 1926–30) as the leading actor of… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Kortner, Fritz — (Nathan Kohn, 1892 1970)    Actor, director. Kort ner was among the most gifted actors in the Weimar Republic and was instrumental in revitalizing the German theater in the post World War II period. He received training at the Burgtheater in his… …   Historical dictionary of German Theatre

  • Körtner, Fritz — born Nathan Kohn (1892 1970)    actor, director, and writer; helped design Berlin s* Tribune Theater in 1919. Born in Vienna, he attended that city s acting conservatory to study with Ferdinand Gregori. He was appointed stage manager at Mannheim… …   Historical dictionary of Weimar Republik

  • Kortner, Fritz — • КО РТНЕР (Kortner) Фриц (12.5.1892 22.7.1970)    нем. актёр, режиссёр, сценарист (ФРГ). Учился в венской Академии музыки и театр. иск ва. С 1910 в т рах Австро Венгрии и Германии. В кино с 1915 (ф. Полицейский № 111 ). Снимался в ф.… …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Kortner, Fritz —    см. Kортнер, Фриц …   Энциклопедический словарь экспрессионизма

  • Kortner — Fritz Kortner (1959) Fritz Kortner (* 12. Mai 1892 in Wien; † 22. Juli 1970 in München; eigentlich Fritz Nathan Kohn) war ein österreichischer Schauspieler, Film und Theaterregisseur. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kortner-Preis — Der Fritz Kortner Preis ist ein von der Zeitschrift Theater heute verliehener und von ihrem Mitbegründer und Verleger Erhard Friedrich gestifteter Theaterpreis, der nach dem Schauspieler und Regisseur Fritz Kortner (1892–1970) benannt ist. Er… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fritz Kortner — (1959) Fritz Kortner (* 12. Mai 1892 in Wien; † 22. Juli 1970 in München; eigentlich Fritz Nathan Kohn) war ein österreichischer Schauspieler, Film und Theaterregisseur …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fritz Kortner — (May 12, 1892 ndash; July 22, 1970) was an Austrian born stage and film actor.Kortner was born in Vienna as Fritz Nathan Kohn . He studied at the Vienna Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. After graduating, he joined Max Reinhardt in Berlin in… …   Wikipedia

  • Fritz Freisler — (* 21. Jänner 1881 in Trübau, Böhmen; † 2. Juli 1955 in Wien) war ein österreichischer Schauspieler, Filmregisseur und Drehbuchautor. Als Regisseur war er ein wesentlicher Vertreter des österreichischen vorexpressionistischen Films. Leben und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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