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Anton Walbrook

A Life of Masks and Mirrors

Series:

James Downs

Viennese-born actor Adolf Wohlbrück enjoyed huge success on both stage and screen in Germany during the 1920s and 1930s, becoming one of the first truly international stars. After leaving Nazi Germany for Hollywood in 1936, he changed his name to Anton Walbrook and then settled in Britain, where he won filmgoers’ hearts with his portrayal of Prince Albert in two lavish biopics of Queen Victoria. Further film success followed with Dangerous Moonlight and Gaslight, several collaborations with Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger – including his striking performance as Lermontov in The Red Shoes – and later work with Max Ophuls and Otto Preminger.

Despite great popularity and a prolifi c career of some forty films, alongside theatre, radio and television work, Walbrook was an intensely private individual who kept much of his personal life hidden from view. His reticence created an aura of mystery and «otherness» about him, which coloured both his acting performances and the way he was perceived by the public – an image that was reinforced in Britain by his continental background.

Remarkably, this is the first full-length biography of Walbrook, drawing on over a decade of extensive archival research to document his life and acting career.

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Extract

EXILE STUDIES

Edited by Andrea Hammel

A series founded by Alexander Stephan

Exile Studies is a series of monographs and edited collections that takes a broad view of exile, including the life and work of refugees from National Socialism, and beyond. The series explores the different global and cultural spaces of exile and refuge as well as the specific historical, political and social concerns of exile writers and artists. The series engages with recent theoretical approaches to exile to shed new light on the unique conditions of mass flight from National Socialist persecution, with a particular interest in the work of Jewish refugees of the period. A plurality of theoretical approaches is encouraged, featuring research that reaches beyond national frameworks or disciplinary boundaries and takes multi-directional, transcultural or comparative approaches. The series aims to make connections to studies on more recent groups of refugees and to contribute to current debates. Themes include persecution, exclusion and delocalization, legacies of displacement, loss and acculturation as well as the creation of new homes and networks.

The series promotes dialogue among transnational, Jewish and memory studies, and among diaspora, Holocaust and postcolonial studies. It invites research that acknowledges questions of gender, race, class, religion and ethnicity as indispensable tools for understanding the cultural processes connected to the lives and works of refugees and exiles.

Vol.     1

Sonja Maria Hedgepeth, ‘Überall blicke ich nach einemheimat lichen Boden aus’: Exil im Werk Else Lasker-Sch...

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