The Info List - Emil Jannings

Emil Jannings
Emil Jannings
(23 July 1884 – 2 January 1950) was a German actor, popular in 1920s film in Hollywood. He was the first Oscar recipient, honored with the Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
at the 1929 ceremony. To date, he is still the only German to have won the Best Actor Oscar. Jannings is best known for his collaborations with F.W. Murnau and Josef von Sternberg, including 1930's The Blue Angel, with Marlene Dietrich. Der blaue Engel
Der blaue Engel
was meant as a vehicle for Jannings to score a place for himself in the new medium of sound film, but Dietrich stole the show. Jannings later starred in a number of Nazi propaganda films, which made him unemployable as an actor after the fall of the Third Reich.


1 Childhood and youth 2 Career

2.1 America 2.2 Nazi Germany 2.3 Death

3 Marriages 4 Cultural depictions 5 Filmography 6 See also 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links

Childhood and youth[edit] He was christened Theodor Friedrich Emil Janenz in Rorschach, Switzerland, the son of Emil Janenz, an American businessman from St. Louis, and his wife Margarethe (née Schwabe), originally from Germany.[1][2] Jannings held German citizenship; while he was still young the family moved to Leipzig
in the German Empire
German Empire
and further to Görlitz
after the early death of his father. Jannings ran away from school and went to sea. When he returned to Görlitz, his mother finally allowed him to begin a traineeship at the town state theatre, where Jannings started his stage career. From 1901 onwards he worked with several theatre companies in Bremen, Nuremberg, Leipzig, Königsberg, and Glogau before joining the Deutsches Theater ensemble under director Max Reinhardt
Max Reinhardt
in Berlin.[3] Permanently employed since 1915, Jannings met with playwright Karl Vollmöller, fellow actor Ernst Lubitsch, and photographer Frieda Riess, who after World War I all were at the heart of the Weimar Culture
Weimar Culture
in 1920s Berlin. Jannings made his breakthrough in 1918 with his role as Judge Adam in Kleist's Broken Jug at the Schauspielhaus. Career[edit]

Jannings as Kreon in Hasenclever's Antigone, Großes Schauspielhaus, 1920

Jannings was a theater actor who went into films, though he remained dissatisfied with the limited expressive possibilities in the silent era. Having signed a contract with the UFA production company, he starred in Die Augen der Mumie Ma (The Eyes of the Mummy, 1918) and Madame DuBarry (1919), both with Pola Negri
Pola Negri
in the main female part. He also performed in the 1922 film version of Othello and in F. W. Murnau's The Last Laugh (Der Letzte Mann, 1924), as a proud but aged hotel doorman who is demoted to a restroom attendant. Jannings worked with Murnau on two other films, playing the title character in Herr Tartüff (1925), and as Mephistopheles
in Faust (1926). America[edit] His increasing popularity enabled Jannings to sign an agreement with Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
and eventually follow his acting colleagues Lubitsch and Negri to Hollywood. He started his career in 1927 with The Way of All Flesh directed by Victor Fleming
Victor Fleming
(now lost) and in the following year performed in Josef von Sternberg's The Last Command. In 1929 Jannings won the first Best Actor Oscar for his work in both films. He and Sternberg also cooperated in Street of Sin
Street of Sin
(1928), though they actually differed about Jannings' acting in front of the camera. His Hollywood
career came to an end with the advent of talkies as his thick German accent was difficult to understand. His dialogue was initially dubbed by another actor in the part-talkie The Patriot (1928) directed by Ernst Lubitsch, although Jannings' own voice was restored after he objected. Returning to Europe, he starred opposite Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich
in the 1930 film The Blue Angel, which was filmed simultaneously in English with its German version Der blaue Engel. According to Susan Orlean, author of Rin Tin Tin: The Life and The Legend (Simon and Schuster, 2011), Jannings was not actually the winner of the first best actor vote, but the runner-up. While researching her book, Orlean discovered that it was in fact Rin Tin Tin, the German Shepherd dog, one of the biggest movie stars of his time, who won the vote. The Academy, however, worried about not being taken seriously if they gave the first Oscar to a dog, chose to award the Oscar to the human runner-up.[4] In 1960, Jannings was honored with a star on the Hollywood
Walk of Fame at 1630 Vine Street for his contribution to motion pictures.[5] Nazi Germany[edit]

Jannings with Joseph Goebbels
Joseph Goebbels
on Wolfgangsee, 1938

After the Nazi Machtergreifung
in 1933, Jannings continued his career in the service of Nazi cinema. During the Third Reich, he starred in several films which were intended to promote Nazism, particularly the Führerprinzip
by presenting unyielding historical characters, such as Der alte und der junge König (The Old and the Young King 1934), Der Herrscher (The Ruler 1937) directed by Veit Harlan, Robert Koch (1939), Ohm Krüger
Ohm Krüger
(Uncle Kruger, 1941) and Die Entlassung (Bismarck's Dismissal, 1942).[6] He also performed in his famed role in The Broken Jug
The Broken Jug
directed by Gustav Ucicky. Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels
Joseph Goebbels
named Jannings an "Artist of the State" (Staatsschauspieler) [7] The shooting of his last film Wo ist Herr Belling? was aborted, when troops of the Allied Powers entered Germany in Spring 1945. Jannings reportedly carried his Oscar statuette with him as proof of his former association with Hollywood. However, his active role in Nazi propaganda meant that he was subject to denazification, and a comeback attempt would not be feasible. Ironically, in the same period Dietrich became a US citizen and an influential anti-Nazi activist, spending much of the war entertaining troops on the front lines and broadcasting on behalf of the OSS. Dietrich particularly loathed Jannings for his Nazi ties, and would later refer to her former co-star as a "ham".[8] Death[edit]

Emil Jannings' grave at St Wolfgang im Salzkammergut

Jannings retired to Strobl
near Salzburg, Austria, and became an Austrian citizen in 1947.[3] He died in 1950, aged 65, from liver cancer.[9] He is buried in the St. Wolfgang cemetery. His Best Actor Oscar is now on display at the Berlin
Filmmuseum. Marriages[edit] Jannings was married four times. His first three marriages ended in divorce, his last with his death. His last three marriages were to German stage and film actresses, Hanna Ralph, Lucie Höflich
Lucie Höflich
and Gussy Holl.[6] Cultural depictions[edit]

Hilmar Eichhorn portrayed a fictional, but not sanitized, version of Jannings in Inglourious Basterds, directed by Quentin Tarantino. In the 1972 film Cabaret, singer Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli) finds herself at a high-society dinner party; she tries to impress someone at the table by suggesting that she is a friend of Emil Jannings.


Year Title Role Notes

1914 Arme Eva

Im Schützengraben

Passionels Tagebuch

1916 Aus Mangel an Beweisen Dr. Langer

Die Bettlerin von St. Marien Baron Gelsburg

Frau Eva

Im Angesicht des Toten Paul Werner

Life Is a Dream

Nächte des Grauens

Stein unter Steinen

1917 Das Fidele Gefängnis Quabbe, the jailer The Merry Jail (Europe: English title)

When Four Do the Same Segetoff

Hoheit Radieschen

The Marriage of Luise Rohrbach Wilhelm Rohrbach

Der Zehnte Pavillon der Zitadelle

Das Geschäft S. H. Haßler


Der Ring der Giuditta Foscari

Die Seeschlacht


1918 Keimendes Leben, Teil 1 James Fraenkel, Börsenmarktler John Smith, amerikanischer Ingenieur

Die Augen der Mumie Ma Radu, an Arab a.k.a. The Eyes of the Mummy

Fuhrmann Henschel

Nach zwanzig Jahren Horst Lundin 'Korn'

1919 Rose Bernd Arthur Streckmann

Madame DuBarry Louis XV a.k.a. Passion

Vendetta Tomasso

The Daughter of Mehemed Vaco Juan Riberda, Fabrikbesitzer

Keimendes Leben, Teil 2

Der Mann der Tat Jan Miller

1920 Colombine

Anna Boleyn Henry VIII a.k.a. Deception

Der Schädel der Pharaonentochter Osorcon, Pharao of Egypt

Algol - Tragödie der Macht Robert Herne

Das Große Licht Lorenz Ferleitner

Kohlhiesel's Daughters Peter Xaver

1921 The Rats Bruno

The Oath of Peter Hergatz

Danton Danton a.k.a. All for a Woman

Der Stier von Olivera General François Guillaume

The Brothers Karamazov Dimitri Karamasoff a.k.a. Die Brüder Karamasoff

1922 Peter the Great Peter der Große a.k.a. Peter der Große

Othello Othello

The Loves of Pharaoh Pharao Amenes a.k.a. Das Weib des Pharao

Die Gräfin von Paris

a.k.a. The Countess of Paris (USA)

1923 Alles für Geld S. I. Rupp

Tragödie der Liebe Ombrade a.k.a. The Tragedy of Love (USA)

1924 Der Letzte Mann Hotelportier (hotel porter) The Last Laugh (USA)

Nju - Eine unverstandene Frau Ehemann a.k.a. Husbands or Lovers (USA)

Das Wachsfigurenkabinett Harun al Raschid a.k.a. Waxworks

Quo Vadis Nerone Extant

1925 Varieté Boss Huller a.k.a. Jealousy (USA)

Liebe macht blind Emil Jannings a.k.a. Love Makes Us Blind

1926 Herr Tartüff Tartüff

Faust - Eine deutsche Volkssage Mephisto Extant

1927 The Way of All Flesh August Schilling Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Actor; Lost film

1928 Sins of the Fathers Wilhelm Spengler excerpts and clips are preserved of this film. Unconfirmed about the total film

The Patriot Czar Paul I Lost film

Street of Sin Basher Bill Lost film

The Last Command Gen. Dolgorucki / Grand Duke Sergius Alexander Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Actor; Extant

1929 Betrayal Poldi Moser

Fighting the White Slave Traffic

1930 Darling of the Gods Albert Winkelmann a.k.a. Darling of the Gods

Der blaue Engel Prof. Immanuel Rath a.k.a. The Blue Angel
The Blue Angel

1932 Storms of Passion Gustav Bumke a.k.a. Stürme der Leidenschaft a.k.a. Tempest

1933 Die Abenteuer des Königs Pausole King Pausole a.k.a. The Adventures of King Pausole

The Merry Monarch King Pausole

1934 Der Schwarze Walfisch Peter Petersen a.k.a. The Black Whale (International: English title)

1935 Der Alte und der junge König - Friedrichs des Grossen Jugend Friedrich Wilhelm I. König von Preussen a.k.a. The Making of a King (USA)

1936 The Dreamer Direktor Prof. Niemeyer

1937 The Broken Jug Adam, Dorfrichter a.k.a. The Broken Jug

Der Herrscher Matthias Clausen a.k.a. The Ruler

1939 Robert Koch Dr. Robert Koch

Der Trichter. (Nr. III)

scenes deleted

1941 Ohm Krüger Ohm Krüger a.k.a. Uncle Kruger (International: English title)

1942 Die Entlassung Bismarck a.k.a. Bismarck's Dismissal (UK)

1943 Altes Herz wird wieder jung Fabrikdirektor Hoffmann

1945 Wo ist Herr Belling? Firmenchef Eberhard Belling a.k.a. Where Is Mr. Belling?

See also[edit]

Biography portal

List of German-speaking Academy Award
Academy Award
winners and nominees List of actors with Academy Award
Academy Award


^ Roman Rocek: Die neun Leben des Alexander Lernet-Holenia. Eine Biographie. Böhlau, Wien u.a. 1997; ISBN 3-205-98713-6. S. 186 ^ Frank Noack: "Jannings. Der erste deutsche Weltstar". Collection Rolf Heyne, München 2012 ^ a b c "Herr Emil Jannings
Emil Jannings
A Great Film Actor". Obituaries. The Times (51580). London. 4 January 1950. col E, p. 7.  ^ "Throw Rin Tin Tin
Rin Tin Tin
A Bone & Give Back The Pooch's Best Actor Oscar", deadline.com; January 2012. ^ "Walk of Fame Stars-Emil Jannings". Hollywood
Chamber of Commerce/Walk of Fame.  ^ a b Emil Jannings
Emil Jannings
on IMDb ^ Welch, David (2001). Propaganda and the German Cinema, 1933-1945. I.B.Tauris. p. 117. ISBN 9781860645204. Retrieved 11 November 2016.  ^ Marlene (1984) ^ Chroniknet.de, Obituary for Emil Jannings
Emil Jannings
(2 January 1950), chroniknet.de]; accessed 26 October 2014.

Further reading[edit]

Frank Noack: Jannings. Belleville, München 2009 ISBN 978-3-933510-50-1 Carl Zuckmayer: Geheimreport. Hrsg. von Gunther Nickel und Johanna Schrön. Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2002, ISBN 3-89244-599-0; pp. 136–45 Emil Jannings: Theater, Film - Das Leben und ich. Autobiographie. Berchtesgaden: Verlag Zimmer & Herzog, 1951. (posthumous) Herbert Ihering: Emil Jannings: Baumeister seines Lebens und seiner Filme. Heidelberg 1941

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Emil Jannings.

Emil Jannings
Emil Jannings
on IMDb Emil Jannings
Emil Jannings
at Find a Grave Photographs of Emil Jannings

Awards for Emil Jannings

v t e

Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Actor


Emil Jannings
Emil Jannings
(1928) Warner Baxter
Warner Baxter
(1929) George Arliss
George Arliss
(1930) Lionel Barrymore
Lionel Barrymore
(1931) Fredric March
Fredric March
/ Wallace Beery
Wallace Beery
(1932) Charles Laughton
Charles Laughton
(1933) Clark Gable
Clark Gable
(1934) Victor McLaglen
Victor McLaglen
(1935) Paul Muni
Paul Muni
(1936) Spencer Tracy
Spencer Tracy
(1937) Spencer Tracy
Spencer Tracy
(1938) Robert Donat
Robert Donat
(1939) James Stewart
James Stewart
(1940) Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
(1941) James Cagney
James Cagney
(1942) Paul Lukas
Paul Lukas
(1943) Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby
(1944) Ray Milland
Ray Milland
(1945) Fredric March
Fredric March
(1946) Ronald Colman
Ronald Colman
(1947) Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
(1948) Broderick Crawford
Broderick Crawford
(1949) José Ferrer
José Ferrer


Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey Bogart
(1951) Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
(1952) William Holden
William Holden
(1953) Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando
(1954) Ernest Borgnine
Ernest Borgnine
(1955) Yul Brynner
Yul Brynner
(1956) Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1957) David Niven
David Niven
(1958) Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston
(1959) Burt Lancaster
Burt Lancaster
(1960) Maximilian Schell
Maximilian Schell
(1961) Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
(1962) Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier
(1963) Rex Harrison
Rex Harrison
(1964) Lee Marvin
Lee Marvin
(1965) Paul Scofield
Paul Scofield
(1966) Rod Steiger
Rod Steiger
(1967) Cliff Robertson
Cliff Robertson
(1968) John Wayne
John Wayne
(1969) George C. Scott1 (1970) Gene Hackman
Gene Hackman
(1971) Marlon Brando1 (1972) Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon
(1973) Art Carney
Art Carney
(1974) Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson


Peter Finch
Peter Finch
(1976) Richard Dreyfuss
Richard Dreyfuss
(1977) Jon Voight
Jon Voight
(1978) Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman
(1979) Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
(1980) Henry Fonda
Henry Fonda
(1981) Ben Kingsley
Ben Kingsley
(1982) Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
(1983) F. Murray Abraham
F. Murray Abraham
(1984) William Hurt
William Hurt
(1985) Paul Newman
Paul Newman
(1986) Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas
(1987) Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman
(1988) Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis
(1989) Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons
(1990) Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins
(1991) Al Pacino
Al Pacino
(1992) Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
(1993) Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
(1994) Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage
(1995) Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Rush
(1996) Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
(1997) Roberto Benigni
Roberto Benigni
(1998) Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey
(1999) Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe


Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington
(2001) Adrien Brody
Adrien Brody
(2002) Sean Penn
Sean Penn
(2003) Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx
(2004) Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman
(2005) Forest Whitaker
Forest Whitaker
(2006) Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis
(2007) Sean Penn
Sean Penn
(2008) Jeff Bridges
Jeff Bridges
(2009) Colin Firth
Colin Firth
(2010) Jean Dujardin
Jean Dujardin
(2011) Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis
(2012) Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey
(2013) Eddie Redmayne
Eddie Redmayne
(2014) Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio
(2015) Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
(2016) Gary Oldman
Gary Oldman

1 refused award that year

v t e

Volpi Cup for Best Actor


Wallace Beery
Wallace Beery
(1934) Pierre Blanchar
Pierre Blanchar
(1935) Paul Muni
Paul Muni
(1936) Emil Jannings
Emil Jannings
(1937) Leslie Howard (1938) Ermete Zacconi
Ermete Zacconi
(1941) Fosco Giachetti
Fosco Giachetti
(1942) Pierre Fresnay
Pierre Fresnay
(1947) Ernst Deutsch
Ernst Deutsch
(1948) Joseph Cotten
Joseph Cotten
(1949) Sam Jaffe
Sam Jaffe
(1950) Jean Gabin
Jean Gabin
(1951) Fredric March
Fredric March
(1952) Henri Vilbert (1953) Jean Gabin
Jean Gabin
(1954) Curd Jürgens/ Kenneth More
Kenneth More
(1955) Bourvil
(1956) Anthony Franciosa
Anthony Franciosa
(1957) Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1958) James Stewart
James Stewart
(1959) John Mills
John Mills
(1960) Toshiro Mifune
Toshiro Mifune
(1961) Burt Lancaster
Burt Lancaster
(1962) Albert Finney
Albert Finney
(1963) Tom Courtenay
Tom Courtenay
(1964) Toshiro Mifune
Toshiro Mifune
(1965) Jacques Perrin
Jacques Perrin
(1966) Ljubiša Samardžić
Ljubiša Samardžić
(1967) John Marley (1968)


Guy Boyd/George Dzundza/David Alan Grier/Mitchell Lichtenstein/Matthew Modine/Michael Wright (1983) Naseeruddin Shah
Naseeruddin Shah
(1984) Gérard Depardieu
Gérard Depardieu
(1985) Carlo Delle Piane
Carlo Delle Piane
(1986) Hugh Grant/ James Wilby (1987) Don Ameche/ Joe Mantegna
Joe Mantegna
(1988) Marcello Mastroianni/ Massimo Troisi
Massimo Troisi
(1989) Oleg Borisov
Oleg Borisov
(1990) River Phoenix
River Phoenix
(1991) Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon
(1992) Fabrizio Bentivoglio/ Marcello Mastroianni
Marcello Mastroianni
(1993) Xia Yu/ Roberto Citran
Roberto Citran
(1994) Götz George/ Ian Hart (1995) Liam Neeson/ Chris Penn
Chris Penn
(1996) Wesley Snipes
Wesley Snipes
(1997) Sean Penn
Sean Penn
(1998) Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent
(1999) Javier Bardem
Javier Bardem


Luigi Lo Cascio
Luigi Lo Cascio
(2001) Stefano Accorsi
Stefano Accorsi
(2002) Sean Penn
Sean Penn
(2003) Javier Bardem
Javier Bardem
(2004) David Strathairn
David Strathairn
(2005) Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck
(2006) Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt
(2007) Silvio Orlando
Silvio Orlando
(2008) Colin Firth
Colin Firth
(2009) Vincent Gallo
Vincent Gallo
(2010) Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender
(2011) Philip Seymour Hoffman/ Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix
(2012) Themis Panou (2013) Adam Driver
Adam Driver
(2014) Fabrice Luchini
Fabrice Luchini
(2015) Oscar Martínez (2016) Kamel El Basha (2017)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 122349694 LCCN: n87896209 ISNI: 0000 0001 1781 2281 GND: 118556932 SUDOC: 060363479 BNF: cb141900509 (data) BNE: XX1412332 SN