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17 May 2011

Susanne Cramer

Beautiful German actress Susanne Cramer (1936 - 1969) was known for her film career in German, French and American films, but also for her tumultuous private life.

Susanne Cramer
German postcard by Ufa (Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft) Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CK-114. Retail price: 30 Pfg. Photo: Arthur Grimm.

Susanne Cramer
German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. 229. Photo: Bavaria/Schorcht/Ringpress/Vogelmann.

Susanne Cramer
German postcard by Ufa (Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft) Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CK-84. Retail price: 30 Pfg. Photo: Ufa.

Suicide Efforts
Susanne Cramer, also known as Susan Cramer and Suzanne Cramer, was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany in 1936. At 20 she married actor Hermann Nehlsen, who was 17 years her senior. He stimulated her film ambitions. She started her career with two supporting roles in Waldwinter/Winter in the Woods (1956, Wolfgang Liebeneiner) with Claus Holm and the heimatfilm Rot ist die Liebe/Love is Red (1956, Karl Hartl) starring Cornell Borchers before she played the leading lady opposite Heinz Erhardt in the comedy Die gestohlene Hose/The Stolen Trousers (1956, Géza von Cziffra), and opposite Claus Biederstaedt in another comedy, Kleines Zelt und große Liebe/Two in a Sleeping Bag (1956, Rainer Geis). That year she also appeared in the French drama Les assassins du dimanche/Every Second Counts (1956, Alex Joffé). Her marriage quickly went sour, and she had an affair with Claus Biederstadt which ended in two suicide efforts. In 1957 she played in seven films, including Wie ein Sturmwind/The Night of the Storm (1957, Falk Harnack) with Lilli Palmer and Ivan Desny, the comedy Witwer mit 5 Töchtern/Widower with 5 Daughters (1957, Erich Engels) again opposite Heinz Erhardt, and Vacanze a Ischia/ Holiday Island (1957, Mario Camerini) with Vittorio de Sica. In 1958 Susanne married colleague actor Helmuth Lohner, but a divorce followed already after only five months. They married a second time and a daughter was born, Konstanze Lohner, but after a short time a second divorce followed. Other films in which she appeared were the crime film Der Greifer/The Copper (1958, Eugen York) with Hans Albers, Nick Knattertons Abenteuer - Der Raub der Gloria Nylon/The Kidnapping of Miss Nylon (1959, Hans Quest), and another comedy with Heinz Erhardt, Drei Mann in einem Boot/Three men in a Boat (1961, Helmut Weiss).

Susanne Cramer
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam, no. 3570/958. Photo: Eberhard Schmidt/UFA (Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft, Berlin-Tempelhof).

Ivan Desny, Susanne Cramer
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam, no. 3305. Photo: Arthur Grimm/CCC-NF-Film. Spanjersberg was the Dutch licency holder for Ufa/Film-Foto (Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft, Berlin-Tempelhof).

Susanne Cramer
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden/Westf., no. 467. Photo: Zeyn/Union/Grimm. Publicity still for Der lachende Vagabund/The Laughing Vagabond (1958, Thomas Engel).

Shocking Experience
Susanne Cramer moved to Hollywood and there she appeared in episodes of several popular TV-series like Perry Mason (1964-1965), Get Smart (1965), Bonanza (1965), Hogan's Heroes (1966) and Ironside (1967). She also played small parts in films like the comedy Bedtime Story (1964, Ralph Levy) starring Marlon Brando and David Niven, and Dear Brigitte (1965, Henry Koster) starring James Stewart. She married the American actor Kevin Hagen, and they stayed together for the rest of her life. In 1966, when she wanted to visit her colleague Renate Ewert in München (Munich), she found her friend dead. According to some sources Renate was already dead for six days; other sources say even for three weeks. This shocking experience bothered Susanne. There were rumours about her own death in 1969 by pneumonia in a private clinic in Hollywood. A medical malpractice reportedly would have really caused her death. Susanne Cramer was only 32 years old.

Susanne Cramer
German postcard by Ufa (Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft) Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CK-63. Retail price: 30 Pfg. Photo: Gérard Decaux/Ufa.

Susanne Cramer
German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. F 77. Photo: Collignon.

Susanne Cramer
German postcard by Ufa (Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft) Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CK-59. Retail price: 30 Pfg. Photo: Gérard Décaux/Ufa.

Sources: Peter Hoffmann (Biografie.de), Wikipedia (German), and IMDb.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Saw Susanne Cramer in "Bonanza". Very beautiful and with a nice voice too while playing the harpsecord. What a shame she had to die so young.

Anonymous said...

Love her soft beautiful German accent.

Bob of Holland said...

Thanks. Yes, hers is a sad story.