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31 October 2011

Marion Michael

German film actress and singer Marion Michael (1940-2007) was a one hit wonder as Liane, the jungle girl. As the female Tarzan, the blonde beauty has become an icon of the German cinema.

Marion Michael,
German postcard by UFA (Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft, Berlin-Tempelhof), no. CK-48. Retail price: 30 Pfg. Photo: Arca-Film.

Marion Michael
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/158. Photo: UFA.

Marion Michael
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg, Rotterdam, no. 1009. Photo: UFA.

Topless Goddess
Marion Michael was born as Marion Ilonka Michaela Delonge in Königsberg, Germany (now Kaliningrad, Russia) in 1940. When she was only 15, she was selected out of allegedly 12,000 entries for the lead in Liane, das Mädchen aus dem Urwald/Liane, Jungle Goddess (1956, Eduard von Borsody). This adventure film was largely shot on location in Africa. The story is about a girl who is discovered by an expedition group (which included Hardy Krüger) in the African jungle. A tribe adores her as a goddess. It turns out that she is Liane, the long lost granddaughter of a rich shipowner in Hamburg. Although Michael appeared topless during the first half of the film, she was acceptable for family audiences as the nature child with no obvious erotic suggestiveness. The film was a huge box office hit, but unfortunately this success would not be matched by any of her later films.

Marion Michael,
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden/Westf, no. 116.

Marion Michael,
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden/Westf., no. 2787.

Marion Michael
German postcard, no. 542. Photo: Arca.

Marion Michael
German postcard.

Marion Michael
German postcard by Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft (UFA), Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 3865. Retail price: 25 Pfg. Photo: Stempka-Cinepress / Arca.

Car Accident
Marion Michael played next in the comedy Der tolle Bomberg/The Mad Bomberg (1957, Rolf Thiele), the sequel Liane, die weiße Sklavin/Jungle Girl and the Slaver (1957, Hermann Leitner), and the crime film Bomben auf Monte Carlo/Bombs on Monte Carlo (1960, Georg Jacoby) with Eddie Constantine. During the shooting of Bomben auf Monte Carlo she had a car accident that left her face temporarily scarred. She recovered and returned to acting in Schlußakkord/Festival (1960, Wolfgang Liebeneiner), the Schlagerfilm Davon träumen alle Mädchen/That's What All The Girls Dream About (1961, Thomas Engel), and Jack und Jenny/Jack and Jenny (1963, Victor Vicas), but her luck had faded.

Marion Michael,
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. V 122. Photo: Dieter-Eberhard Schmidt, Berlin.

Marion Michael
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam, no. 3536/159. Sent by mail in 1959. Photo: Stempka Cinepress / Arca Film / UFA (Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft, Berlin-Tempelhof).

Marion Michael,
German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no. 285. Offered by Honig, Gent, Belgium. Photo: Archiv Filmpress Zürich.

Marion Michael
German postcard by Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft (UFA), no. FK 3762. Retail price: 25 Pfg. Photo: Haenchen / Arca-NF.

Marion Michael, Christian Wolff
With Christian Wolff. Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V., Rotterdam (licency holders for Ufa postcards in the Netherlands), nr. 4267. Photo: ARCA-Cinepress.

East Germany
The following decade Marion Michael mainly worked for theatre and TV. She suffered a severe depression and retired from acting in 1976. For a while she worked as a saleswoman and in 1979 she took the unusual step of moving from West to East Germany, where she worked as a synchronisation assistant for TV. Only occasionally she acted in TV-films such as In Hassliebe Lola/In Hate love Lola (1995, Lothar Lambert) and Blond bis aufs Blut/Blonde Till Blood (1997, Lothar Lambert). In 1996 her life became the topic of a TV musical, Liane (1996, Horst Königstein). In 2007 mMrion Michael died of heart failure at the age of 66.

Marion Michael
German postcard by UFA, Berlin, no. CK 72. Retail price: 30 Pfg. Photo: Stempka/Arca Film.

Marion Michael
German postcard by UFA (Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft, Berlin-Tempelhof), no. CK-40. Retail price: 30 Pfg. Photo: Eberhardt Schmidt / UFA / Arca-Film.


Jungle Dance from Liane, das Mädchen aus dem Urwald/Liane, Jungle Goddess (1956). Source: MollyWhippie (YouTube).

Sources: Christian Koehl (Variety), Filmportal.de (German), Stephanie D'Heil (Steffi-line.de) (German), Wikipedia and IMDb.

4 comments:

ANTONIO NAHUD JÚNIOR said...

Beautiful!

O Falcão Maltês

Bunched Undies said...

What a beauty. I'd never heard of her before. Thanks Bob

Anonymous said...

belissima!loirinha perfeita!gostei muito do blog!parabéns pelo excelente blog!!Marcos Punch.

Paul van Yperen said...

Grazie mille!!!