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19 December 2011

Käthe Gold

Austrian actress Käthe Gold (1907 – 1997) was a successful theatre actress who worked in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Her stage career prevented her from appearing in many films, although she did a few memorable performances.

Käthe Gold
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3731/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Baumann/UFA.

Shrew
Katharina Stephanie Gold was born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary (now Austria) in 1907 and was the daughter of a Viennese locksmith. She attended acting lessons at the Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien (Academy of Music and Performing Arts Vienna). In 1926 she made her stage debut as Bianca in Der Widerspenstigen Zähmung (The Taming of the Shrew) and from 1927 on she worked in Bern, Mönchengladbach, Breslau (today Wrocław), Munich and between 1932 and 1935 in Vienna at the Theater in der Josefstadt. In 1935 she went to Berlin, where she remained until 1944. It was during those years that she had her greatest stage successes under the direction of Gustav Gründgens at the Preußischen Staatstheater (Prussian State Theater). She shone in such roles as Gretchen in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust, Ophelia in William Shakespeare's Hamlet, and Nora in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House. Gold's stage career prevented her from appearing in many films. She made her film debut for the UFA as Alkmene in Amphitryon/Amphitryon - Happiness from the Clouds (1935, Reinhold Schünzel), a musical comedy about the ancient Greeks starring Willy Fritsch. In Andere Welt/Other World (1937, Marc Allégret, Alfred Stöger) she co-starred with Karl Ludwig Diehl. She played Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s heroin Minna von Barnhelm in the comedy Das Fräulein von Barnhelm/Minna von Barnhelm (1940, Hans Schweikart) with Ewald Balser and Theo Lingen.

Käthe Gold
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3631/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Binz/UFA.

Käthe Gold
German postcard, no. 222. Photo: Starfoto/Herzog Filmverleih.

Karl May
In 1944 Käthe Gold went to Zurich, Switzerland, and in 1947 she returned to Vienna. There she played at the Burgtheater and the Akademietheater and again enjoyed great successes. In 1985 she retired from the stage. In the cinema, she appeared opposite René Deltgen in Augen der Liebe/Eyes of Love (1951, Alfred Braun), and opposite Paul Hubschmid in Palace Hotel (1952, Emil Berna, Leonard Steckel). Also notable were Rose Bernd (1957, Wolfgang Staudte) featuring Maria Schell, and the biopic Karl May (1976, Hans-Jürgen Syberberg) featuring director Helmut Kaütner as the author of the Winnetou novels. Her last film role was as Martha, the wife of author Robert Musil, in the Austrian production Die Reise ins tausendjährige Reich (1980, Jürgen Kaizik). On TV she played again Ibsen’s Nora in Nora (1955, Hanns Farenburg), Linda opposite Heinz Rühmann in Der Tod des Handlungsreisenden (1968), a German language version of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, and opposite Cornelia Froboess in the comedy Der Wald/The Forrest (1971, Wolfgang Glück). She also had guest appearances in the popular TV krimis Der Kommissar/The Commissionar (1973-1974) and Derrick (1988). In 1997, Käthe Gold died in her native Vienna, aged 90.


Scenes from the Burgtheater production Anatol by Arthur Schnitzler with Robert Lindner as Anatol.

Sources: Aeiou (German), Wikipedia (German and English), and IMDb.

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