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22 May 2013

Claire Rommer

Elegant German actress Claire Rommer (1904 - 1996) appeared in about 50 German film productions during the 1920’s and the early 1930’s. Her successful career was suddenly ended by the Nazis.

Claire Rommer
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 566. Photo: Verleih E. Weil & Co.

Claire Rommer
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1845/1, 1927-1928. Photo: A. Binder.

Claire Rommer
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1933/2, 1927-1928. Photo: Alex Binder.

Soubrette
Claire Rommer was born as Klara Romberger in Berlin, Germany, in 1904. Although her parents had sent her to a boarding-school she defied the opposition of her family and attended the famous Max-Reinhardt-Schule in Berlin. Almost 17-years old, she debuted as a temporary assistant at the Neuen Volkstheater (New People's Theater) and the Volksbühne (People's Stage). As a soubrette, she later appeared repeatedly in operettas and comedies on the Berlin stage, especially at the Lustspielhaus (Comedy House). In the season of 1925-1926 she was committed to the Vereinigten Bühnen (United Stages). However she became best known as a film actress. She appeared as a lover or a salon lady in dozens of silent films of the 1920’s. Rommer made her film debut in Wem nie durch Liebe Leid geschah/Those Who Never Suffered From Love (1922, Heinz Schall) starring Johannes Riemann. With a light touch she then played leading and supporting roles in such films as Menschen und Masken/People and Masks (1923, Harry Piel), Die eiserne Braut/The Iron Bride (1925, Carl Boese) opposite Otto Gebühr, Qualen der Nacht/Torments of the Night (1926, Kurt Bernhardt aka Curtis Bernhardt) with Ernö (Ernst) Verebes, Herkules Maier (1927, Alexander Esway) and Kinderseelen klagen euch an/Children’s Souls Accuse You (1927, Kurt Bernhardt) with Carla Bartheel.

Claire Rommer
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 947/2, 1925-1926. Photo: Alex Binder.

Claire Rommer, Otto Gebühr
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 738. Photo: Treuhand-Film / Mondial A.G. / National. Publicity still for Die eiserne Braut/The Iron Bride (1925, Carl Boese) with Otto Gebühr.

Claire Rommer
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1286/1, 1927-1928.

Millionaire from the Meat Industry
When the sound film was introduced, Claire Rommer also did vocal numbers. She played successfully in the productions Aschermittwoch/Ash Wednesday (1930, Johannes Meyer), Der Walzerkönig/The Waltz King (1930, Manfred Noa) opposite Hans Stüwe, Es geht um alles/It’s About Everything (1932, Max Nosseck) with Luciano Albertini, and Tausend für eine Nacht/A Thousand for One Night (1933, Max Mack). In 1934 she appeared on stage in the Revue Scala – etwas verrückt (Scala - A Little Crazy) in Berlin at the Scala Theater, when her film and stage career suddenly ended because of the seizure of power by the Nazis. In 1927 she had married the Jewish entrepreneur Adolf Strenger. In July 1938 she was excluded from any activity in the German film industry on the grounds that she probably was not Aryan too. In 1940 she emigrated with her husband from France via Lisbon to the USA. There she divorced Strenger and married a multi-millionaire from the meat industry. She never appeared in a film again. Claire Rommer died of pneumonia in 1996, at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London.

Claire Rommer
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4016/2, 1929-1930. Photo Alex Binder, Berlin.

Claire Rommer
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4383/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Bieber.

Claire Rommer
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6687/1, 1931-1932. Photo Atelier Schneider.

Claire Rommer
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6788/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Atelier Schneider, Berlin.

Source: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Wikipedia (German) and IMDb.

1 comment:

Beth Niquette said...

What wonderful pictures--and such interesting life stories!

Thank you for sharing these, Bob. YOu are doing everyone a great service!