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12 February 2014

Ria Jende

German-Belgian actress Ria Jende (1898-?) was a star and producer of the silent German cinema. She appeared in 40 films, before she married and retired.

Ria Jende
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K.3239. Photo: Alex Binder.


German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 264/1, 1919-1924. Photo: Alex Binder.

A Magician’s Assistant


Ria Jende's life is largely hidden in the dark. We know that she was born in Brussels, Belgium, in 1898. As a young girl, she went from Belgium to Germany.

Before the First World War, Edison brought her before the camera in Das Stelldichein der Verehrer/The gathering of worshipers (Manfred Noa, 1912) and another film pioneer Oskar Messter followed with Problematische Naturen/Problematic natures (Hans Oberländer, 1912) with Erich Kaiser-Titz.

After her film debut, she worked in the theatre. For a while she was a magician’s assistant.

In 1917, Jende accepted another film offer by Messter-film and co-starred with Viggo Larsen in his Der graue Herr/The man in gray (Viggo Larsen, 1917). Then she co-starred with Bruno Kastner and Mia May in Ein Lichtstrahl im Dunkel/A beam of light in the darkness (Joe May, 1917).

For the next five years she appeared in several insignificant entertainment productions. These included Der Ring der drei Wünsche/The ring of three wishes (Arthur Wellin, 1918) with Alexander Moissi, Der Teufel/The Devil (Ewald André Dupont, 1918), and the mystery Die Japanerin/The Japanese Woman (Ewald André Dupont, (1919) with Bernhard Goetzke and Max Landa.

Ria Jende
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 264/2, 1919-1924. Photo: Alex Binder.

Ria Jende
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. 3842. Photo: Alex Binder.

Ria Jende
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1018/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Alex Binder.

Her Own Film Company


During the production of Nixchen (Paul Legband, 1919), starring Georg Alexander, Ria Jende met author and scriptwriter Franz W. Koebner, who became her husband.

In 1919 Jende started her own film company, Ria Jende Film. She produced Madeleine (Siegfried Philippi, 1921) with Hermann Valentin, and Versunkene Welten/Sunken Worlds (Siegfried Philippi, 1922) with Victor Varconi, but her company was short-lived.

As an actress she appeared in films like Die Schlange mit dem Mädchenkopf/The Serpent with the head of a girl (Rudolf Walther-Fein, 1920) opposite Hans Albers, Der Held des Tages/The hero of the day (Rudi Bach, 1921) and Das Geheimnis der Santa Margherita/The Secret of Santa Margherita (Rolf Randolf, 1921).

In 1922, Ria Jende married Franz W. Koebner, and thus ended her film career. Her final film was Das blinde Gluck/The blind luck (Iva Raffay, 1922).

After that she only once returned to the cinema, for a part in Die Abenteuer des Kapitän Hasswell/The Adventures of Captain Hate Well  (Rolf Randolf, 1925) with Ernst Pittschau.

In 1926 Ria Jende published a travelogue of Malta in the Berlin magazine Das Magazin. Her husband also wrote for the same issue. Further data of her life are not known.


German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 295/2, 1919-1924. Photo: Alex Binder.

Ria Jende and Magnus Stifter in Seelenverkäufer
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. 3081. Photo: Greenbaum-Film. Publicity still for Seelenverkäufer/Seller of souls (Lupu Pick, 1919).

Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Filmportal.de, Wikipedia (German), and IMDb.

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