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12 December 2014

Alice Hechy

German actress and singer Alice Hechy (1893-1973) appeared in some 30 films during the silent and early sound era. Later she mainly appeared on stage and for the radio.

Alice Hechy
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 189. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

Alice Hechy
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 421/4, 1919-1924. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

Mechanical Doll


Alice Hechy was born in Anklam, Germany in 1893. She had singing lessons from Ludwig Mantler.

In 1912 she played as Alice Scheel Hechy her first film role in Problematische Naturen/Problemativ Natures (Hans Oberländer, 1912).

Other early silent films included Das rote Pulver/The Red Powder (Joseph Delmont, 1913), Fräulein Piccolo/Miss Piccolo (Franz Hofer, 1914) with Dorrit Weixler, and Dorrits Eheglück/Dorrit’s Married Bliss (Paul Otto, 1916) with Bruno Kastner.

Her most significant role in these years was that of the mechanical doll Olympia in Hoffmanns Erzählungen/Tales of Hoffmann (Richard Oswald, 1916), the early silent film adaptation of the operetta by Jacques Offenbach.

Then Hechy started her Berlin stage career. First she appeared at the Lustspielhaus (comedy house), then at the Theater in der Kommandantenstraße, at the Neuen Theater am Zoo, and at the Theater in der Behrenstraße.

Alice Hechy
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1406. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

Alice Hechy
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1407. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

Alice Hechy
German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K. 1415. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

Revue Star


In the 1920s and early 1930s, Alice Hechy was repeatedly the star of the revues of Herman Haller. Guest performances took her to revues and operettas in Vienna.

In the cinema, she appeared in the worldwide success Variété/Jealousy (Ewald André Dupont, 1925). The all star cast included Emil Jannings, Maly Delschaft, Lya de Putti, Warwick Ward and Kurt Gerron.

From 1925 on, she played only minor roles, such as in Zuflucht/Refuge (Carl Froelich, 1928) starring Henny Porten.

Meanwhile she sang at recitals for the radio and performed in cabarets. In 1945 she finally accepted a permanent engagement again at the Theater in der Kaiserallee.

Later she was a guest during the tours of the Neuen Deutschen Bühne der Jugend (New German Youth Theatre).

Alice Hechy died in 1973 in Berlin.

Alice Hechy
German postcard by Berliner Illustrierte Geschichte, no. 1090. Series 'Bekannte Künstlerinnen am Toilettentisch' (Famous Artist at their Dressing Table).

Alice Hechy
German postcard by Rotophot in the Film Sterne series, no. 88/3. Photo: Karl Schenker, Berlin.

Alice Hechy
German postcard by Rotophot in the Film Sterne series, no. 88/4. Photo: Karl Schenker, Berlin.

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

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