25 July 2016

Cilly Feindt

The tiny, dainty blonde Cilly Feindt (1909-1999) was a German star of the circus ring. In her heyday, she was regarded as one of the finest haute école horse riders of her time. She alternated in the 1920s and 1930s between circus and the cinema.

Cilly Feindt
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 3147/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Jacoby, Berlin.

Cilly Feindt
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 3277/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Atelier Jacobi, Berlin.

Cilly Feindt
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 3869/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

The Greatest Lady School Rider of All Time

Cilly Feindt was born in Berlin, Germany in 1909. She was the daughter of film distributor and producer Wilhelm Feindt. Her father would later produce her first films.

When Cilly was nine she became interested in horses and receives an equestrian training. At 14, she started at the circus Paul Busch. With her horse Nestor, she performed as a high-school rider and she became very popular. Later Cilly appeared at the Variété Wintergarten and the Scala theatre in Berlin.

Soon she was spotted for the film. Cilly made her film début in Die Zirkusprinzessin/The Circus Princess (Adolf Gärtner, 1925), based on an operetta by Emmerich Kálmán. The film was produced by her father.

Other films of the silent era were Der Feldmarschall/The Field Marshall (Romano Mengon, 1927), Ein Mordsmädel/A Knock-off Gal (Sidney Morgan, 1927) with Werner Pittschau, and again in a new version of Die Zirkusprinzessin/The Circus Princess (Victor Janson, 1929) with Trude Berliner. In all these films she played high-school riders and performed with her horse Nestor.

In the following years she alternated between circus and cinema. The British Bertram Mills was so impressed by her abilities that he brought her to the Olympia in London, for his circus in the winter of 1931-1932, billing her as 'The Greatest Lady School Rider of all time'.

Cilly Feindt
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1193/2, 1927-1928. Photo: Filmhaus Wilhelm Feindt, Berlin.

Cilly Feindt
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1961/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Becker & Maass, Berlin.

Cilly Feindt
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 1900/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

Lady Godiva

During a successful tour through South America Cilly Feindt conquers Montevideo, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.

Back in Germany she continued her film career with the light comedies Ferien vom Ich/Holiday from Myself (Hans Deppe, 1934) with Carola Höhn, and Leichte Kavallerie/Light Cavalry (Werner Hochbaum, 1935) starring Marika Rökk.

Hereafter followed a tour through the half of Europe and the US. The Second World War meant a temporary halt to her career.

After the war she was signed on by Circus Althoff and in 1948 she got an offer from the Ringling Brothers circus in the US. With this circus she went on tour till 1951 and appeared in the United States and Canada.

When her engagement ended she settled in California and devoted herself to her horses. Furthermore she appeared in small, uncredited parts in Gigi (Vincente Minnelli) with Maurice Chevalier and Leslie Caron and as well as Lady Godiva in Two Weeks in Another Town (Vincente Minnelli, 1962) with Kirk Douglas.

Cilly Feindt died in 1999, in Los Angeles, US. She was 90. For a while she had a relationship with boxer Max Schmeling.

Cilly Feindt
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 3869/2, 1928-1929. Photo: Manuel Frères, Paris.

Cilly Feindt
German postcard by Ross Verlag, Berlin, no. 4207/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Jacobi, Berlin.

Commercial Schnellgang for Graham Paige. Source: ChrMiltenberger (YouTube). Music for Piano, Organ, Celesta, Mallet by Christopher Miltenberger.

Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), D. Nevil (The Independent), Film-Zeit.de (German), IMDb and Wikipedia.


c21de said...

Hi bob, fantastic Postcard...

...here 2 other good Cilly Feindt Postcards  LINK

Bob of Holland said...

Thanks. Good to hear from you. Your two cards are wonderful. Greetings from Amsterdam!

DIDIER said...


Other postcards you could klike va lot