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07 November 2017

Hermann Vallentin

German actor and singer Hermann Vallentin (1872-1945) appeared in many silent films of E.A. Dupont and W.F. Murnau. The takeover of the Nazis abruptly ended his film career  - Vallentin was Jewish.

Hermann Vallentin
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 438/2. Photo: Becker & Maass, Berlin.

Very versatile as actor


Hermann Vallentin was born in 1872 in Berlin. He was the son of the wood merchant and factory owner Felix Vallentin. His sister was the actress Rosa Valetti.

After studying acting at the Königliches Schauspielhaus in Berlin from Max Grube and Hans Oberländer, Vallentin received his first engagement at the Centraltheater in Berlin in the 1895-1896 season. In the next few years, he performed at various theatres in Berlin and Wiesbaden. Between 1920 and 1932, he worked under Max Reinhardt at the Deutsches Theater.

From 1914 on, Hermann Vallentin was also a busy film actor. He was the billionaire Lloyd in the popular film Der Tunnel/The Tunnel (William Wauer, 1915), produced by the PAGU.

Vallentin was very versatile as actor and could play any kind of character. He mostly embodied family patriots, patriarchs and directors, but also small-scale philistines and - often - police commissioners.

He acted in five films by E.A. Dupont and three by F.W. Murnau. For Murnau, he appeared as the district court councillor in Schloß Vogelöd/Castle Vogeloed (1921), as Herr Binzer in Die Finanzen des Großherzogs/The Grand Duke's Finances (1924), and as a potbellied guest in Der letzte Mann/The Last Laugh (1924) with Emil Jannings.

Hedda Vernon in Fesseln
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 559/1. Photo: Eiko-Film. Hedda Vernon and Hermann Vallentin in Fesseln/Chains (Hubert Moest, 1918).

An abrupt end of his film career


Hermann Vallentin easily moved into the sound era. In Der Hauptmann von Köpenick/The Captain from Köpenick (Richard Oswald, 1931), featuring Max Adalbert, he played the uniform tailor Adolph Wormser.

The takeover of the Nazis ended his film career abruptly - Vallentin was Jewish. In 1933 he emigrated and between 1934 and 1939 he worked on stage, subsequently in Basel, Aussig, Prague, Vienna, again Basel and Zürich.

In 1939, Hermann Vallentin emigrated to Palestine. Since he was not powerful in Hebrew, he had to cease all acting.

In Palestine, he gave lectures, recited poems, and during the Second World War, he was temporarily a presenter of German-language news for the Palestine Broadcasting Service (P.B.S.).

Just a few months after the end of the Second World War, Hermann Vallentin died  in Tel Aviv in 1945. He was 73. His niece Lotte Stein also made name as an actress.

Hedda Vernon in Fesseln
German postcard in the Film Sterne series by Rotophot, no. 559/3. Photo: Eiko-Film. Hedda Vernon and Hermann Vallentin in Fesseln/Chains (Hubert Moest, 1918).

Sources: Stephanie D'heil (Steffi-Line - German), Wikipedia (English and German) and IMDb.

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