06 April 2012

Maria Emo

Maria Emo (1936) is a respected Austrian stage actress and professor. On-screen, she played leading roles in literary adaptations of the 1950s. She also played Eva Braun, the mistress of Adolf Hitler, in the American production Hitler/Women of Nazi Germany (1961).

Maria Emo
German postcard by Rüdel-Verlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf. Photo: Real / Deutsche Film Hansa. Maria Emo in Das Mädchen von Moorhof/The Girl of the Moors (Gustav Ucicky, 1958).

Maria Emo
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden/Westfalen, no. 325. Photo: Real / DFH / Lilo. Maria Emo in Das Mädchen von Moorhof/The Girl of the Moors (Gustav Ucicky, 1958).

Beautiful Blonde


Maria Emo was born in Berlin in 1936. She was the daughter of the Austrian director E.W. Emo, the director of many light ’Viennese’ comedies, often starring Hans Moser.

Her mother was Anita Dorris, a popular film actress of the 1920s and early 1930s.

Between 1952 and 1954 Maria studied at the Max Reinhardt Seminar, the School of Drama at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.

Emo then played young girls in love at the Theater in der Josefstadt, the oldest still performing theatre in Vienna, and at the Wiener Volkstheater (roughly translated as People's Theatre).

Later the beautiful blonde actress became an often invited guest actor in classical plays on many stages in Europe and South America.

At the Salzburger Festspiele (the Salzburg Festival) in 1963, she appeared in the role of Buhlschaft in 'Jedermann' (Everyman), the famous play by the Austrian playwright Hugo von Hofmannsthal.

Anita Dorris
German postcard of Maria's mother, Anita Dorris (1903-1993) by Ross Verlag, no. 5030/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Atelier Manassé, Wien.

Maria Emo
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin-Charlottenburg, no. A 1647. Photo: Real Film / DFH / Lilo. Maria Emo in Das Mädchen von Moorhof/The Girl of the Moors (Gustav Ucicky, 1958).

Maria Emo in Das Mädchen von Moorhof (1958)
German postcard by IRMA-Verlag, Stuttgart-W, no. 1611. Photo: Real / DFH / Lilo. Maria Emo in Das Mädchen von Moorhof/The Girl of the Moors (Gustav Ucicky, 1958).

The only adequate adaptation


Maria Emo's film roles were relatively scarce. Her debut was in Ehesanatorium/Marriage sanatorium (Franz Antel, 1954) opposite Adrian Hoven.

Next, she played leading roles in literary film adaptations like the Guy de Maupassant adaptation Bel Ami (Louis Daquin, 1954) starring Johannes Heesters, and the West-German production Das Mädchen vom Moorhof/The Girl of the Moors (Gustav Ucicky, 1958) based on a novel by Selma Lagerlöf.

The Austrian comedy Herr Puntila und sein Knecht Matti/Herr Puntila and His Servant Matti (Alberto Cavalcanti, 1955-1960) was an adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's 1940 exile play of the same name. It was made at the Soviet-controlled Rosenhügel Studios in Vienna.

Production began in 1955 but wasn't completed until 1960. The famous author helped the director with the film, and Brecht later stated that it was the only adequate film of his work ever produced. Curt Bois, who played Puntila, acted under Brecht's own direction. Emo played Eva Puntila.

Maria Emo next impersonated Eva Braun on the screen in the American production Hitler/Women of Nazi Germany (Stuart Heisler, 1961). The film depicts Hitler, played by Richard Basehart, through the years, beginning with the Beer Hall Putsch of November 1923.

The film focuses mainly on the dictator's private life, in particular, his relationships with niece Geli Raubals (Cordula Trantow) and longtime companion/wife, Eva Braun.

In later years Maria Emo only played incidentally in films like Der Weibsteufel/The She-Devil (Georg Tressler, 1966), and she also appeared in TV plays and series.

She was last seen on screen in the Austrian-West-German TV film Gewitter im Mai (Xaver Schwarzenberger, 1987) with Gabriel Barylli.

Nowadays Maria Emo lives in Hamburg, where she worked as a professor in performing arts at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg.


Scene from the film Reisebekanntschaft (1943), directed by Maria's father, E.W. Emo. Hans Moser plays Detective Specht. Source: BD 130 (YouTube).


Scenes from Herr Puntila und sein Knecht Matti (1960). Source: Tubodobeto Beto Fae (YouTube).

Sources: Filmportal.de, Wikipedia, and IMDb.

This post has last been updated on 11 July 2020.

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