18 February 2012

Carl Raddatz

German actor Carl Raddatz (1912 - 2004) was much in demand by film producers in the 1940’s and especially in the 1950’s. He appeared in several Nazi-propagandafilms, and he also gave Joseph Stalin a German voice. Through the years he would become one of the leading character actors of the German theatre.

Carl Raddatz
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3579/2, 1941 - 1944. Photo: Baumann/Ufa.

Carl Raddatz was born as Karl Werner Fitz in Mannheim, Germany in 1912. His parents were insurance agent Karl Hermann Raddatz and Luisa Elisabetha Nußbickel. He took acting lessons from Willy Birgel, who engaged him for the Mannheimer Nationaltheater. Engagements in Aachen, Darmstadt, Bremen and finally Berlin followed. In Berlin he would have his greatest successes. In the Ufa studios in Babelsberg he made his film debut in the propaganda film Urlaub auf Ehrenwort/Furlough on Word of Honor (1938, Karl Ritter). Soon followed more Ufa productions like Liebelei und Liebe/Flirtation and Love (1938, Arthur Maria Rabenalt) with Paul Hörbiger as well as Verklungene Melodie/Dead Melody (1938, Viktor Tourjansky) with Brigitte Horney. In the next years Raddatz became established as a star and appeared in well-known productions like Befreite Hände/Freed Hands (1939, Hans Schweikart) opposite Olga Tschechova, Zwielicht/Twilight (1940, Rudolph von der Noss) with Viktor Staal, Der 5. Juni/June the 5th (1942, Fritz Kirchhoff), opposite Kristina Söderbaum in Immensee (1943, Veit Harlan), and Opfergang/The Great Sacrifice (1944, Veit Harlan), and in the poetic love-triangle Unter den Brücken/Under the Bridges (1945, Helmut Käutner) with Hannelore Schroth. He also played in Nazi-Propagandafilms like Wunschkonzert/Request Concert (1940, Eduard von Borsody), Stukas (1941, Karl Ritter), and Heimkehr/Homecoming (1941, Gustav Ucicky), a justification of the German invasion of Poland.

Carl Raddatz, Hannelore Schroth
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. 3954/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Baumann/Ufa.

Carl Raddatz
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3855/1, 1941-1944. Photo: Baumann/Ufa.

Darling of the Public
After the war Carl Raddatz rather smoothly continued his career with films like the episode film In jenen Tagen/In Those Days (1946-1947, Helmut Käutner), and Epilog/Epilogue (1950, Helmut Käutner). Next to these films, he worked mainly in the theatre. In the mid-1950's he became a darling of the public with the films Rosen im Herbst/Roses in Autumn (1955, Rudolf Jugert) with Ruth Leuwerik, Nacht der Entscheidung/Night of Decision (1956, Falk Harnack) with Hilde Krahl, and Made in Germany (1957, Wolfgang Schleiff) with Winnie Markus. To his other popular post-war films belong Gabriela (1950, Géza von Cziffra ) opposite Zarah Leander, Regina Amstetten (1953, Kurt Neumann), and Das Mädchen Rosemarie/Rosemary (1958, Rolf Thiele) with Nadja Tiller. Giulietta Masina was his partner in Jons und Erdme/La donna dell'altro (1959, Victor Vicas).

Carl Raddatz
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. 158. Photo: Foto Quick/Ufa.

Carl Raddatz
German postcard by Film-Foto-Verlag, no. A 3484/1, 1941 - 1944. Photo: Wien-Film/Ufa.

Guild of Leading Character Actors
Carl Raddatz' film career ended slowly with The Counterfeit Traitor (1962, George Seaton) starring William Holden, and finally the Hans Fallada adaptation Jeder stirbt für sich allein/Everyone Dies Alone (1975, Alfred Vohrer) with Hildegard Knef. For TV he appeared opposite Ruth Leuwerik in the series Die Buddenbrooks/The Buddenbrooks (1979) based on the classic novel by Thomas Mann, and in an episode of the popular crime series Derrick (1990). He always remained true to the theater. For years he was a member of the ensemble of the Staatlichen Schauspielbühnen Berlin and played many interesting roles which heaved him to the guild of leading character actors. In the 1950’s he had also dubbed stars like Humphrey Bogart, Robert Taylor and Lee Marvin, and after WW II he gave Joseph Stalin his voice on German TV. In 1972 he was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz, and in 1979 the Filmband in Gold. Carl Raddatz died in 2004 in Berlin. He was married three times. His first wife was actress Hannelore Schroth, his partner in Unter den Brücken (1945).

Einmal wirst du wieder bei mir sein sein/Once You Will Be With Me Again performed by Carl Raddatz in Wir tanzen um die Welt/We Dance Around the World (1939). Source: Alparfan (YouTube).

Sources: Hans-Michael Bock (Filmportal.de) (German), Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Wikipedia (German), and IMDb.

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