German postcard by Ufa, no. FK 3662. Photo: Wesel / Berolina / Gloria. Publicity still for Hoch droben auf den Berg/High up the mountain (Géza von Bolváry, 1957).
German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK-3134. Photo: Czerwonski / HD-Film / NF.
A Circus Film Noir
Hildegard Erika Charlotte Granass was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1930.
She was six years old when she started to have ballet lessons with Tatjana Gsovsky. Gardy occurred in children ballet and in 1946, she got her first engagement at the Städtische Oper Berlin. After acting lessons with Herma Clement, she played theatre in Baden-Baden and Wiesbaden.
She made her screen debut in the Italian-West German crime film Tromba (Helmut Weiss, 1949), starring René Deltgen, Angelika Hauff and Gustav Knuth. Tromba, a circus film with elements of film noir, was one of the most popular West German films of the year, suggesting audiences supported a shift away from the very popular Heimat (rubble) films.
Granass played a supporting part as a sports student. Soon followed leading parts, such as in the comedy Kein Engel ist so rein/No angel is so pure (Helmut Weiss, 1950) with Fita Benkhoff and in the romance Heidelberger Romanze/A Heidelberg Romance (Paul Verhoeven, 1951) starring Liselotte Pulver and O.W. Fischer.
The latter film set a template for portraying German-American relations. While accompanying his daughter (Pulver) on a trip to Heidelberg, a wealthy American businessmen (Hans Leibelt / Gunnar Möller) recounts a romance he had with a local girl (Granass) forty years before. Gardy Granass was honoured for her role in Heidelberger Romanze with the German Film Award Goldene Dose (Golden Box) as best young actress.
German postcard by Netter's Star Verlag, Berlin. Photo: Berolina / Constantin. Publicity still for Die Christel von der Post (Karl Anton, 1956).
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden/Westf., no 2323. Photo: Berolina / Constantin. Publicity still for Die Christel von der Post (Karl Anton, 1956).
Christel of the post office
In 1953 Gardy Granass appeared opposite Curd Jürgens in another Verhoeven film, Praterherzen/Sideshow (Paul Verhoeven, 1953) based on a Hans Schubert play. In total she worked five times together with this director, who should not be confused with his more famous Dutch colleague with the same name.
One of Granass most popular films was Die Christel von der Post/Christel of the post office (Karl Anton, 1956) in which she starred as the generous and fresh post mistress opposite Hardy Krüger.
Other successful films include the Heimat film Schwarzwaldmelodie/Black Forest Melody (Géza von Bolváry, 1956) with Claus Biederstaedt, the comedy Der Mustergatte/The Model Husband (Erik Ode, 1956) and the comedy Drei Mann auf einem Pferd/Three men on a horse (Kurt Meisel, 1957) with Nadja Tiller and Theo Lingen.
Later she mainly appeared on television, such as in the popular crime series Das Halstuch/The Scarf (Hans Quest, 1962), based on a novel by Frances Durbridge.
In 1982 she made her final screen appearance in an episode of the TV-series Unheimliche Geschichten/Sinister Stories (Joachim Hess, 1982).
Gardy Granass was married to author and TV managing director Werner Hess from 1979 till his death in 2003. Granass lives in München (Munich).
Austrian postcard by Verlag Hubmann (HDH Verlag), Wien, no. 4974. Photo: Union Film, Wien, no. 360. Publicity still for Ein Herz bleibt allein/Mein Leopold/A heart remains alone (Géza von Bolváry, 1955).
German postcard by WS-Druck, Wanne-Eickel, no 132. Photo: Berolina / Constantin / Wesel.
Sources: Stephanie D’heil (Steffi-line - German), Wikipedia (German and English) and IMDb.