24 April 2024

Claire Lotto

Claire Lotto (1893-1952) was a German dancer and silent film actress. Between 1916 and 1933, she appeared in 41 films. Lotto married German film actor Carl de Vogt, with whom she had a son, Karl Franz de Vogt.

Claire Lotto
German postcard by Photochemie, no. K. 1449. Photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin.

Claire Lotto
German postcard by NPG, no. 978. Photo: Anny Eberth, Berlin.

Hungarian films with Béla Lugosi

Claire Lotto was born Klara Elsbeth Alma Harnisch in 1893 in Kasekow, Pomerania, Germany (now Casekow, Brandenburg, Germany). She was also known as Cläre Lotto and Kläry Lotto.

As a dancer at the Hofburg in Vienna, she performed also in Budapest, Moscow and Berlin. In the 1910s, she made her film debut in Hungary.

She appeared in several film dramas directed by the young Michael Curtiz, including Az utolsó hajna/The Last Dawn (Mihaly Kertesz, 1917), Lulu (Mihaly Kertesz, 1917) opposite Béla Lugosi and 99-es számú bérkocsi/Rental Car Number 99 (Mihaly Kertesz, 1918) with Victor Varconi.

From 1920, she acted in German silent cinema. She often co-starred with Carl de Vogt, whom she married in 1922. Together they played in Karl May adaptations like Die Todeskarawane/Caravan of Death (Josef Stein, 1920) and Auf den Trümmern des Paradieses/On the Brink of Paradise (Josef Stein, 1920), starring De Vogt as Kara Ben Nemsi.

These films were followed by many dramas, adventure films and comedies till 1925.

Claire Lotto
Austrian postcard by Iris-Verlag, no. 659/2. Photo: Residenz-Atelier, Wien (Vienna).

Claire Lotto
German postcard by Rotophot in the Film Sterne series, no. 93/1. Photo: Karl Schenker, Berlin / Leo.

The Sister of Henny Porten

Claire Lotto played the sister of Henny Porten in In Prater (Peter Paul Felner, 1924). While Porten marries a count, Claire marries a train driver. Yet, both women are pursued by a lustful immoral baron (Angelo Ferrari), which creates tensions between the sisters and between husbands and wives. Things become worse when the baron is found dead...

In 1925 Lotto had female leads in e.g. the military farce Zapfenstreich/Taps (Conrad Wiene, 1925) and Am besten gefällt mir die Lore/I like Lore best (Josef Stein, 1925).

By the late 1920s, Lotto's parts became smaller, though she still had the lead in a minor production, Gestrandete Menschen/Stranded People (Kurt Nehrke, 1927), with Erich Kaiser-Titz.

After two German early sound films, Claire Lotto quit the film sets for good.

She died in Berlin, Germany in 1952, aged 58, from undisclosed causes. With Carl de Vogt, she had a son, Karl Franz de Vogt (1917).

Claire Lotto
Austrian postcard by Iris-Verlag, no. 703. Photo: Engel & Walter.

Henny Porten in Pratertraum (1924)
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 694/3. Photo: Atlantic Film / Westi Film. Henny Porten and Claire Lotto in Pratertraum/Prater. Die Erlebnisse zweier Nähmädchen (Peter Paul Felner, 1924).

Claire Lotto
German postcard by Verlag Hermann Leiser, no. 3843. Photo: Westi.

Sources: Wikipedia (German and English) and IMDb.

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