Wegener, Paul


Wegener, Paul
(1874-1948)
   Actor. Wegener made more than 60 films in a five-decade-long career, though he remains best known for Der Golem (The Golem, 1920), which he also directed and wrote. He began his career in Rostock and Nuremberg, but in 1906 Max Reinhardt hired him to play character roles in productions of classics at the Deutsches Theater. He won critical praise in several such roles, including Lear, Macbeth, Othello, and Richard III. By 1912 he began to take an active interest in film acting, and by 1913 he was appearing regularly in feature-length movies, most notably in Der Student von Prag (The Student from Prague) with Alexander Moissi, directed by Stellan Rye. His position as a well-known character actor solidified when the Nazis came to power; Gustaf Gründgens hired him at the Staatliches Schauspielhaus, where he remained until the end of the war. Wegener was among the first performers on a Berlin stage following the German defeat, appearing in Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's Nathan der Weise (Nathan the Wise) at the Deutsches Theater in the summer of 1945. While performing the play in 1948, he collapsed on stage and died soon thereafter.

Historical dictionary of German Theatre. . 2006.

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