Granach, Alexander

(Jessaja Szajko Gronach, 1890-1945)
   Actor. Granach was known for his fiery portrayals of conflicted character types, usually performed in the modernist style Max Reinhardt assiduously cultivated in performers like Gertrud Eysoldt, Alexander Moissi, and Paul Wegener. Granach's background gave him little in the way of formal preparation for the acting profession. He was an Ostjude from Galicia who was uneducated, uncultured, and unhealthy—but consumed with a passionate, uncompromising ambition to become an actor. He ran away from home at age 12, and by the time he was 19, he was working with an amateur Jewish theater group in Berlin. There he began study at Reinhardt's acting school, and in the next five years Granach began to get roles with Reinhardt and other managers in Berlin.
   Drafted into the Austro-Hungarian army in 1914, he fought on the Italian front until his capture and spent the remainder of the war in a prisoner-of-war camp. He returned to Berlin in 1920 and soon thereafter began acting in silent films. Among the most notable were F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu (1922) and Erdgeist (Earth Spirit, 1923), although he made more than a dozen others. In the meantime, his work with Reinhardt continued, playing nearly every night through the 1920s in character roles at the Deutsches Theater or its adjoining Kammerspiele. He won his widest acclaim, however, as Shylock at the Munich Kammerspiele.
   The election of the National Socialist government in 1933 meant an abrupt end to Granach's work in Germany. He emigrated to Poland and then to the Soviet Union, where he appeared mostly in films; in 1937 Granach barely escaped death during the first of Stalin's attempts to "cleanse" Soviet cultural activity. In 1938, with the help of Lion Feuchtwanger (1884-1958), Granach emigrated to New York. In 1939 he arrived in Hollywood in time to play a Soviet apparatchik in Ninotchka with Greta Garbo. That movie established him in Hollywood, allowing him to remain and work there until his death. Granach wrote an eminently readable autobiography, Da geht ein Mensch (English title: There Goes an Actor), which exquisitely captured the tragedies and triumphs of his life; it proved to be so popular after its publication in 1945 that it subsequently appeared in numerous translations.

Historical dictionary of German Theatre. . 2006.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • GRANACH, ALEXANDER — (Isaiah Gronach; 1890–1945), German and Yiddish actor of proletarian types, who distinguished himself in expressionist portrayals. Granach, who was born in Werbowitz (Galicia), reached Berlin at the age of 15 while traveling with a Yiddish troupe …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Alexander Granach — (* 18. April 1890[1] in Werbowitz (Wierzbowce, Werbiwizi), Bezirk Horodenka, Ostgalizien (heute Werbowzy in der Oblast Iwano Frankiwsk, Ukraine), als neuntes Kind jüdischer Bauern; † 14. März[2]1945 in New York; eigentlich Jessaja Szajko Gronach …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alexander Granach — (April 18, 1890 ndash; March 14, 1945) was a popular German actor in the 1920s and 1930s. He was born Jessaja Granach in Wierzbowce (or Werbiwci) (Horodenka district, Austrian Galicia then, now Verbovtsy , Ivano Frankivsk Oblast, Ukraine) to… …   Wikipedia

  • Alexander Granach — est un célèbre acteur austro hongrois né le 18 avril 1893 dans l oblast d Ivano Frankivsk en Ukraine et mort le 14 mars 1945 à New York aux États Unis. Biographie Alexander Granach, (de son vrai nom Jessaja Granach), né de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alexander Weigel — (* 30. Dezember 1935 in Zwickau) ist ein deutscher Dramaturg, Autor und Herausgeber. Leben Er besuchte 1942–1950 die Grundschule in Döbeln (Sachsen), 1950–1954 die Oberschule, die er mit dem Abitur in Karl Marx Stadt abschloss. 1954–1958… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Granach — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Alexander Granach (1890–1945), österreichisch US amerikanischer Schauspieler Gad Granach (1915–2011), deutsch jüdischer Emigrant Siehe auch: Cranach Diese Seite ist eine …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gad Granach — Infobox Person name = Gad Granach image size = 175px caption = Gad Granach birth date = 1915 birth place = Rheinsberg, Germany death date = death place = occupation = Author spouse = parents = Alexander Granach children =Gad Granach (born 1915)… …   Wikipedia

  • Gad Granach — (* 29. März 1915 in Rheinsberg, Mark Brandenburg als Gerhard Granach; † 6. Januar 2011 in Jerusalem, Israel) war ein deutsch jüdischer Emigrant. Granach wurde als Sohn von Alexander Granach und Martha Guttmann geboren. Er emigrierte 1936 nach… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Гранач, Александр — Александр Гранач Герман Гроздья …   Википедия

  • Die zwölfte Stunde - Eine Nacht des Grauens — Filmdaten Originaltitel: Nosferatu – Eine Symphonie des Grauens Produktionsland: Deutschland Erscheinungsjahr: 1922 Länge: 94 Minuten Originalsprache: Deutsch Altersfreigabe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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