1881 - 1942
The actor John Gottowt was born as Isidor Gesang in Lemberg. He became interested into the theater at a young age and as a student he already founded an amateur troup.
He began his professional stage career at Max Reinhardt's the Deutsches Theater in Berlin in 1905. There he soon was also able to direct first plays.
His next theater stations led him to Vienna and Munich and during this time he also took over the direction of some theaters. In 1927 he was active at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for one year.
He joined the film business in 1913 where he made his debut in the classic "Der Student von Prag" (13). The film created a furor because it showed the actor Paul Wegener in a double role within the same sequence. This was a novelty at that time.
In the next years followed other appearances in front of the camera for "Das schwarze Los" (13), "Die Prinzessin von Neutralien" (17), "Morphium" (19) and "Peer Gynt" (19).
Also in 1913 he already realised his first movie as a director with "Das schwarze Los" (13). In this movie he also appeared as an actor.
His most popular movies came in the 20s into being and some of his work made film history.
To his works belong the productions "Der Bucklige und die Tänzerin" (20), "Algol" (20), "Brennendes Land" (21), Friedrich Wilhelm Murnaus "Nosferatu" (22), "Der falsche Dimitri" (22), "Das Wachsfigurenkabinett" (24) and "Prinz Louis Ferdinand" (27).
The rise of the sound film marked the end of his film career. He only took part in "Unheimliche Geschichten" (32).
The year 1933 marked the definite end of John Gottowt's career like for many other Jews in general. He was prohibited to work and finally he left Germany and went to Denmark. When his residence permit was running out he went to Krakow. When Germany marched in Poland John Gottowt had to hide. But in 1942 he was traced in Wieliczka and shot dead by an SS officier.
movies with John Gottowt: