1906 - 1997
The actress Camilla Spira attended the Max-Reinhardt acting school at the age of 13 and she got her first engagement at the Wallner-Theater. After that she went to Vienna where she played for he "Theater in der Josefstadt".
After this short excursion she returned to Berlin where she had success with a dancing and singing role in the play "Annemarie".
She made her film debut in 1924 when she appeared in the movie "Mutter und Sohn" (24). In the next years followed silent movies like "Brennende Grenze" (26), "Der Stolz der Kompanie/Die Perle des Regiments" (26) and "Wir sind vom k.u.k. Infanterie-Regiment" (26).
But only in 1930 she managed her great breakthrough with the play "Im weissen Rössl" and was celebrated by the audience.
Also the filmbusiness became more and more important
for her career. In the 30's she appeared in "Mein Leopold" (31), "Gehetzte
Menschen" (32), "Morgenrot" (33), "Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse" (33) and
"Sprung in den Abgrund" (33), but her promising career was abruptly stopped
by the National Socialists.
She emigrated together with her husband and two children to Amsterdam in 1938, but the whole family was deported to concentration camp Westerbork in 1943. Only the perjury of her mother, the actress Lotte Spira, that the Jewish actor Fritz Spira wasn't her father helped her to get free again.
She survived the bad time of World War II and in 1947 she was able to return to Berlin again where she could carry on her theater career.
Also the film knocked on the door of the experienced
actress. In the following 20 years she played in countless productions,
among them are so successful movies like "Pension Schöller" (52),
"Emil und die Detektive" (54), "Des Teufels General" (54), "Der letzte
Mann" (55), "Der tolle Bomberg" (57) and "Rosen für den Staatsanwalt"
The trademark of Camilla Spira was her warm laugh
which she kept till old age, and because of her cheerful temperament she
was able to ride out the worst years in German history.
Other movies with Camilla Spira: