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Lena Amsel

Foto: Alexander Binder (1888-1929)

1898 - 1929

The actress and dancer Lena Amsel was born into a wealthy family and therefore she was able to follow her interest to become an artist.

She was interested in the theater and in the film business at a young age and she was to get in touch with some important persons, among them Max Reinhardt.

She made her stage debut as a dancer in Berlin in 1917 and in the same year she took part in her first movie as well.

To her first movies belong „Pinselputzi stiftet Unheil und eine Ehe“ (17), „Pinselputzi rendezvouzelt“ (18), „Der Weg zum Reichtum“ (18), „Lenas noble Bekanntschaft“ (18), „Meine Tochter – deine Tochter“ (18) and „Lene oder Lena“ (18).

Afterwards there was a longer break and she concentrated again to the stage where she normally appeared as a dancer at vaudevilles.

In 1923 she returned in front of the camera and the movies of those years were her last ones at the same time.
To these productions belong „Der allmächtige Dollar“ (23) and „Tragödie der Liebe“ (23).

She enjoyed the life in the next years and together with the writer and archaeologist Karl Gustav Vollmöller – with whom she had a relationship since 1916 – she went to Paris.
There she had contact with many artists who were located in Paris at that time.

But she had to pay a high price for her lust of life she gave free rein.
When she carried a race duel with the artist Andre Derain with their two Bugattis, Lena Amsel lost control and her automobile flipped over. The car caught fire and claimed the lives of Lena Amsel and a girlfriend of her.

Four years later the writer Ruth Landshoff-Yorck wrote the novel „Roman einer Tänzerin“ (33) based on the life of Lena Amsel. The main character in this novel was named Lena Vogel (in Englisch „Bird“) in dependence on her family name Amsel (in „nglisch „blackbird“).
But the novel was only published 70 years later because Ruth Landshoff-Yorck was Jew and banned from publishing her work in Germany at that time.