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Imogen Cohn Orkutt

1907 - 2000

The actress Imogen Orkutt first worked as an apprentice for a child's dress store. Beside it she had the dream to gain a foothold in the film business and from 1925 she was able to participate in some commerical spots.

Finally she even was able to play small roles in real silent movies where she acted at the side of great stars like Heinrich George, Harry Liedtke, Ressel Orla, Otto Gebühr and Henny Porten, among others in "Elternlos" (27) directed by Franz Hofer.

But the success as a movie actress was missing. 

She probably never imagined that her engagement together with her friend Schura von Finkelstein which came off on behalf of the Reichspost in 1929, would go into history. 
The Reichspost demonstrated TV pictures for the first time at the radio show in Berlin and they displayed the first pictures of humans - Orkutt and von Finkelstein. These pictures were reproduced on a screen of only 4 to 4 centimeters and the audience could hardly see something without a magnifier. But this occasion went into television history as the first broadcasted humans in TV. During the record they both sang the song "Horch, was kommt von draussen rein". 

Shortly after Imogen Orkutt got married with the Jewish surgeon Georg Cohn and she gave up her acting ambitions.
After the takeover of the Nazis in Germany and because the life of Imogen Orkutt and her husband became more difficult they left Germany and emigrated to Palestine in 1939 and later to Tel Aviv. 

Only in 1956 the couple returned to Germany where Georg Cohn died only few months later. 
Imogen Orkutt remained with her son and she earned her living in a laundry and as a newspaper and tobacco seller. 

On the left is one shot of the first TV pictures displayed which Imogen Cohn Orkutt signed on the backside.