Foto: Siegmund Labisch (1863-1942)
The actor Rudolf Klein-Rogge first attended a military academy
on the request of his father who wanted that his son will make a military
career. But this was not the right world for Rudolf Klein-Rogge and he
left the institution and made his school leaving examination at the secondary
school in Cologne. Finally he took acting lessons and at this time he called
himself Rudolf Klein-Rogge in order to avoid a confusion with a collegue
also called Rudolf Klein. He made his stage debut in 1909 at the Stadttheater
Halberstadt. In 1918 he went to Nuremberg where he soon became one of the
most important stage actors.
At this time he was married with script writer and author Thea von Harbou
(1914 - 1921). He earned around 12'000 Deutsch Mark a year as a star of
the Nuremberg Stadttheater, his wife earned as many as 100'000 Deutsch
Mark but it could had been still more if she would had lived in Berlin.
Thus, the married couple went to Berlin. Klein-Rogge was employed by the
Lessing-Theater and Thea von Harbou could press ahead with her successful
career. Berlin turned out to be a harder place in comparison with Nuremberg
and his career stagnated. Finally his marriage broke but they remained
friends. When Thea von Harbou created with Fritz Lang one of the most fruitful
connections in the history of the German film, Rudolf Klein-Rogge appeared
in most of Fritz Lang's future movies (till 1932), from which many went
down into film history.
Since 1919 Klein-Rogge acted for the time being in smaller roles. Because
of his stocky figur he soon was assigned f verrückte Erfinder Rotwang.
To his cinematical works belong "Morphium" (19) and "Die Launen eines
The 20s offered him numerous interesting roles and he took part in
many important productions of those years. To these movies belong "Das
wandernde Bild" (20), "Der müde Tod" (21), "Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler"
(22), the monumental production "Die Nibelungen" (24), "Pietro, der Korsar"
(26), the legendary "Metropolis" (26), "Casanova" (27), "Spione" (28) and
"Die schönste Frau von Paris" (28).
During the shooting for "Die Nibelungen" he wasn't too good for himself
to take Paul Richter's place (he played Siegfried) as his double after
Richter refused to play in that scene where "Siegfried" has a bath in the
blood of the just killed dragon. Klein-Rogge wasn't embarrassed to show
his uncovered back in front of the camera.
From 1928 Klein-Rogge was also engaged in France where he appeared
in one of the first great French sound movies - "Le Requin" (1929),directed
by Henri Chomette.
The sound movie continued to retain the role cliché for him,
it happened rarely that Klein-Rogge was engaged for a comedian part like
in "Das Hofkonzert" (36) and "Die göttliche Jette" (37).
To his well-known works of the 30s belong "Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse"
(32), "Elisabeth und der Narr" (33), "Hanneles Himmelfahrt" (34), "Der
alte und der junge König" (35), "Der Kaiser von Kalifornien" (36),
"Intermezzo" (36), "Truxa" (36), "Der Herrscher" (37), "Schneider Wibbel"
(39) and "Robert Koch, der Bekämpfer des Todes" (39).
At the beginning of the 40s Rudolf Klein-Rogge retired completely from
the film business. His last movie was "Hochzeit auf Bärenhof" (42).
A renewal of his film career after the war failed and he worked as a director
for a theater in Graz.
Rudolf Klein-Rogge was married with the actress Gerda Melchior, then
with Thea von Harbou, afterwards with the actresses Margarete
Neff and Mary Johnson. When he died in 1955
in Graz he was nearly forgotten by the public.
After the death of her son in 1943 went slowly mad, her situation changed
for the worse. Rudolf Klein-Rogge's care was applied to her on the verge
of his death. It seems that Mary Johnson - at this time she already lived
again in Sweden for many years - appeared bewildered in her former domicile
in Wetzelsdorf where she summoned for her husband and her son.
Other movies with Rudolf Klein-Rogge:
Das Licht am Fenster (19) Flitter
Dörtje (19) Die Schreckensnacht im Irrenhaus Ivoy (19) Der schwarze
Graf (20) Wildes Blut (20) Kämpfende Herzen (21) Die Nächte des
Cornelius Brouwer (21) Zirkus des Lebens (21) Der steinerne Reiter (22)
Die Prinzessin Suwarin (23) Der Mann seiner Frau (25) Der rosa Diamant
(25) Mädchenhandel (26) Die lachende Grille (26) Der Herr der Nacht
(26) Der Zigeunerbaron (27) Die letzte Nacht (26) Die raffinierteste Frau
Berlins (27) Das Mädchen aus Frisco (27) Die Sandgräfin (27)
Tingel-Tangel/Das Mädel vom Tingel-Tangel/Trommelfeuer der Liebe (27)
Eine Nacht in Yoshiwara (28) Wolge - Wolga (28) Mädchenschicksale
(28) La faute de Monique (29) Tarakanova, die falsche Zarentochter (29)
Tu m'appartiens! (29) Der weisse Gott (31) Der Judas von Tirol (33) Die
Welt ohne Maske (34) Grenzfeuer (34) Gern hab' ich die Frau'n geküsst
(34) Der Fall Brenken (34) Zwischen Himmel und Erde (34) Die Frauen vom
Tannhof (34) Der Kosak und die Nachtigall (35) Das Einmaleins der Liebe
(35) Der Ammenkönig (35) Ein seltsamer Gast (36) Die Stunde der Versuchung
(36) Moral (36) Die un-erhörte Frau (36) Madame Bovary (37) Streit
um den Knaben Jo (37) Die gelbe Flagge (37) Der Katzensteg (37) Ab Mitternacht
(37) Die Frau und der Tod/Abenteuer in Marokko (37) Zwei Frauen (38) Menschen
vom Variété (39) Parkstrasse 13 (39) Kennwort Machin (39)
Rheinische Brautfahrt (39) Das Herz der Königin (40) Die unvollkommene