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Camilla Spira

Foto: Siegmund Labisch (1863-1942)

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.
As a Half-Jewess she wasn't allowed to play on German stages, only entrances on the stage of the Jewish culture federation were permitted.

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" (59).
In the 60's she appeared in "Das Mädchen und der Staatsanwalt" (62), "Affäre Blum" (62), "Picadilly Null Uhr zwölf" (63) and in the TV serial "Der Kommissar: Das Ungeheuer" (69).

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:
Das Herz am Rhein (25) Die dritte Eskadron (26) Die versunkene Flotte (26) Wie einst im Mai (26) An der Weser (27) Liebeskarneval (28) Sechzehn Töchter und kein Papa (28) Meine Schwester und ich (29) Die lustigen Musikanten (30) Die Faschingsfee (31) Grün ist die Heide (32) Skandal in der Parkstrasse (32) Die elf Schill'schen Offiziere (32) Ja, treu ist die Soldatenliebe (32) Die Nacht im Forsthaus (33) Der Judas von Tirol (33) Die Buntkarierten (49) Dr. Semmelweis (50) Epilog/Das Geheimnis der Orplid (50) Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (50) Der fröhliche Weinberg (52) Drei Tage Angst (52) Roman eines Frauenarztes (54) Himmel ohne Sterne (55) Vatertag (55) Zwei blaue Augen (55) Liebe (56) Fuhrmann Henschel (56) Made in Germany (56) Das Herz von St. Pauli (57) Der Czardas-König (58) Freddy, die Gitarre und das Meer (58) Nachtschwester Ingeborg (58) Vater, Mutter und neun Kinder (58) Freddy unter fremden Sternen (59) Vertauschtes Leben (61) Mamselle Nitouche (63) Serie "Grosser Mann, was nun?" (67) Serie "Motiv Liebe: Goldener Käfig" (72) Serie "Die Powenzbande" (73)