Willy A. Kleinau

Willy A. Kleinau

Additional Names: Willy Adolf Kleinau (Geburtsname)
Darsteller
*12.11.1907 Mühlhausen, Elsass (heute Mulhouse, Frankreich); †18.10.1957 bei Merseburg

Biography

Willy Adolf Kleinau, born November 12, 1907, in the Alsace city of Mühlhausen (now Mulhouse), attended actor's training with Louise Dumont, the director of the Düsseldorf drama school, until 1932. In Düsseldorf, Kleinau also made his first experiences as a director, as a dramatic advisor, and as an actor in minor parts at Städtisches Theater. In the following years, Kleinau worked in a number of cities, including Villingen, Bad Godesberg, Munich, Konstanz, Potsdam, Wuppertal, and Göttingen.

After the end of the war, Kleinau set up a theater in Bremen and took several engagements in Hamburg, before Bertolt Brecht brought him to Berlin in 1949, after Brecht had seen him as Punitla in a Hamburg production of "Puntila und sein Knecht Matti" ("Mr Puntila and his Man Matti"). Kleinau performed both at Berliner Ensemble, and at Berlin's Deutsches Theater and at Volksbühne until his death.

In 1949, Kleinau also started his movie career at DEFA and played Augustus II The Strong in "Die blauen Schwerter" (1949), directed by Wolfgang Schleif. He further proved his acting talent as SS Standartenführer Hans Peter Footh in "Das Beil von Wandsbek" ("The Axe of Wandsbek",1951), directed by Falk Harnack, or as murderous Cardillac, the goldsmith at court, in Eugen York's film "Fräulein von Scuderi" (1955), based on the crime story by E.T.A. Hoffmann. Besides several socially critical films, Kleinau also played in a number of comedies, including "Zar und Zimmermann" ("The Czar and the Carpenter", 1956), directed by Hans Müller, or in Herbert Ballmann's fairy tale movie "Der Teufel vom Mühlenberg" (1955). In "Der Teufel vom Mühlenberg", the popular actor played the greedy Mühlmann who together with castellan Raufer and mayor Bangebös sets a forest mill ablaze where the peasants deliver their corn – later he transforms into a stone because of his remorselessness.

However, Kleinau's career was also overshadowed by the difficult East-West German situation during the Cold War: The film "Die Schönste", directed by Ernesto Remani, whose production started at the beginning of 1957, was banned on March 17, 1959, after numerous complications and discussions. The film was mainly criticized for its positive assessment of the West and the portrayal of a bourgeois worker's household. The film did not premiere until 2002.

After suffering a car accident, Willy A. Kleinau died shortly before his 50th birthday on October 18, 1957, in Merseburg.

The contents of this entry were funded with the support of the DEFA-Stiftung.

Filmography

1962 Musikalisches Rendezvous
Cast
 
1959 Reifender Sommer
Cast
 
1957 Frühling in Berlin
Cast
 
1957 Die Schönste
Cast
 
1956/1957 Spielbank-Affäre
Cast
 
1956/1957 Wie ein Sturmwind
Cast
 
1956 Der Hauptmann von Köpenick
Cast
 
1956 Was die Schwalbe sang
Cast
 
1956 Mein Bruder Josua
Cast
 
1955/1956 Waldwinter
Cast
 
1955/1956 Das Bad auf der Tenne
Cast
 
1955 Liebe, Tanz und 1000 Schlager
Cast
 
1955 Das Fräulein von Scuderi
Cast
 
1955 Zar und Zimmermann
Cast
 
1954/1955 Der Teufel vom Mühlenberg
Cast
 
1954/1955 Ein Polterabend
Cast
 
1954 Carola Lamberti - Eine vom Zirkus
Cast
 
1953/1954 Gefährliche Fracht
Cast
 
1953/1954 Kein Hüsung
Cast
 
1952/1953 Die Unbesiegbaren
Cast
 
1951/1952 Schatten über den Inseln
Cast
 
1951/1952 Karriere in Paris
Cast
 
1951/1952 Roman einer jungen Ehe
Cast
 
1950/1951 Das Beil von Wandsbek
Cast
 
1949/1950 Der Rat der Götter
Cast
 
1949 Die blauen Schwerter
Cast
 
1949 Schicksal aus zweiter Hand
Cast
 

Overview

Literature

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