Real Name : Theodor Friedrich Emil Janenz
Born : July 23, 1884 in Rorschach, St. Gallen, Switzerland
Died : January 2, 1950 in Strobl, Austria at the age of 65
Emil Jannings was a Hollywood actor from Germany. He was the first actor to win an Oscar as the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1929. He remains the only German to have won that award.
7 Surprising Facts About Emil Jannings :
1. Academy Award
Jannings won the Academy Award for Best Actor during a ceremony in 1929. He won with the movies The Way of All Flesh and The Last Command. This made him the first actor to receive the award. Until now, he remains German’s only Oscar winner. Almost three decades later, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1630 Street.
2. Artist of the State
Jannings was pro-Nazi during Nazi-Germany. Due to this, he received special favours from the government as he starred in films to promote Nazism. The Minister of Propaganda at the time, Joseph Goebbels give him the title “Artist of the State.”
3. He was a School Drop Out
He lost his father at a very young age, which made the family move to Gorlitz. There he was reluctant in going to school and always run to sea. Not showing interest in education, his mother made him join the town state theatre.
4. Acting Career
His acting career started on the stage after his traineeship. He worked with several theater companies and later joined the Deutsches Theater. In 1918, he had a breakthrough by playing in Broken Jug as Judge Adam.
5. His Transition from Stage to Film
He made a transition from stage acting to film after signing a contract with UFA production company. During that time he stared in films like Die Augen der Mumie Ma and Madame DuBarry. He gained popularity and moved into the American film industry signing with Paramount Pictures. He later made it to Hollywood.
6. End of Hollywood Career
His Hollywood career ended with the end of the silent era. During the inception of the talkie era, he found it difficult getting role due to his German accent. The thickness of it made it difficult to understand.
7. Works & Personal Life
He is known for works like The Blue Angel and casting for Nazi propaganda films. His collaboration with others like F.W Murnau and Joseph von Sternberg gained him more popularity. Some of his other works include Aus Mangel an Beweisen, Die Augen der Mumie Ma and Altes Herz wird wieder jung among others. In 1947, he naturalized to become an Austrian citizen. He married four times with the first three ending in divorce. He married actresses including Hanna Ralpe, Lucie Hoflich and Gussy Holl.