Gustav Gründgens

(redirected from Gustaf Grundgens)

Gründgens, Gustav

 

Born Dec. 22, 1899, in Düsseldorf; died Oct. 7, 1963, in Manila. German actor and director.

Gründgens made his debut in 1918. From 1922 he was an actor and director of the Hamburg Kammerspiele Theater.

From 1928 to 1932 he worked at the German Theater in Berlin. In 1932 he became intendant (manager) of the Berlin State Theater and in 1937, general intendant of the Prussian State Theater. In 1946–47 he acted and staged performances at the Max Reinhardt’s Deutsches Theater in Berlin. In the Federal Republic of Germany he managed theaters in Düsseldorf from 1947 to 1955 and from 1955 to 1963, the German Dramatic Theater in Hamburg.

Gründgens’ artistic career is marked by a lack of political principles and ideological conviction. He staged both potboilers like the plays of B. Mussolini and a series of rather significant performances of classics of the drama. He put on Shakespeare’s King Lear (1934) and Twelfth Night (1937, playing the part of Malvolio) and Chekhov’s The Sea Gull (1948, performing the role of Trigorin); he acted Vorob’ev in Rakhmanov’s Restless Old Age (1946), staged The Shadow by Shvarts (1947), and turned his attention to Brecht (Saint Joan of the Stockyards, 1959). He also directed a number of operas. His acting roles include Mephistopheles (in Goethe’s Faust), Hamlet (in Shakespeare’s tragedy), Franz Moor and Wallenstein (in Schiller’s The Robbers and The Death of Wallenstein), and others. In 1959, Gründgens toured the USSR with the German Dramatic Theater.

WORKS

Wirklichkeit des Theaters. Frankfurt am Main, 1953.

REFERENCE

Mühr, A. Grosses Theater: Begegnungen mit G. Gründgens. Berlin, 1950.

I. IA. NOVODVORSKAIA

References in periodicals archive ?
The book, published in Leipzig in 1913, is said to be a "very rare" item in its own right, but also bears a signed dedication from Goering to Gustaf Grundgens.
Its main attractions include the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, featuring classical and modern repertoire, and notable ballet performances; the Schauspielhaus (theater), to which Gustaf Grundgens and Karl-Heinz Stroux brought international repute; and the Tonhalle (concert hall), known for its architecture and the artistic design of its foyer; as well as its concerts, which have featured the likes of Sviatoslav Richter, Yehudi Menuhin, and Herbert von Karajan.
In the Hamburg production, nineteen-year-old Klaus, Erika, and Pamela played the lead roles along with 25-year-old Gustaf Grundgens, who directed the play as well.
This brief overview must conclude with a return to the book's first page and London's remarks about Mephisto--the 1936 roman a clef written in exile by Thomas Mann's son Klaus, who points a sharp pin at his onetime brother-in-law, the actor-director and Nazi collaborator Gustaf Grundgens.
Certainly, the cases he mentions of Heinrich George and Gustaf Grundgens show brave actors ready to defy and work with the Nazis.
In 1936, Klaus published his best-known novel, Mephisto: The Story of a Career, in part a roman a clef about the actor Gustaf Grundgens, who'd been one of Klaus's lovers before Gustaf married Erika.
For inspiration, he drew on his experiences with the great - some would say infamous - German actor and director Gustaf Grundgens.