Gustav Gründgens

(redirected from Gustav 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.


Wirklichkeit des Theaters. Frankfurt am Main, 1953.


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


References in periodicals archive ?
Otro caso es el del actor Gustav Grundgens, nombrado director artistico del Teatro Estatal Prusiano en 1933.
Two-LP recording of a 21 January 1954 performance of Das Herrenhaus, the German translation of Wolfe's Mannerhouse by Peter Sandberg, with music by Bernard Grun, directed by Gustav Grundgens.
Burgess's detailed and well-researched account of this life brings out many details of enduring socio-historical interest: the extraordinary, inspirational power of Gustav Grundgens in performance, for instance, which changed the whole direction of Borchert's life, or the enormous difficulty of life in the immediate post-war years in occupied Germany, especially for the medically vulnerable.