Josef Kainz

Kainz, Josef

 

Born Jan. 2, 1858, in Wieselburg, present-day Mosonmagyaróvár, Hungary; died Sept. 20, 1910, in Vienna. Austrian actor.

In 1875, Kainz made his professional theatrical debut. From 1883 to 1889 and from 1892 to 1899 he performed in the German Theater in Berlin. From 1899 to 1910, Kainz appeared in the Burgtheater in Vienna. His performances were characterized by subtle psychological analysis, emotional spirituality, elegant movements, and poetic qualities. Kainz became well known for his portrayals of young tragic heroes, for example, in Schiller’s Intrigue and Love and Don Carlos and in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. He portrayed characters searching for life’s meaning and struggling for high ideals against evil and violence. Among Kainz’ best parts were the title role in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Oswald in Ibsen’s Ghosts, and Johannes in Hauptmann’s The Lonely People. In J. N. Nestroy’s The Evil Spirit of Lum-pazivagabundus (role of Zwirn) and Moliere’s comedy Tartuffe (leading role), he created brilliant comic and satirical portraits. Kainz toured the USA, Denmark, and Russia.

REFERENCES

Khrestomatiia po istorii zapadnogo teatra na rubezhe XIX i XX vekov.
Moscow-Leningrad, 1939. Brahm, O. Kainz: Gesehenes und Gelebtes, 2nd ed. Berlin, 1910.

I. IA. NOVODVORSKAIA

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