Josef Lewinsky

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lewinsky, Josef


Born Sept. 20, 1835, in Vienna; died there Feb. 27, 1907. Austrian actor.

Lewinsky began acting in 1855 in Austrian provincial theaters and made his debut in 1858 in the role of Franz Moor (The Robbers by Schiller) at the Vienna Burgtheater, where he worked for the rest of his career. He brought a philosophical approach to the villains and hypocrites he usually played, men who embodied the destructive force of evil—for example, Wurm in Cabal and Love by Schiller; Iago, Richard III, Polonius, and Shylock in Shakespeare’s Othello, Richard III, Hamlet, and The Merchant of Venice; Mephistopheles in Faust by Goethe; and Bishop Nicholas in The Pretenders by Ibsen.

Lewinsky stressed the importance of harmony between external and inner expressiveness and of speech patterns as part of precise and individualized characterizations. He toured Russia in 1895 and 1898 (St. Petersburg and Moscow) and praised the realistic art of the Malyi Theater.


Richter, H. J. Lewinsky. Vienna, 1926.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.