Kainz, Josef

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


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


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.