1879 - 1937
The actor Alfred Abel first tested other professional areas like a forest apprenticeship, a not finished gardener apprenticeship and a study for artistic drawing before he decided to become an actor. He made his stage debut in Lucerne/Switzerland in 1904 and in the same year he came to the Deutsche Theater directed by Max Reinhardt in Berlin, the metropolis of theater in Germany.
In 1913 he acted under the direction of Max Reinhardt in "Eine venezianische Nacht" and celebrated his debut as a movie actor. Alfred Abel belonged to the sensitive actors who made out that the film business wasn't a medium which needed wild gestures but a discreet play of gestures in order to create a convincing character. In the early days of the silent movie you could tell by their appearance that a lot of the actors's roots came from the theater where a overdrew character could be appropriate, in the film business it looked strange.
It soon became apparent that Abel was employable for any role. His great repertoire was brought into play by celebrity directors as Ernst Lubitsch, Fritz Lang and F. W. Murnau.
To his well-known movies of the 10s belong "Lache, Bajazzo" (14), "Das Spiel ist aus" (16), "Ein Blatt im Sturm" (17), "Colomba" (18), "Lola Montez" (18) and "Rausch" (19).
In the 20s he became one of the most popular actors who was able to fascinate the audience.
Alfred Abel took part in numerous popular productions like "Der Ruf aus dem Jenseits" (20), "Sappho" (21), "Menschenopfer" (22), "Der brennende Acker" (22), "Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler" (22), "Phantom" (22), "Buddenbrooks" (23), "Die Finanzen des Grossherzogs" (23), "Mensch gegen Mensch" (24), Fritz Lang's masterpiece "Metropolis" (26) in the role of Joh. Freder, "Eine Dubarry von heute" (26), "Eine Nacht in Yoshiwara" (28), "Narkose" (29) and "Giftgas" (29).
With the rise of the sound movie he was pinned down to play roles of the elegant gentleman. In Berlin he was reputadet to be one of the best-dressed men and he gladly gave his opinion to questions for fashion.
Unfortunately there were not many more years granted to Alfred Abel to set a course in the sound film era.
Some impressive examples of his acting abilities he presented, among others, in "1914, die letzten Tage vor dem Weltbrand" (30), in Hitchcock's "Mary/Sir John greift ein" (30), "Das Ekel" (31), "Der Kongress tanzt" (31), "Die Koffer des Herrn O.F." (31), "Der weisse Dämon" (32), "Viktoria" (35), "Millionenerbschaft" (37) and "Sieben Ohrfeigen" (37).
Beside his acting Alfred Abel was also directed four movies. Already in 1921 he directed "Der Streik der Diebe" and sat a last time down on this chair in 1935 for "Alles um eine Frau" (35).
After a longer illness the likeable actor died in Berlin. Along with his wife he left a daughter called Ursula, who tried to follow her father's footsteps but was imposed with a ban on pursuing her career because she couldn't verify an Arier proof for her father.
Other movies with Alfred Abel: