MAIL English Version

Asta Nielsen

Picture Asta Nielsen
Foto: Alexander Binder (1888-1929)

1881 - 1972

The actress Asta Nielsen came from a poor family. She got first contacts to the theater during her school time, where she joined in the singing of the royal theater of Copenhagen thanks to her beautiful voice.

At the age of 14 she already left school. When her father died in the same year, she should graduate from sales education in order to be able to contribute some money to the living of her family. But inside Asta Nielsen had already matured her wish to become an actress. She got an audition and as a result a free drama education.

In the following years she played at different stages but the success didn't arise yet. This changed immediately when she met director Urban Gad (1879-1947) and cherished intentions in shooting movies. In 1910 their first common movie "Abgründe" came into being, which achieved an unexpected international success. Asta Nielsen got married with director Urban Gad in 1912 and shot together with him about 30 movies.

In spite of this success the film offers from Denmark kept rare. Therefore she decided to find her luck in the arising German film business and landed a bull's eye.
In no time at all she became the first film star in film history at all.  
After some more successes she signed a lucrative contract which guaranteed her eight movies a year and a free hand for the completion.

In the next years she appeared in movies like "Nachtfalter" (11), "Der fremde Vogel" (11), "Die Verräterin" (11), "Die arme Jenny" (12), "Der Totentanz" (12), "Engelein" (13), "Engeleins Hochzeit" (14), "Vordertreppe und Hintertreppe" (14) and "Aschenbrödel" (14).

The couple Nielsen/Gad separated in 1915 and with it their cooperation came to an end too. 
Because of her previous successes she became established as an international greatness long ago and she participated in producing her next movies. She shot "Das Liebes-ABC" (16), "Dora Brandes" (16) and "Der erste Patient" (16).
The remaining years of World War I she spent thereafter in Denmark.

After the war she returned to Germany where she was able to continue her career smooth. To her greatest successes of the post-war time belong "Rausch" (19), "Kurfürstendamm" (20), "Hamlet" (20), "Irrende Seelen" (21), "Die Geliebte Roswolskys" (21), "Fräulein Julie" (21), "Der Absturz" (22), "I.N.R.I." (23), "Hedda Gabler" (24), "Die freudlose Gasse" (25), "Die Gesunkenen" (25) and "Dirnentragödie" (27).

But over and over again Asta Nielsen was pushed out by younger colleagues, her acting attracted less attention than the beautiful faces of new stars. The scripts she get offered were subsequently more and more worse and Asta Nielsen decided to go back to the theater where she was able to achieve triumphes. 

Only one time she returned to the screen with the movie "Unmögliche Liebe" (32), her first and last sound film.

The World War II concluded her theater career in Germany and she went back to Denmark again. But also after the war she didn't return to the stage.

With her documentation "Asta Nielsen" (68) she said goodbye to her audience. Four years later she died as a result of an accident.

Other movies with Asta Nielsen:
Heisses Blut (11) In dem grossen Augenblick (11) Der schwarze Traum (11) Ballettänzerin (11) Zigeunerblut (11) Die Macht des Goldes (12) Zu Tode gehetzt (12) Jugend und Tollheit (12) Die Kinder des Generals (12) Wenn die Maske fällt (12) Das Mädchen ohne Vaterland (12) Komödianten (12) Die Sünden der Väter (13) Der Tod in Sevilla (13) Die Suffragette (13) S 1 (13) Die Filmprimadonna (13) Das Kind ruft (14) Zapatas Bande (14) Das Feuer (14) Die weissen Rosen (14) Die ewige Nacht (14) Die Tochter der Landstrasse (14) Die falsche Asta Nielsen (14) Das Waisenhauskind (16) Die Rose der Wildnis (16) Im Lebenswirbel (16) Das Eskimobaby (16) Die Börsenkönigin (16) Der Fackelträger (18) Des Meeres und der Liebe Welle (18) Graf Sylvains Rache (19) Nach dem Gesetz (19) Der Mut leuchtet (19) Das Ende vom Liede (19) Der Reigen (20) Steuermann Holk (20) Brigantenrache (20) Vanina (22) Die Tänzerin Navarro (22) Erdgeist (23) Das Haus am Meer (24) Lebende Buddhas (24) Die Frau im Feuer (24) Die Schmetterlingsschlacht (24) Athleten (25) Laster der Menschheit (27) Gehetzte Frauen (27) Kleinstadtsünder (27) Das gefährliche Alter (27)