Brigitte Helm (17 March 1906 – 11 June 1996) was a German actress, best remembered for her dual role as Maria and her double, the Maschinenmensch, in Fritz Lang's 1927 silent film Metropolis.
Born Brigitte Eva Gisela Schittenhelm in Berlin, Helm's first role was that of Maria in Metropolis which she began work on while only 18 years old. After Metropolis, Helm made over thirty other films, including talking pictures, before retiring in 1936. Her other appearances include The Love of Jeanne Ney (1927), Alraune (1928), L'Argent (1928), Gloria (1931), The Blue Danube (1932), L'Atlantide (1932), and Gold (1934).
Though having a 10-year contract with UFA expiring in 1935, Helm incurred the wrath of Nazi Germany for "race defilement" in marrying her second husband Dr. Hugo Kunheim, an industrialist of Jewish background. Helm was also involved in several traffic accidents, and was briefly imprisoned. According to Otto Dietrich's book The Hitler I Knew, Adolf Hitler himself saw that manslaughter charges against her from an automobile accident were dropped.
In 1935, she moved to Switzerland where she later had four children with Hugo. After her retirement from films, she refused to grant any interviews concerning her film career. Helm was considered for the title role in Bride of Frankenstein before Elsa Lanchester was given the role.
- Metropolis (1927), director: Fritz Lang
- At the Edge of the World, (Am Rande der Welt, 1927), director: Karl Grune
- The Love of Jeanne Ney (Die Liebe der Jeanne Ney , 1927), director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
- L'Argent (1928), director: Marcel L'Herbier
- Alraune (1928), director: Henrik Galeen; title role
- Secrets of the Orient (Geheimnisse des Orients, 1928), director: Alexandre Volkoff
- Yacht of the Seven Sins (1928)
- Scandal in Baden-Baden (1929)
- The Wonderful Lies of Nina Petrovna (Die wunderbare Lüge der Nina Petrowna, 1929), director: Hanns Schwarz
- Alraune (1930), director: Richard Oswald; title role
- The Singing City (Die singende Stadt, 1930), director Carmine Gallone
- Gloria (1931)
- Three on a Honeymoon (1932)
- The Countess of Monte-Cristo (Die Gräfin von Monte-Christo, 1932), director: Karl Hartl
- The Mistress Of Atlantis (Die Herrin von Atlantis, 1932) director: G.W. Pabst
- Happy Days in Aranjuez (1933), director: Johannes Meyer
- The Marathon Runner (Der Läufer von Marathon, 1933), director: Ewald André Dupont
- Honeymoon Trip (1933)
- Inge and the Millions (1933)
- Gold (1934), director: Karl Hartl
- Count Woronzeff (1934), director: Arthur Robison
- An Ideal Husband (Ein idealer Gatte, 1935), director: Herbert Selpin
- Wie im Traum (1978), director: Egon Hasse