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Ralph Arthur Roberts

Ralph Arthur Roberts German actor, director, scriptwriter

German actor, director, scriptwriter
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro German actor, director, scriptwriter
A.K.A. Robert Arthur Schönherr
Was Actor Screenwriter
From Germany
Type Film, Television, Stage and Radio
Gender male
Birth 2 October 1884, Meerane
Death 12 March 1940, Berlin (aged 55 years)
Star sign LibraLibra
The details
Biography

Ralph Arthur Roberts (2 October 1884 – 12 March 1940) was a German film actor who also directed in the theatre and occasionally in film and wrote plays. From 1928 on, he headed the Berlin Theatre in Behrenstraße.

Life and career

He was born in Meerane as Robert Arthur Schönherr; his parents were Carl Robert Schönherr, a baker, and his wife Berta Elisabeth née König. He grew up in Dresden, where he was already performing as an extra at the Albert-Theater while still in gymnasium and then studied acting with Adolf Winds and composition at the conservatoire. He made his professional début in 1903 at the Residenztheater in Wiesbaden, and had temporary engagements at the Trianon Theatre in Berlin and the Schauspielhaus in Breslau. In 1907 or earlier, he moved to Hamburg, where in 1909 he became a member of the company at the Thalia Theatre.

After service as an officer in World War I, Roberts returned to the Thalia, where he directed plays in addition to acting. In 1921 he became head of the Komödienhaus in Berlin, and in 1928 he opened his own theatre in Behrenstraße, where he premiėred several comic works of his own. Initially he played tragicomic rôles, frequently in operettas; in 1922, he co-starred with Fritzi Massary in the première of Leo Fall's Madame Pompadour. However, after that he concentrated on light comedy on the stage.

In addition, he played several supporting rôles in films. Wearing a monocle was part of his image, and in film he generally played men of substance: directors and industrialists. He is remembered especially for his tendency to portray characters as more or less eccentric, which rose to ironic self-commentary in rôles such as the public prosecutor in Der Maulkorb (in which according to his relative and biographer Hansjoachim Schönherr he proved himself "one of the best character actors of his generation") and King Charles X of France in Tanz auf dem Vulkan (de).

Roberts also wrote lyrics for songs, which were used for the 1954 film On the Reeperbahn at Half Past Midnight featuring Hans Albers and Heinz Rühmann. In particular, he wrote both the lyrics and the music for the title waltz, originally for a 1912 revue of his at the Thalia, Bunt ist die Welt, and also prominently featured in the film Große Freiheit Nr. 7 from 1944.

He died in Berlin on 12 March 1940, before the première of his last film, Wie konntest Du, Veronika!, from oyster poisoning, and was buried at the Protestant Südwestkirchhof in Stahnsdorf.

Filmography

Actor

  • 1919: Der Tod und die Liebe
  • 1919: Erdgift
  • 1921: Pariserinnen
  • 1922: Der Frauenkönig
  • 1922: Erniedrigte und Beleidigte
  • 1923: Die Buddenbrooks
  • 1923/24: Lord Reginalds Derbyritt
  • The Flower Girl of Potsdam Square (1925)
  • The Elegant Bunch (1925)
  • 1926: Die Tragödie eines Verlorenen
  • 1926: Die dritte Eskadron
  • 1926/27: Meine Tante – Deine Tante
  • 1927: Moral
  • 1927: Ein rheinisches Mädchen beim rheinischen Wein
  • 1927: Ein schwerer Fall
  • 1927: Einbruch
  • 1927/28: Aus dem Elternhaus vertrieben
  • The Beaver Coat (1928)
  • Mariett Dances Today (1928)
  • Lotte (1928)
  • Prince or Clown (1928)
  • 1928: Der Ladenprinz
  • 1928: Der Raub der Sabinerinnen
  • 1928: The Crazy Countess
  • 1928: Mary's Big Secret
  • 1929: Polizeispionin 77
  • 1929: Anschluß um Mitternacht
  • 1930: Zwei Krawatten
  • 1930: Einbrecher
  • 1930: Zweimal Hochzeit
  • Rendezvous (1930)
  • 1930: Die zärtlichen Verwandten
  • 1930: Terra-Melophon-Magazin Nr. 1
  • 1930/31: Ihre Majestät die Liebe
  • 1930/31: Flagrant délit
  • 1930/31: Der wahre Jakob
  • 1931: Lügen auf Rügen
  • 1931: Jeder fragt nach Erika
  • The Spanish Fly (1931)
  • 1931: Zu Befehl, Herr Unteroffizier
  • 1931: Gesangverein Sorgenfrei
  • The Firm Gets Married (1931)
  • The Unfaithful Eckehart (1931)
  • 1931: Hurrah - ein Junge!
  • 1931: So 'n Windhund
  • Duty Is Duty (1931)
  • 1931: Keine Feier ohne Meyer
  • A Night in Paradise (1932)
  • 1931/32: Der schönste Mann im Staate
  • The Cheeky Devil (1932)
  • At Your Orders, Sergeant (1932)
  • 1932/33: Die Unschuld vom Lande
  • 1932/33: Meine Frau - seine Frau
  • A Song for You (1933)
  • 1933: Es gibt nur eine Liebe
  • 1933: Es war einmal ein Musikus
  • 1933: Keine Angst vor Liebe
  • 1933/34: Abenteuer im Südexpreß
  • 1933/34: Schön ist es, verliebt zu sein
  • 1933/34: Zigeunerblut
  • 1933/34: Ein Mädel mit Tempo / Es tut sich was um Mitternacht
  • 1934: Da stimmt was nicht
  • 1934: Der Schrecken vom Heidekrug
  • 1934: Meine Frau, die Schützenkönigin
  • 1934: Frau Eva wird mondain!
  • 1934: Seine beste Erfindung
  • 1934: Alte Kameraden
  • 1934/35: Punks kommt aus Amerika
  • 1935: Hilde Petersen postlagernd
  • 1935: Mach’ mich glücklich
  • 1935: Der interessante Fall
  • 1935/36: Soldaten - Kameraden
  • 1935/36: Engel mit kleinen Fehlern
  • 1936: Der geheimnisvolle Mr. X
  • 1936: Der verkannte Lebemann
  • 1936/37: Meine Frau, die Perle
  • 1937: Wenn Du eine Schwiegermutter hast
  • 1937: Husaren, heraus!
  • 1937: Heiratsinstitut Ida & Co
  • 1937: Mädchen für alles
  • 1937/38: The Muzzle (1938)
  • 1937/38: Es leuchten die Sterne
  • 1938: Diskretion - Ehrensache
  • 1938: Tanz auf dem Vulkan (de)
  • 1939: Meine Tante – Deine Tante (also co-scripted)
  • 1939: Das Glück wohnt nebenan
  • 1939: Ehe in Dosen
  • 1939/40: Polterabend
  • 1940: Meine Tochter tut das nicht
  • 1940: Wie konntest Du, Veronika! (also idea)

Direction and scriptwriting

  • 1934: Spiel mit dem Feuer (Director, co-scripted)
  • 1939: Meine Tante – Deine Tante (Co-scripted, also actor)
  • 1949/50: Sie sind nicht mehr (Assistant director)
  • 1957/58: Das gab's nur einmal (Assistant director)

Lyrics and music

  • 1954: Auf der Reeperbahn nachts um halb eins (Lyrics, music)
  • ^

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