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Rudolf Klein-Rogge

Rudolf Klein-Rogge

German actor
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro German actor
A.K.A. Friedrich Rudolf Klein-Rogge
Countries Germany
Occupations Actor Film actor
Gender male
Birth 24 November 1885 (Cologne)
Death 29 May 1955 (Wetzelsdorf)
Star sign Sagittarius
Spouse: Mary JohnsonThea von Harbou
The details

Friedrich Rudolf Klein-Rogge (24 November 1885 – 29 May 1955) was a German film actor. Klein-Rogge is known for playing sinister figures in films in the 1920s and 1930s as well as being a main-stay in director Fritz Lang's Weimar-era films. He is probably best known in popular culture, particularly to English-speaking audiences, for playing the archetypal mad scientist role of C. A. Rotwang in Lang's Metropolis and as the criminal genius Doctor Mabuse.


Klein-Rogge was born in Cologne, Germany. He began taking acting lessons while studying art history in Berlin and Bonn. Klein-Rogge made his acting debut in 1909, playing Cassius in Julius Caesar in Halberstadt. Klein-Rogge went on to play in theaters located in Düsseldorf, Kiel and Aachen. In Aachen, Klein-Rogge met actress and screenwriter Thea von Harbou. The two married in 1914. In 1915, Klein-Rogge joined Nuremberg's Städtische Bühnen theatre as both an actor and director.

In 1919, Klein-Rogge began acting in films. He appeared in an uncredited role as the criminal in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. During this time, von Harbou was having an affair with director Fritz Lang and eventually left Klein-Rogge to marry Lang. Despite the split, Klein-Rogge made several films that were written by von Harbou and directed by Lang, including Destiny, Dr. Mabuse the Gambler, Die Nibelungen, Metropolis and Spies. Klein-Rogge's intense look led him to similar roles such as a tyrant in Fritz Wendhausen's Der steinerne Reiter, a pirate in Arthur Robison's Pietro der Korsar, and the Czar in Alexandre Volkoff's Casanova. Klein-Rogge's last film with Lang was The Testament of Dr. Mabuse in 1933.

Klein-Rogge played the lead roles in two films written and directed by von Harbou: Elisabeth und der Narr and Hanneles Himmelfahrt. Klein-Rogge remarried twice, first to Margarete Neff, and lastly with the Swedish actress Mary Johnson in 1932, to whom he remained married until his death in 1955.

Partial filmography

  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
  • Destiny (1921)
  • Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922)
  • The Stone Rider (1923)
  • Warning Shadows (1923)
  • Die Nibelungen (1924)
  • Peter the Pirate (1925)
  • The Pink Diamond (1926)
  • Fadette (1926)
  • Her Husband's Wife (1926)
  • White Slave Traffic (1926)
  • Metropolis (1927)
  • The Loves of Casanova (1927)
  • The Gypsy Baron (1927)
  • Spies (1928)
  • The Most Beautiful Woman in Paris (1928)
  • Volga Volga (1928)
  • Tarakanova (1930)
  • The Shark (1930)
  • The White God (1932)
  • The Judas of Tyrol (1933)
  • The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)
  • Paganini (1934)
  • The Cossack and the Nightingale (1935)
  • The Court Concert (1936)
  • The Hour of Temptation (1936)
  • Der Kaiser von Kalifornien (1936)
  • Truxa (1937)
  • The Divine Jetta (1937)
  • Madame Bovary (1937)
  • Sergeant Berry (1938)
  • Robert Koch (1939)
  • Wibbel the Tailor (1939)
  • Wedding in Barenhof (1942)

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