Willy Fritsch: German actor (1901 - 1973) | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Willy Fritsch
German actor

Willy Fritsch

Willy Fritsch
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro German actor
Was Actor Screenwriter Singer Dancer Actor
From Germany
Field Dancing Film, TV, Stage & Radio Music
Gender male
Birth 27 January 1901, Katowice
Death 13 July 1973, Hamburg (aged 72 years)
Spouse: Dinah Grace
Children: Thomas Fritsch
The details (from wikipedia)


Willy Fritsch (27 January 1901 – 13 July 1973) was a German theater and film actor, a popular leading man and character actor from the silent-film era to the early 1960s.


He was born Wilhelm Egon Fritz Fritsch, the son of a factory owner in Kattowitz (present-day Katowice) in the Prussian province of Silesia. After the bankruptcy of his father in 1912, the family moved to Berlin, where Fritsch sr. worked as an employee of the Siemens-Schuckert company. Young Willy originally planned an apprenticeship as a mechanic, but soon resorted to the occupation as an extra at the Großes Schauspielhaus theatre.

From 1919 he attended Max Reinhardt's drama school at the Deutsches Theater, where he debuted with small roles, and made his feature debut in films as a supporting player in 1921's Miß Venus. In 1925, Fritsch gained international attention by playing the leading character in A Waltz Dream directed by Ludwig Berger. Afterwards he was offered a United Artists contract but refused to move to the United States due to his lack of English language knowledge. At the end of the 1920s, Fritsch was also starring at two action films directed by Fritz Lang, Spies and Woman in the Moon where he played serious characters. However, his break through came as a juvenile lover after being paired with either Käthe von Nagy (i.e. in Billy Wilder's script debut Her Grace Commands, 1931) or Lilian Harvey, when they appeared regularly together in UFA movies like The Three from the Filling Station (1930) or Congress Dances by Erik Charell (1931), released almost every year thereafter until Harvey's emigration in 1939. He mainly starred in the German versions and was often replaced by Henri Garat until his movies were dubbed during the mid-1930s. Fritsch was married to artistic dancer Dinah Grace in 1937 and became a father of two sons. The younger one, Thomas Fritsch, is a successful actor as well.

Though he had joined the NSDAP, Fritsch tried to avoid getting involved in Nazi propaganda (except for his appearance in the 1944 aviator movie Junge Adler, which earned him an entry on Goebbels' Gottbegnadeten list) and managed to survive the Hitler era without any loss of prestige. He continued to appear in movies like Film Without A Name together with Hildegard Knef or Wenn der weiße Flieder wieder blüht (When the White Lilacs Bloom Again) side by side with young Romy Schneider. In 1958, Fritsch starred in the German version of Mit Eva fing die Sünde an, which was later adapted and filled with additional scenes by Francis Ford Coppola for his debut release of The Bellboy And The Playgirls (1962). Fritsch's final film was 1964's I Learned It from Father (Das hab' ich von Papa gelernt) directed by Axel von Ambesser, in which he performed together with his son Thomas.

Fritsch died of a heart attack aged 72 and was buried at Ohlsdorf Cemetery in Hamburg.


As actor

  • Miss Venus (1921)
  • Die kleine Midinette (1921)
  • Gelbstern (1921)
  • Raid (1921)
  • Schande (1922)
  • Die Fahrt ins Glück (1923)
  • His Mysterious Adventure (1923)
  • Guillotine (1924)
  • Mother and Child (1924)
  • Dancing Mad (1925)
  • The Farmer from Texas (1925)
  • Express Train of Love (1925)
  • The Girl with a Patron (1925)
  • A Waltz Dream (1925)
  • The Wooing of Eve (1926)
  • The Prince and the Dancer (1926)
  • Chaste Susanne (1926)
  • The Boxer's Bride (1926)
  • A Sister of Six (1926)
  • His Late Excellency (1927)
  • The Last Waltz (1927)
  • The Woman in the Cupboard (1927)
  • Schuldig (1927)
  • Because I Love You (1928)
  • Docks of Hamburg (1928)
  • Hungarian Rhapsody (1928)
  • Spione (1928)
  • Her Dark Secret (1929)
  • Melody of the Heart (1929)
  • Woman in the Moon (1929)
  • Waltz of Love (1930)
  • Hokuspokus (1930)
  • Burglars (1930)
  • The Three from the Filling Station (1930)
  • Her Grace Commands (1931)
  • Im Geheimdienst (1931)
  • Ronny (1931)
  • Der Kongress tanzt (1931)
  • A Blonde Dream (1932)
  • I by Day, You by Night (1932)
  • The Cheeky Devil (1932)
  • A Mad Idea (1932)
  • Season in Cairo (1933)
  • Des jungen Dessauers große Liebe (1933)
  • Waltz War (1933)
  • Die Insel (1934)
  • Prinzessin Turandot (1934)
  • Die Töchter Ihrer Exzellenz (1934)
  • Black Roses (1935)
  • Amphitryon (1935)
  • Boccacchio (1936)
  • Lucky Kids (1936)
  • Seven Slaps (1937)
  • Men Without a Fatherland (1937)
  • Streit um den Knaben Jo (1937)
  • Gewitterflug zu Claudia (1937)
  • Between the Parents (1938)
  • The Girl of Last Night (1938)
  • By a Silken Thread (1938)
  • A Prussian Love Story (1938)
  • Die Geliebte (1939)
  • Woman at the Wheel (1939)
  • Die unvollkommene Liebe (1940)
  • Das leichte Mädchen (1940)
  • Die keusche Geliebte (1940)
  • Dreimal Hochzeit (1941)
  • Frauen sind doch bessere Diplomaten (1941)
  • Leichte Muse (1941)
  • Vienna Blood (1942)
  • Attack on Baku (1942)
  • Beloved World (1942)
  • Die Gattin (1943)
  • Liebesgeschichten (1943)
  • A Salzburg Comedy (1943)
  • Junge Adler (1944)
  • Die Fledermaus (de) (1944–1946)
  • Film Without a Title (1948)
  • Finale (1948)
  • Hallo - Sie haben Ihre Frau vergessen (1948)
  • 12 Herzen für Charly (1949)
  • Derby (1949)
  • Kätchen für alles (1949)
  • Schatten in der Nacht (1949)
  • Die wunderschöne Galathee (1950)
  • Mädchen mit Beziehungen (1950)
  • King for One Night (1950)
  • You Have to be Beautiful (1951)
  • The Dubarry (1951)
  • Maya of the Seven Veils (1951)
  • The Heath is Green (1951)
  • Mikosch Comes In (1952)
  • Ferien vom Ich (1952)
  • At the Well in Front of the Gate (1952)
  • Von Liebe reden wir später (1953)
  • Damenwahl (1953)
  • When the White Lilacs Bloom Again (1953)
  • Ungarische Rhapsodie (1954)
  • Maxie (1954)
  • Weg in die Vergangenheit (1954)
  • Three Days Confined to Barracks (1955)
  • Der fröhliche Wanderer (1955)
  • Liebe ist nur ein Märchen (1955)
  • Stern von Rio (1955)
  • The Three from the Filling Station (1955)
  • Schwarzwaldmelodie (1956)
  • Wo die alten Wälder rauschen (1956)
  • Das Donkosakenlied (1956)
  • Solange noch die Rosen blüh'n (1956)
  • Der schräge Otto (1956)
  • Two Hearts in May (1958)
  • Mit Eva fing die Sünde an (1958)
  • Schwarzwälder Kirsch (1958)
  • Hubertusjagd (1959)
  • Tunis Top Secret (1959)
  • Sweetheart of the Gods (1960)
  • Was macht Papa denn in Italien? (1961)
  • Der Himmel kann warten (TV, 1962)
  • Jazz und Jux in Heidelberg / Verliebt in Heidelberg (1963)
  • Rauf und runter (TV, 1964)
  • I Learned It from Father (1964)

In Popular media

In Quentin Tarantino's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, Lilian Harvey's duet with Willy Fritsch from the 1936 film "Glückskinder", Ich wollt' ich wär ein Huhn ("I wish I was a chicken") can be heard playing on a phonograph in the basement scene "La Louisiane" as well as in the extended scene "Lunch With Goebbels", as Joseph Goebbels (Sylvester Groth) happily sings a portion of the song after deciding to hold a private screening of the film. After the screening, cinema owner, Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent), under the alias "Emmanuelle Mimieux", comments on liking Lilian Harvey in the film—to which an irritated Goebbels angrily insists her name never be mentioned again in his presence. The song as performed by the Comedian Harmonists remains popular in Germany to date.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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