DAGOVER, Lil






Nationality: Dutch. Born: Marie Antonia Siegelinde Marta Liletts in Madiven, Java (now Djawa), 30 September 1897 (or 1894). Education: Boarding schools in Baden-Baden and Weimar, Germany, Lausanne and Geneva, Switzerland. Family: Married 1) the actor Fritz Daghofer, 1917 (divorced 1919), daughter: Eva Marie; 2) the producer George Witt, 1936. Career: 1919—film debut in Fritz Lang's Harakiri ; 1925—stage debut under the direction of Max Reinhardt in Salzburg; 1926–27—appeared in a few Swedish films; 1927—visited Hollywood; 1928–29—appeared in several French films; 1932—in only U.S. film, The Woman from Monte Carlo ; 1940s-1979—acted occasionally on stage and television, and in films. Awards: State Actress, Germany, 1937; Bundesfilmpreis, 1962; Cross of Merit, Federal Republic of Germany, 1967. Died: In Munich, 23 January 1980.


Films as Actress:

1919

Harakiri (Lang) (as Butterfly); Die Spinnen, Part 1: Der goldene See ( The Spiders, Part 1: The Golden Lake ) (Lang)

1920

Das Kabinett des Dr. Caligari ( The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari ) (Wiene) (as Jane); Die Spinnen, Part 2: Das Brillantenschiff ( The Spiders, Part 2: The Diamond Ship ) (Lang); Das Blut der Ahnen (Gerhardt); Die Jagd nach dem Tode (Gerhardt); Das Geheimnis von Bombay (Holz); Spiritismus (Zelnik); Die Toteninsel (Froelich)

1921

Der müde Tod ( Destiny ; Between Two Worlds ; Beyond the Wall ) (Lang); Der Richter von Zalamea (Berger); Das Medium (Rosenfeld)

1922

Phantom (Murnau); Luise Millerin ( Kabale und Liebe ) (Froelich) (title role); Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler ( Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler ) (Lang); Tiefland (Licho); Macht der Versuchung (Stein)

1923

Seine Frau, die Unbekannte ( Wilbur Crawfords wundersames Abenteuer ) (Christensen); Liebe macht Blind ( Love Makes Us Blind ) (Mendes); Die Prinzessin Sawarin (Guter)

1924

Komödie des Herzens (Gliese)

1925

Tartüff ( Tartuffe ) (Murnau) (as Elmira); Zur Chronik von Grieshuus ( Chronicles of the Grey House ; At the Grey House ) (von Gerlach); Die Doppelgängerin ; Der Demütiger und die Sängerin (Dupont)

1926

Der geheime Kurier ( Red and the Black ) (Righelli); Die Brüder Schellenberg ( The Two Brothers ) (Grüne); Der Veilchenfresser (Zelnik); Hans engelska frau ( His English Wife ; Discord ) (Molander)

1927

Bara en danserska ( Only a Dancing Girl ) (Morel); Der Anwalt des Herzens (Thiele); Ein moderner Don Juan ; Orient-Express (Thiele)

1928

Der Ungarische Rhapsodie ( Hungarian Rhapsody ) (Schwarz); Monte Cristo (Fescourt); Le Tourbillon de Paris (Duvivier)

1929

La Grande Passion ( The Grand Passion ) (Hugon); Der Günstling von Schönbrunn (Waschneck); Spielereien einer Kaiserin (Strijewski); Die Ehe (Frowein); Es flüstert die Nacht ( Hungarian Nights ) (Janson); Melodie des Herzens ( Melody of the Heart ) (Schwarz); Der weisse Teufel ( The White Devil ) (Volkoff)

1930

Der grosse Sehnsucht (Szekely); Das alte Lied ( Zu jedem kommt einmal die Liebe ) (Waschneck); Boykott ( Primanerehe ) (Land); Es gibt eine Frau, die Dich niemals vergisst (Mittler); Va bangue (Waschneck)

1931

Der Fall des Generalstabsoberst Redl ( The Case of Colonel Redl ) (Anton); Elisabeth von Osterreich ( Elizabeth of Austria ) (Trotz); Der Kongress tanzt ( The Congress Dances ) (Charell)

1932

The Woman from Monte Carlo (Curtiz); Die letzte Illusion (Waschneck); Das Schicksal einer schönen Frau (Conrad Wiene) (as Madame Blaubart)

1933

Johannisnacht (Reiber); Die Tänzerin von Sanssouci ( Barberina, die Tänzerin von Sanssouci ; The King's Dancer ) (Zelnik); Der Storch hat uns getraut ( Married by the Stork ); Das Abenteuer der Thea Roland ( Das Abenteuer einer schönen Frau ) (Kösterlitz)

1934

Ich heirate meine Frau (Riemann); Einer Frau, die weiss, was sie will (Janson); Der Flüchtling aus Chicago ( The Fugitive from Chicago ) (Meyer)

1935

Der höhere Befehl (Lamprecht); Der Vogelhändler (Emo); Lady Windermeres Fächer ( Lady Windermere's Fan ) (Hilpert)

1936

Schlussakkord ( Final Accord ) (Sierck, i.e., Sirk); Fridericus (Meyer); August der Starke (Wegener); Das Mädchen Irene (Schünzel)

1937

Streit um den Knaben Jo ( Strife over the Boy Jo ) (Waschneck); Das Schönheit-spflästerchen ( The Beauty Shop ) (Hansen); Die Kreutzersonate ( The Kreutzer Sonata ) (Harlan)

1938

Dreiklang (Hinrich); Maja zwischen zwei Ehen (Kirchhoff); Rätsel um Beate (Meyer)

1939

Umwege zum Glück (Buch)

1940

Friedrich Schiller ( Der Triumph eines Genies ) (Maisch); Bismarck (Liebeneiner)

1942

Wien 1910 (Emo); Kleine Residenz (Zerlett)

1944

Musik in Salzburg (Maisch)

1948

Die Söhne des Herrn Gaspary (Meyer)

1949

Man spielt nicht mit der Liebe (Deppe)

1950

Das Geheimnis von Bergsee ; Es kommt ein Tag ( A Day Will Come ) (Jugert); Vorn Teufel gejagt (Tourjansky)

1953

Rote Rosen, rote Lippen, roter Wein (Martin); Königliche Hoheit (Braun)

1955

Schloss Hubertus: Der Fischer von Heiligensee ( The Big Barrier ) (Weiss); Die Barrings (Thiele); Ich wiess, wofür ich lebe (Verhoeven); Rosen im Herbst ( Effi Briest ) (Jugert); Meine 16 Söhne (Domnick)

1956

Kronprinz Rudolfs letzte Liebe (Jugert); Verwegene Musikanten (Domnick)

1957

Unter Palmen am blauen Meer (Deppe); Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull ( The Confessions of Felix Krull ) (Hoffmann)

1959

Buddenbrooks (Weidenmann—for TV)

1961

Die seltsame Gräfin (von Baky)

1974

Karl May (Syberberg); Der Fussgänger ( The Pedestrian ) (Schell)

1975

Der Richter und sein Henker ( End of the Game ; Deception ; Murder on the Bridge ; The Judge and His Hangman ) (Schell)

1977

Die Standarte ( Battle Flag ) (Runze)

1979

Geschichten aus den Wienerwald ( Tales from the Vienna Woods ) (Schell)



Publications


By DAGOVER: book—


Ich war die Dame , Rastatt, West Germany, 1980.


By DAGOVER: article—

Interview with John Kobal, in Films and Filming (London), September 1983.

On DAGOVER: book—

Romani, Cinzia, Le dive del Terzo Reich , Rome, 1981.

On DAGOVER: article—

Obituary, in Variety (New York), 30 January 1980.

Obituary, in Classic Images (Muscatine), March 1980.

The Annual Obituary 1980 , New York, 1981.

Roberts, John, "Lil Dagover," in Classic Images (Muscatine), October 1995.


* * *


Lil Dagover's dark beauty, heavily outlined by makeup, featured prominently during the so-called golden age of the German silent cinema after World War I. The daughter of a Dutchman working in Java, she was educated in Germany and was introduced to films after marrying, at age 20, the well-established actor Fritz Daghofer, a man more than twice her age whom she divorced in 1919, before starring in the celebrated German expressionist film, Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari . In this film, her jet-black hair, parted in the middle and flattened to the shape of her head, her long, white face, and her huge, expressive eyes all served to create the archetypical, victimized heroine of the expressionist melodramas of the early 1920s.

Dagover was most often employed by Fritz Lang at this stage in her career (she had appeared in his Harakiri just before Caligari ): for Lang she went on to repeat the same, semi-idealized, artificial feminine image in a succession of stylized films, Die Spinnen , Der müde Tod , and Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler . After these films, among a wide range of parts in German, Swedish, and French films, she appeared in two outstanding productions of the German cinema of the mid-1920s: Murnau's Tartuffe (with Emil Jannings) and Arthur von Gerlach's Zur Chronik von Grieshuus .

Lil Dagover survived professionally both the coming of sound and the period of the Third Reich, appearing mostly in costume, period films such as The Congress Dances , Lady Windermere's Fan , Fridericus , Friedrich Schiller , and Bismarck and, after World War II, in The Confessions of Felix Krull and Buddenbrooks . Her career in film lasted over half a century from 1919 to 1979, during which she appeared in only one American film, The Woman from Monte Carlo .

—Roger Manvell

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