From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Helene Lilian Muriel Pape was born in 1906 in Hornsey, North London. Her mother, Ethel Marion Laughton, was English and her father, Walter Bruno Pape, was a German businessman. At the beginning of World War I the family found itself in Magdeburg, and as they were unwilling and unable to return to England, Harvey was sent to live with an aunt at Solothurn in Switzerland. After the war, the Papes lived in Berlin, where Lilian took her high-school diploma (Abitur) in 1923. She began her career by attending the dance and voice school of the Berlin State Opera and assumed her grandmother’s maiden name (Harvey) as her professional surname.
After an engagement as a revue dancer in Vienna in 1924, Harvey received her first movie role as the young Jewish girl "Ruth" in the film Der Fluch directed by Robert Land. Subsequently, she starred in many silent films. In 1925, she was cast in her first leading role in the film Leidenschaft by Richard Eichberg, side by side with Otto Gebühr.
Because of her training as a singer, Harvey was able to pursue a successful acting career during the initial talkie era of the early 1930s. Her first movie with Willy Fritsch was the operetta film Die keusche Susanne in 1926. Harvey and Fritsch became the "dream couple" of German movies in the early 1930s with the romantic love story Liebeswalzer; she was called the "sweetest girl in the world" by the press, after a song featured in the film. She and Fritsch starred in a total of 11 movies together, among them the criminal comedy Hokuspokus (1930) after a play by Curt Goetz, directed by Gustav Ucicky, which became a box office success. An English version (The Temporary Widow) was filmed simultaneously, starring Lilian Harvey and Laurence Olivier, who thereby made his film debut. She also appeared in the musical film Die Drei von der Tankstelle of the same year, which also became a major success and gave the young actor Heinz Rühmann his break.
In 1931, Harvey played the leading part in the film Der Kongreß tanzt (The Congress Dances); her song Das gibt’s nur einmal written by Werner R. Heymann became a most popular melody. Her subsequent movies were filmed in English and French versions, so Harvey became known outside of Germany. She was invited to Hollywood and made four movies for the Fox Film Corporation, but these were not as successful as her German films. She eventually abandoned George White’s 1935 Scandals, leading executives to cast Alice Faye in the part, and Faye became an overnight sensation. In 1935, Lilian Harvey returned to Germany.
Emigration from Nazi Germany
As she was still in touch with her Jewish colleagues, Harvey was placed under close observation by the Gestapo. Nevertheless she pushed the career of her protégé, director Paul Martin, performing in his screwball comedy Glückskinder (1936) and further successful movies for the UFA until 1939, such as Sieben Ohrfeigen, the biographical film Fanny Elßler (1937) together with Willy Birgel and Capriccio; as well as Frau am Steuer in 1939.
In June 1937 Harvey had helped the choreographer Jens Keith prosecuted under Paragraph 175 by posting a bail for him. Released from custody, Keith escaped to Paris; this led to a stern interrogation by the Nazi authorities. In 1939, Harvey was forced to leave Germany herself, leaving her real-estate fortune, which was confiscated. She eventually landed in the United States and spent most of WWII in Los Angeles, working as a volunteer nurse. Because she had performed for French troops, the Nazi regime deprived Harvey of her German citizenship in 1943.
After retiring from acting, she retired to her residence in Juan-les-Pins in Vichy France. There, she made two movies in 1940 – Sérénade and Miquette (her last), both directed by Jean Boyer. After the occupation of southern France by Germany, she emigrated to Hollywood again and toured the United States performing in Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit.
After World War II
After the war, Harvey returned to Paris. In the following years, she travelled as a singer through Scandinavia and Egypt. In 1949, she returned to West Germany giving several concerts. From 1953 to 1957, she was married to Danish theatre agent Hartvig Valeur-Larsen.
Lilian Harvey died of liver failure on 27 July 1968 in Juan-les-Pins, aged 62. She was buried at the Robiac Cemetery in Antibes.
1924 – Der Fluch –
1924 – Die Motorbraut – Lee Perry’s Double in Switzerland
1925 – Leidenschaft – Die Liebschaften der Hella von Gilsa
1925 – Der Fluch – Ruth
1925 – Liebe und Trompetenblasen – Komtesse Maria Charlotte
1925 – Die Kleine vom Bummel – Die ‘Kleine’
1926 – Prinzessin Trulala – Prinzessin Trulala
1926 – Die keusche Susanne – Jacqueline
1926 – Vater werden ist nicht schwer – Harriet
1927 – Die tolle Lola – Tänzerin Tilly Schneider aka Lola Cornero
1927 – Eheferien – Hella
1927 – Du sollst nicht stehlen –
1928 – Eine Nacht in London – Aline Morland
1928 – Ihr dunkler Punkt – Lilian von Trucks/Yvette
1929 – Rund um die Liebe –
1929 – Adieu Mascotte – Mascotte
1929 – Wenn Du einmal Dein Herz verschenkst –
1930 – Liebeswalzer [MLV] – Princess Eva
1930 – The Love Waltz [MLV] – Princess Eva
1930 – Hokuspokus [MLV] – Kitty Kellermann
1930 – The Temporary Widow [MLV] – Princess Eva
1930 – Die Drei von der Tankstelle [MLV] – Lilian Cossmann
1930 – Le chemin du paradis [MLV] – Liliane Bourcart
1930 – Einbrecher [MLV] – Reneé
1931 – Princesse! à vos ordres! [MLV] – La princesse Marie-Christine
1931 – Nie wieder Liebe [MLV] – Gladys O’Halloran
1931 – Calais-Douvres [MLV] – Gladys O’Halloran
1931 – Der Kongreß tanzt [MLV] – Christel Weinzinger, Gloves-seller
1931 – Le Congrès s’amuse [MLV] – Christine "Christel" Weizinger
1932 – Zwei Herzen und ein Schlag [MLV] – Jenny
1931 – La fille et le garçon [MLV] – Jenny Berger/Ria bella
1932 – Quick – German [MLV] – Eva
1932 – Quick – French [MLV] – Christine Dawson
1932 – Ein blonder Traum [MLV] – Jou-Jou
1932 – Un rêve blond [MLV] – Joujou
1932 – Happy Ever After [MLV] – Jou-Jou
1933 – Ich und die Kaiserin [MLV] – Juliette
1933 – Moi et l’Impératrice [MLV] – Juliette
1933 – My Lips Betray – Lili Wieler
1933 – My Weakness – Looloo Blake
1933 – I Am Suzanne – Suzanne
1934 – The Only Girl [MLV] – Juliette
1935 – Let’s Live Tonight – Kay Routledge aka Carlotta
1935 – Invitation to the Waltz – Jenny Peachey
1935 – Schwarze Rosen [MLV] – Tania Fedorovna
1935 – Roses noires [MLV] – Tatiana
1935 – Black Roses – Tania Fedorovna
1936 – Glückskinder [MLV] – Ann Garden & Jackson’s Niece
1936 – Les gais lurons [MLV] – Ann Garden
1937 – Sieben Ohrfeigen – Daisy Terbanks – Astor’s Daughter
1937 – Fanny Elßler – Fanny Elßler
1938 – Capriccio – Madelone aka Don Juan
1939 – Castelli in aria [MLV] – Annie Wagner detta ‘Mimì’
1939 – Frau am Steuer – Maria Kelemen
1940 – Sérénade – Margaret Brenton
1940 – Miquette – Miquette Grandier