Anny Ondra

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Anny Ondra
Bundesarchiv Bild 102-14813, Brautpaar Max Schmeling und Anny Ondra.jpg
Wedding of Max Schmeling and Anny Ondra (1933)
Born Anna Sophie Ondráková
(1903-05-15)May 15, 1903
Tarnów, Galicia, Austria–Hungary (now Poland)
Died February 28, 1987(1987-02-28) (aged 83)
Hollenstedt, Germany
Nationality Czech
Years active 1919–1951
Spouse(s) Carl Lamac (divorced)
Max Schmeling (1933–1987)

Anny Ondra (May 15, 1903 – February 28, 1987) was a Czech film actress whose second husband was German boxing great Max Schmeling. She was born Anna Sophie Ondráková in Tarnów, Galicia, Austria–Hungary, now Poland, and died in Hollenstedt near Harburg, Germany.


The daughter of an Austro-Hungarian officer, Ondra spent her childhood in Prague. She acted in Czech, Austrian, and German comedies in the 1920s; and in some British dramas, most notably Alfred Hitchcock's The Manxman and Blackmail (both 1929).

However, when Blackmail was remade with sound, Ondra's thick accent was considered unacceptable, so her dialogue was recorded by actress Joan Barry. Ondra made some 40 more films in the sound era before retiring in the late 1930s.

Ondra's career in the UK was hurt by the introduction of talking pictures. She returned to Germany and retired from films after making a few additional movies and marrying boxer Max Schmeling in 1933. However, an amusing test film has survived of Hitchcock "interviewing" Ondra, in which the director teases the actress and asks her some personal questions.

Ondra formed a production company, Ondra-Lamac-Films, with her first husband, director Karel Lamač.[1] Lamac directed her in several silent films, acted with her in films directed by other filmmakers, and continued to work together after their divorce.[2]

On July 6, 1933, Ondra married German boxer Max Schmeling, with whom she appeared in the film Knock-out (1935). Their marriage was a happy one, although childless. (Ondra reportedly had a miscarriage after a car accident.) They were married until her death in 1987.

Ondra was portrayed by Britt Ekland in the television movie Ring of Passion (1978), wherein the character was named "Amy Ondra Schmeling". She was also portrayed by Peta Wilson in the historical boxing docudrama Joe and Max. (2002).[3]

Ondra was buried in the Saint Andreas Friedhof cemetery in Hollenstedt, Germany. Her husband Schmeling died in 2005 and was buried next to her.[4]

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1920 Gilly zum ersten Mal in Prag (Gilly poprvé v Praze)
1922 Zigeunerliebe
1922 Führe uns nicht in Versuchung
1926 Trude, die Sechzehnjährige
1926 Die Pratermizzi
1928 Evas Töchter - Das Paradies von heute
1928 Der erste Kuß
1929 Der Mann von der Insel Man (The Manxman) Kate Cregeen
1929 Blackmail Alice White
1929 Glorious Youth Eileen
1929 The Girl with the Whip Anny Nebenkrug
1929 Sündig und süß
1930 The Caviar Princess
1930 The Great Longing
1930 Die vom Rummelplatz
1930 Eine Freundin, so goldig wie Du
1932 Kiki
1932 Mamsell Nitouche Mamsell Nitouche
1933 Fräulein Hoffmanns Erzählungen
1933 Das verliebte Hotel
1934 Polenblut (i.e. Polish Blood) Helena Zaremba together with Hans Moser and Iván Petrovich
1934 Klein Dorrit
1935 Knock-out Marianne Plümke together with her husband Max Schmeling
1935 Großreinemachen
1935 Der junge Graf
1936 Donogoo Tonka
1936 Flitterwochen
1937 Vor Liebe wird gewarnt
1937 Der Unwiderstehliche Claudette Renier together with Hans Söhnker
1938 Narren im Schnee
1941 Der Gasmann Erika Knittel together with Heinz Rühmann
1942 Himmel, wir erben ein Schloß
1951 Schön muß man sein
1957 The Zurich Engagement



  1. ^ Canning, Mike (December 2008). "At The Movies: Holiday Season Brings a New Spate of Dramas". Hill Rag. 
  2. ^ "Funny Ladies 1". La Cineteca del Friuli. 2002. 
  3. ^ Anny Ondra at the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ "Boxing legend Max Schmeling dies at 99". USA Today (Berlin: The Associated Press). February 4, 2005. 

External links[edit]