Brigitte Helm in 1932
|Born||Brigitte Eva Gisela Schittenhelm
17 March 1906
|Died||11 June 1996
Dr. Hugo von Kuenheim (m. 1935–unknown)
Born Brigitte Eva Gisela Schittenhelm in Berlin, Helm's first role was that of Maria in Metropolis which she began work on while only 18 years old. After Metropolis, Helm made over thirty other films, including talking pictures, before retiring in 1936. Her other appearances include The Love of Jeanne Ney (1927), Alraune (1928), L'Argent (1928), Gloria (1931), The Blue Danube (1932), L'Atlantide (1932), and Gold (1934).
Though having a 10-year contract with UFA expiring in 1935, Helm incurred the wrath of Nazi Germany for "race defilement" in marrying her second husband Dr. Hugo Kunheim, an industrialist of Jewish background. Helm was also involved in several traffic accidents, and was briefly imprisoned. According to Otto Dietrich's book The Hitler I Knew, Adolf Hitler himself saw that manslaughter charges against her from an automobile accident were dropped.
In 1935, she moved to Switzerland where she later had four children with Hugo. After her retirement from films, she refused to grant any interviews concerning her film career. Helm was considered for the title role in Bride of Frankenstein before Elsa Lanchester was given the role.
- Metropolis, d. Fritz Lang (1927)
- At the Edge of the World, (Am Rande der Welt), d. Karl Grune (1927)
- The Love of Jeanne Ney (Die Liebe der Jeanne Ney), d. Georg Wilhelm Pabst (1927)
- Alraune, d. Henrik Galeen (1928) title role
- Secrets of the Orient (Geheimnisse des Orients), d. Alexandre Volkoff (1928)
- The Wonderful Lies of Nina Petrovna (Die wunderbare Lüge der Nina Petrowna), d. Hanns Schwarz (1929)
- Alraune, d. Richard Oswald (1930) title role
- The Singing City (Die singende Stadt), d. Carmine Gallone (1930)
- The Countess of Monte-Christo (Die Gräfin von Monte-Christo), d. Karl Hartl (1932)
- The Marathon Runner (Der Läufer von Marathon), d. Ewald André Dupont (1933)
- Gold, d. Karl Hartl (1934)
- Count Woronzeff (1934)
- An Ideal Husband (Ein idealer Gatte), d. Herbert Selpin (1935)
- p.127 Huff, David Stewart Film in the Third Reich University of California Press
- Obituary: Brigitte Helm - Obituaries - News. The Independent (1996-06-18). Retrieved on 2013-11-02.
- Portrait of the actress Brigitte Helm by Thomas Staedeli. Cyranos.ch. Retrieved on 2013-11-02.
- p.218 Dietrich, Otto The Hitler I Knew Methuen, 1957
- Curtis, pp. 243–44
- Curtis, James (1998). James Whale: A New World of Gods and Monsters. Boston, Faber and Faber. ISBN 0-571-19285-8.
- Semler, Daniel (2008). Brigitte Helm: Der Vamp des deutschen Films. Munich, Belleville. ISBN 3-936298-56-4
- Brigitte Helm at the Internet Movie Database
- Virtual History - Tobacco cards
- German BRIGITTE HELM Homepage
- Obituary at The Independent