November 24, 1885|
|Died||May 29, 1955
|Spouse(s)||Thea von Harbou (1914–1920)
Mary Johnson (1932-1955)
Friedrich Rudolf Klein-Rogge (November 24, 1885 – May 29, 1955) was a German film actor. Klein-Rogge is known for playing sinister figures in films in the 1920s and 1930s as well as being a main-stay in director Fritz Lang's Weimar-era films. He is probably best known in popular culture, particularly to English-speaking audiences, for playing the archetypal mad scientist role of C.A. Rotwang in Fritz Lang's Metropolis.
Klein-Rogge was born in Cologne, Germany. He began taking acting lessons while studying art history in Berlin and Bonn. Klein-Rogge made his acting debut at in 1909, playing Cassius in Julius Caesar in Halberstadt. Klein-Rogge went on to play in theaters located in Düsseldorf, Kiel and Aachen. In Aachen, Klein-Rogge met actress and screenwriter Thea von Harbou. The two married in 1914. In 1915, Klein-Rogge joined Nuremberg's Städtische Bühnen theatre as both an actor and director.
In 1919, Klein-Rogge began acting in films. He appeared in an uncredited role as the criminal in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. During this time, von Harbou was having affairs with director Fritz Lang and eventually left Klein-Rogge to marry Lang. Despite the split, Klein-Rogge made several films that were written by von Harbou and directed by Lang, including Destiny, Dr. Mabuse the Gambler, Die Nibelungen, Metropolis and Spies. Klein-Rogge's intense look lead him to similar roles such as a tyrant in Fritz Wendhausen's Der steinerne Reiter, a pirate in Arthur Robison's Pietro der Korsar, and the Czar in Alexandre Volkoff's Casanova. Klein-Rogge's last film with Lang was The Testament of Dr. Mabuse in 1933.
Klein-Rogge played the lead roles in two films directed by von Harbou: Elisabeth und der Narr and Hanneles Himmelfahrt. Klein-Rogge re-married twice. First with Margarete Neff and secondly with the Swedish actress Mary Johnson.
- The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
- Destiny (1921)
- Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922)
- Warning Shadows (1923)
- Die Nibelungen (1924)
- Peter the Pirate (1925)
- The Pink Diamond (1926)
- White Slave Traffic (1926)
- Metropolis (1927)
- Spies (1928)
- Tarakanova (1930)
- The White God (1932)
- The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)
- Bock, Hans-Michael (2009). The Concise Cinegraph: Encyclopaedia of German Cinema. Berghahn Books. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
- Eisner, Lotte H. (2008). The Haunted Screen: Expressionism in the German Cinema and the Influence of Max Reinhardt. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-25790-1. Retrieved 16 February 2010.