||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the German Wikipedia. (December 2009)|
Tilla Durieux, 1905
18 August 1880
|Died||21 February 1971
West Berlin, Germany
|Spouse(s)||Eugene Spiro (1904–1906)
Paul Cassirer (1910–1926)
Ludwig Katzenellenbogen (1930–1944)
Born Ottilie Godeffroy, the daughter of the Austrian chemist Richard Godeffroy (1847–1895), she trained as an actress in Vienna, her native town, and gave her debut at the Moravian Theatre in Olmütz (Olomouc) in 1901/02. The next season she got an engagement in Breslau (Wrocław). From 1903 she worked with Max Reinhardt at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin and with a group of expressionist artists around Kurt Hiller and Jakob van Hoddis. In 1911 she entered the stage of the Lessing Theater and from 1915 performed at the Royal Schauspielhaus Berlin.
In 1904, Durieux married the Berlin Secession painter Eugen Spiro, and after their divorce, she remarried in 1910 the successful art dealer and editor Paul Cassirer, who committed suicide in a room next to the court room that pronounced their divorce. Durieux remarried soon afterwards general director Ludwig Katzenellenbogen. In 1927 they were the main financiers of the Neues Schauspielhaus project by Erwin Piscator. Durieux was a public character of 1920s Berlin and associated with numerous celebrities like the famous photographer Frieda Riess.
In 1933 Durieux and her husband left Germany for Switzerland to escape Nazi rule. She continued to perform at the Vienna Theater in der Josefstadt and in Prague. In 1937 she moved to Zagreb, Croatia (then in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) where she became a member of the International Red Aid. Durieux unsuccessfully tried to obtain visa for the United States; in 1941 Ludwig Katzenellenbogen was arrested by Gestapo agents in Thessaloniki and deported to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where he was killed in 1944.
- Media related to Tilla Durieux at Wikimedia Commons
- Tilla Durieux at the Internet Movie Database
- KGFOYVIVTilla Durieux and her Art Collection
- Portrait of Tilla Durieux painted by Renoir: Metropolitan Museum of Art