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July 27, 1914
Wiener Neustadt, Austria-Hungary
|Died||July 12, 1993
Mount Kisco, New York, United States
|Spouse(s)||Gotfrid Köchert (divorced); Two children
Joseph Besch; two children
Auguste "Gusti" Huber (July 27, 1914 – July 12, 1993) was an Austrian theater and film actress.
Life and career
Huber was born in Wiener Neustadt, Austria in 1914. She received training as an actress from Rudolph Beer who later arranged her stage debut in Zurich. She had her first film role in 1935 in Tanzmusik, followed by Savoy-Hotel 217 (1936). One year later she achieved her career breakthrough in the film adaptation of Unentschuldigte Stunde. Among her better-known films were Der Mann, von dem man spricht (1937), Land der Liebe (1937), Kleiner Mann - ganz gross! (1938), Marguerite (1939), and Jenny und der Herr im Frack (1941), after which she worked for four years at the Viennese Burgtheater and elsewhere onstage.
Around 1946, she and her second husband, Joseph Besch, an officer in the US Army, moved to the United States. Besch boasted that his wife was "the first Austrian actress to be cleared by the American military government". She acted only occasionally thereafter, most notably appearing on Broadway three times (Flight into Egypt, Dial M for Murder as Margot Wendice, and The Diary of Anne Frank).
Her last film role was Das Tagebuch der Anne Frank (The Diary of Anne Frank; 1959), in which she reprised the role of Anne Frank's mother, Edith, which caused controversy in some circles as Huber was rumoured to have been too close to the National Socialists, but Garson Kanin reportedly stood by the casting.
American Heritage wrote of Huber's attempts to distance herself from her wartime past:
In Vienna before the war she [Huber] had refused to work with a Jewish actor and director, and in Germany during the war she had continued to make movies under the Third Reich. ... At the very same time Anne was murdered in Bergen-Belsen, Gusti was busy shooting a screen comedy. ... But Huber was a Broadway star and [the charges against her] never ... gained traction.
Huber had two children, Bibiana Maria (February 1, 1942 – September 7, 1996), known as "Bibi", who became an actress, and Christiana Barbara (August 17, 1939 – August 13, 2004) by her first marriage, to Gotfrid Köchert (March 22, 1918–November 6, 1986), an Austrian racing driver, who served in the Wehrmacht during World War II. Huber's two younger children, Drea and Andrew, were from her second husband, Joseph Besch, an officer in the US Army, who adopted Huber's daughters from her first marriage, and who took his surname. Actress Samantha Mathis, Bibi's daughter, is one of her grandchildren.
Bibi's elder sister, Christiana, who died four days before her 65th birthday in 2004, was married to R.T. MacDonald from 1960 until 1977, when they divorced; the couple had three children.
- Dance Music (1935)
- Savoy Hotel 217 (1936)
- Land of Love (1937)
- Between the Parents (1938)
- The Girl of Last Night (1938)
- The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)
- Thomas Staedeli. "Portrait of the actress Gusti Huber". Cyranos.ch. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
- Ellen Feldman. "The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank: A Novel". Books.google.com. p. 153. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
- Howe, Marvine (July 15, 1993). "Gusti Huber, Stage and Film Star And an Anne Frank Lecturer, 78". The New York Times.
- Profile of Gusti Huber, americanheritage.com; accessed November 3, 2015.
- Pace, Eric (2000-05-24). "R.T. MacDonald, 69 - Led International Herald Tribune". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2016-04-28.