Ida Wüst

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Ida Wüst
Ida Wüst Binder.jpg
Ida Wüst in stage costume, ca. 1920.
Born(1884-10-10)10 October 1884
Died4 October 1958(1958-10-04) (aged 73)
Years active1900–1956
Spouse(s)Bruno Kastner (1918–1924; divorced)

Ida Wüst (10 October 1884 in Frankfurt am Main – 4 October 1958 in Berlin)[1] was a German stage and film actress whose career was prominent in the 1920s and 1930s with Universum Film AG (Ufa).

Life and career[edit]

Little is known about Ida Wüst's early childhood. She discovered early the world of theater, and decided to make it her career. After attending secondary school in Frankfurt am Main, Wüst took acting lessons from Thessa Klinghammer and at the age of 16 received her first engagement at the StadtTheatre of Colmar, and further stage productions in Bromberg, and in 1904 performed extensively in Leipzig. In 1907 she became a member of the ensemble of the Lessing-Theater in Berlin, where she performed roles in Hosenrollen (roles in which women impersonate men in trousers), and comedies and became sought after actress.[2]

She befriended and married actor Bruno Kastner, with whom she began writing screenplays. The couple married in 1918, divorced in 1924, and had no children.[2]

Wüst appeared in the four-silent serial installments of Tragedy of Love and The Countess of Paris in 1923, which also featured a young Marlene Dietrich. Many other silent movies quickly followed and Wüst's film career of the silent era was prolific. She transitioned to the sound era of the talkie with relative ease and appeared in many stage and film production during the 1930s.

World War II brought a slump in Wüst's career. During the war years she played in only several film and theater roles.

Following the war, Wüst's 1946 request for denazification was dismissed because during the Nazi regime, she was accused of denouncing fellow actors such as Eduard von Winterstein. Wüst was known to have corresponded with Adolf Hitler throughout the war years and several of her letters to Hitler are on file at the Princeton University Adolf Hitler Collection.[3] Only in 1949 was Wüst classified as suitable to resume her career.[2] During the 1950s, she made several films, often appearing as sprightly elderly ladies and comedic matronly types. Also, during the 1950s, she again returned to the stage.

During her career, Ida Wüst appeared opposite some of the most notable stars of the German cinema, such as: Heinz Rühmann, Hans Albers, Peter Lorre, Paul Henckels, Käthe Dorsch, Hans Moser, Käthe Haack, Paul Kemp, Theo Lingen and many more.

On 4 October 1958 Ida Wüst died of a stroke, following a severe bout of pneumonia.[4]


As a screenwriter

As an actress

Selected theater performances

  • Kammermusik (Lessing-Theater, Berlin, 1914)
  • Drei arme kleine Mädels (Theater am Nollendorfplatz, Berlin, 1927)
  • Die Männer sind nicht dankbar (Kabarett Simpl, Vienna, Austria, 1940)


  1. ^ FilmReporter.De
  2. ^ a b c Index Stummfilm
  3. ^ Luck Find Gazette[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Heinzl Adolf Meier, Berndt Schulz: Lexicon der deutschen Film-und TV-Stars. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, 2000. ISBN 3-89602-229-6

External links[edit]