Käthe von Nagy
Käthe von Nagy
Watercolor postcard of Käthe von Nagy from 1934
Ekaterina Nagy von Cziser
April 4, 1904
|Died||December 20, 1973 (aged 69)|
|Other names||Kathy von Nagy, Käthe de Nagy, Kate de Nagy, Nagy Kató|
|Occupation||Actress, model, dancer, and singer|
Ekaterina Nagy von Cziser, better known by her stage name Käthe von Nagy (4 April 1904 – 20 December 1973), was a Hungarian actress, model, dancer, and singer who worked in the German and French cinema.
Early life and education
When she wanted to get married at age 16, her parents did not approve, and placed her in the Santa Chrisitana Convent near Vienna to prevent this early marriage. After 18 months in the convent, she went to high school in Vienna, and then finally to boarding school. During this period, she took riding and fencing lessons.
As a young adult, Nagy's dream was to become an author, also unusual for a woman of her time. She went to Budapest, where she wrote a few short articles that were eventually published in a magazine. Shortly after this, she decided to pursue her interest in acting and enrolled in the acting school of Béla Gáal, near Budapest. There she learned acting, dancing, and singing. Her parents were unhappy about her change of career and frequent moves. To satisfy her parents (especially her father), she returned and worked with him in his bank for a period of time, while secretly writing novels.
In 1926, Nagy moved to Berlin to pursue a career in the film industry, but as she was then unknown, she took a position as correspondent for the Hungarian newspaper Pesti Hírlap to earn a living. After numerous futile applications in the city, Hungarian film director Alexander Korda got her a role as an actress in the 1927 comedy film Männer vor der Ehe, opposite her future husband, Constantin J. David. Soon after that she starred in the successful Wien, du Stadt meiner Träume ("Vienna, City of My Dreams"), which made her known as the "up-and-coming young actress of the European cinema". She later appeared in many leading roles and became famous for her countless postcards, which also benefitted her modeling career. In 1930s, she starred in Le Capitaine Craddock, which made her notable in France, where she would later make half her movies. From 1937 onwards she was mainly in French-speaking roles, but also appeared in Italian and Austrian film productions. Her last film was the German film The Forester's Daughter in 1952, alongside Johanna Matz.
During the Second World War, Nagy virtually retired from the acting industry, appearing in only one movie, Mahlia la métisse. Because of her notability due to her famous and hugely popular postcards, she was, in 1940, reportedly approached by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, who asked her to be the face and body for sex dolls provided to German soldiers as a way to combat syphilis at the front, but she refused. This story has come to be considered a hoax, due to the lack of reliable sources backing it up.
Nagy's first marriage was to film director Constantin J. David, in 1927, the same year they met. Her second marriage was to Jacques Fattini; little is known about their relationship and marriage. She died of cancer in 1973, in Ojai, California, aged 69.
|1927||Männer vor der Ehe||The young girl||Silent film|
|Der Anwalt des Herzens (Attorney for the Heart)||Silent film|
|Le bateau de verre (The Glass Boat)||Anni||Silent film|
|Gustav Mond ... Du gehst so stille (You Walk So Softly)||Frieda Krause||Silent film|
|1928||Die Sandgräfin||Silent film|
|Die Durchgängerin (The Runaway Girl)||Ilsebill Thoms||Silent film|
|Wien, du Stadt meiner Träume (Vienna, City of My Dreams)||Countess Mizzi Lichtenau||Silent film|
|Die Republik der Backfische (The Republic of Flappers)||Billie van Santen||Silent film|
|1929||Der Weg durch die Nacht||Silent film|
|Rotaie (Rails)||The young girl||Silent film / Italian-language film|
|Mascottchen (Mascots)||Margot||Silent film|
|Aufruhr im Junggesellenheim (Revolt in the Batchelor's House)||Käthe||Silent film|
|Die kleine Veronika||Veronika Weber||Silent film|
|1930||Les Saltimbanques / Gaukler||Suzanne Daniela||German- and French-language film|
|Der Andere (The Other)||Amalie Frieben||German-language film|
|1931||Ihre Majestät die Liebe (Her Majesty the Barmaid)||Lia Török||German-language film|
|Ihre Hoheit befiehlt (Her Grace Commands)||Princess Marie-Christine||German-language film|
|Meine Frau, die Hochstaplerin (My Wife, the Impostor)||Jutta Bergmann||German-language film|
|Le Capitaine Craddock (Captain Craddock)||Queen Yola||French-language film|
|1932||Der Sieger (The Victor)||Helene||German-language film|
|Le Vainqueur||Helene||French-language film|
|Das schöne Abenteuer (The Beautiful Adventure)||Hélène de Trevillac||German-language film|
|La Belle Aventure (The Beautiful Adventure)||Hélène de Trevillac||French-language film|
|Ich bei Tag und Du bei Nacht (I by Day, You by Night)||Grete||German-language film|
|À moi le jour, à toi la nuit||Juliette||French-language film|
|1933||Flüchtlinge||Kristja Laudy||German-language film|
|1934||Au bout du monde||Christine Laudy||French-language film|
|Einmal eine große Dame sein (Just Once a Great Lady)||Kitty Holm||German-language film|
|Un jour viendra (A Day Will Come)||Kitty||French-language film|
|Die Freundin eines großen Mannes||Marga Köhler||German-language film|
|Die Töchter ihrer Exzellenz||Gerti von Petrin||German-language film|
|La Jeune Fille d'une nuit||Betty||French-language film|
|Der junge Baron Neuhaus (The Young Baron Neuhaus)||Christl Palm||German-language film|
|Nuit de mai (Night in May)||Christel Palm||French-language film|
|Liebe, Tod und Teufel (Love, Death and the Devil)||Kokua||German-language film|
|Prinzessin Turandot (Princess Turandot)||Turandot||German-language film|
|1935||Turandot, princesse de Chine (Turandot, Princess of China)||Turandot||French-language film|
|La Route impériale||Joyce Stark||French-language film|
|Le Diable en bouteille (The Devil in the Bottle)||Kolua||French-language film|
|Die Pompadour||Madame de Pompadour||German-language film|
|1936||Ave Maria||Claudette||German-language film|
|1937||Cargaison blanche (White Cargo)||Marion Baker||French-language film|
|La Bataille silencieuse||Draguicha||French-language film|
|1938||Nuits de princes||Hélène||French-language film|
|Die unruhigen Mädchen||Trixi||German-language film|
|Am seidenen Faden (By a Silken Thread)||Lissy Eickhoff||German-language film|
|Unsere kleine Frau||Dodo||German-language film|
|Mia moglie si diverte||Dodo||Italian-language film|
|Accord final||Hélène Vernier||French-language film|
|1939||Salonwagen E 417||Baroness Ursula von Angerfeld||German-language film|
|Renate im Quartett (Renate in the Quartet)||Renate Schmidt||German-language film|
|1943||Mahlia la métisse (Mahlia the Mestiza)||Mahlia||French-language film|
|1948||Cargaison clandestine (Secret Cargo)||Luisa Helm||French-language film|
|1952||Die Försterchristl (The Forester's Daughter)||Countess Josefine||German-language film|
- "Portrait of the Actress Käthe von Nagy", cyranos.ch; retrieved 30 May 2014.
- "Postcard Friendship Friday – Käthe von Nagy". Film Star Postcards. Retrieved 2014-30-05.
- "Hitler Gave Nazi Soldiers Blow Up Sex Dolls To Combat Syphilis: Book". Huffington Post. 12 July 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Ferguson, Anthony (26 July 2010). The Sex Doll: A History (1st ed.). McFarland. pp. 24–27. ISBN 978-0786447947. Retrieved 9 February 2015.