Percy Adlon

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Percy Adlon
Paul Rudolf Parsifal Adlon

(1935-06-01) 1 June 1935 (age 87)
Munich, Germany
OccupationDirector, screenwriter, producer
Years active1975–present
Spouse(s)Eleonore Adlon[1]
ChildrenFelix O. Adlon
RelativesGideon Adlon (granddaughter)
Odessa A'zion (granddaughter)

Paul Rudolf Parsifal "Percy" Adlon[2] (German: [ˈpɛɐ̯si ˈaːdlɔn]; born 1 June 1935) is a German director, screenwriter, and producer. He is best known for his film Bagdad Cafe. He is associated with the New German Cinema movement, and is often noted for his strong female characters and positive portrayals of lesbian relationships.[3]

Early life[edit]

Adlon was born in Munich, Germany. He grew up in Ammerland/Starnberger See. He studied art, theater history, and German literature at Munich's Ludwig-Maximilian University; took acting and singing classes; and was a member of the student theater group.


Percy's films are shown and compete regularly at international film festivals, such as the Cannes Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, and others.

He started his professional career as an actor, became interested in radio work, was a narrator and editor of literature series and a presenter and voice-over actor in television for 10 years.

In 1970, he made his first short film for Bavarian television, followed by more than 150 documentary films about art and the human condition. His first one-hour portrait Tomi Ungerer's Landleben started a very successful co-operation with Benigna von Keyserlingk who became Adlon's television producer of documentaries and feature films.

Their first feature film Céleste, drew international attention at Cannes in 1981. Bagdad Cafe (1987) started their co-operation with Dietrich v. Watzdorf (Bayerischer Rundfunk). The story of Jasmin Münchgstettner and the Café owner Brenda was an international hit. Marianne Sägebrecht whom Percy Adlon discovered in 1979 became a cult figure, and he developed songs with Tony, Oscar, and Grammy award nominated Bob Telson on such songs as "Calling You" a classic.

Percy and Eleonore Adlon have won numerous awards, including top honors in Rio de Janeiro for Bagdad Cafe, and in Montreal for Salmonberries, two Césars, the Ernst-Lubitsch-Award, a Norwegian Amanda Award, the Swedish and the Danish Academy awards, the Prix Humanum, Belgium, prizes in Venice, Chicago, Valladolid, Brussels, Tokyo as well as Bavarian and German Federal Film Awards, among others.

Percy Adlon is the recipient of the Officer's Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany, and a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Currently he is working on his new film, Thank You, Thank You. This is the first time that Percy is directing a film he did not write himself.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Percy is the great-grandson of Lorenz Adlon, the founder of the Hotel Adlon. Percy was the grandson of Louis Adlon, Sr., who had five children with his first wife Tilly. After almost 15 years of marriage, he met a hotel guest, the German-American Hedwig Leythen (1889–1967),[5][6][7][8] called Hedda, at a New Year's Eve party in the Hotel Adlon, left his wife and children, and in 1922 he married her. It was one of the biggest scandals of Berlin in the 1920s.[9] Tilly moved with her daughter Elisabeth, then two, to the south of Germany, while the other children Susanne Adlon-Meyerhöfer (mother of Percy), Lorenz, and twins Carl and Louis (junior) were sent to boarding school and later all four emigrated to America.[10]

He grew up in the Bavarian countryside with his mother, Susanne Adlon-Meyerhöfer[11][12] and attributes the strong, often unconventional, women's roles in his films to his being brought up in this manner. His son, Felix, an accomplished director in his own right, is the former husband of American actress Pamela Adlon and the father of her three daughters, including actresses Odessa and Gideon Adlon.

Percy and Eleonore Adlon live in Pacific Palisades, California.[13]

Thomas Meyerhöfer [de] is a half-brother of Percy, 15 years younger and son of Emil Meyerhöfer.[14][15][16][17][18]


Adolf Grimme Awards, Germany 1979

  • Won, Adolf Grimme Award in Gold Fiction/Entertainment for The Guardian and His Poet (1978). Shared With: Rolf Illig (lead actor)

Amanda Awards, Norway 1989

  • Won, Amanda Best Foreign Feature Film (Årets utenlandske spillefilm) for Bagdad Cafe (1987).

Bavarian Film Awards 1988

  • Won, Bavarian Film Award Best Screenplay (Drehbuchpreis) for Bagdad Cafe (1987). Shared With: Eleonore Adlon 1983
  • Won, Bavarian Film Award Best Direction (Regiepreis) for Fünf letzte Tage (1982).

Bavarian TV Awards 1997

  • Won, Bavarian TV Award Directing for The Glamorous World of the Adlon Hotel (1996).

Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film (BIFFF) 1994

  • Won, Silver Raven for Younger and Younger (1993).

Cannes Film Festival 1989

  • Nominated, Palme d'Or for Rosalie Goes Shopping (1989).

Chicago International Film Festival 1984

  • Nominated, Gold Hugo Best Feature for Die Schaukel (1983).
  • Nominated, Gold Hugo Best Feature for Fünf letzte Tage (1982).
  • Nominated, Gold Hugo Best Feature for Céleste (1980).

César Awards, France 1989

  • Won, César Best Foreign Film (Meilleur film étranger) for Bagdad Cafe (1987).
  • Won, César Best Film of the European Community (Meilleur film de l'Europe communautaire) for Bagdad Cafe (1987).

Ernst Lubitsch Award 1988

  • Won, Ernst Lubitsch Award for Bagdad Cafe (1987).

Film Independent Spirit Awards 1989

  • Nominated, Independent Spirit Award Best Foreign Film for Bagdad Cafe (1987).

French Syndicate of Cinema Critics 1989

  • Won, Critics Award Best Foreign Film for Bagdad Cafe (1987). Tied with The Dead.

Guild of German Art House Cinemas 1989

  • Won, Guild Film Award - Gold German Film (Deutscher Film) for Bagdad Cafe (1987).
  • Won, Guild Film Award - Silver

German Film (Deutscher Film) for Céleste (1980).

Manhattan Film Festival 2012

  • Won, Buzz Award for Céleste (1980).

Medias Central European Film Festival 7+1 2011

  • Won, Audience Award Best Picture for Mahler on the Couch (2010). Shared With: Felix O. Adlon

Montréal World Film Festival 1991

  • Won, Grand Prix des Amériques for Salmonberries (1991).

Robert Festival 1989

  • Won, Robert Best Foreign Film (Årets udenlandske spillefilm) for Bagdad Cafe (1987).

Tokyo International Film Festival 1993

  • Nominated, Tokyo Grand Prix for Younger and Younger (1993).

Valladolid International Film Festival 1985

  • Won, Silver Spike for Zuckerbaby (1985).

Venice Film Festival 1982

  • Won, OCIC Award for Fünf letzte Tage (1982).
  • Nominated, Golden Lion for Fünf letzte Tage (1982).[19]


Other work[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Bock, Hans-Michael; Bergfelder, Tim, eds. (2009). The Concise Cinegraph: Encyclopaedia of German Cinema. New York: Berghahn Books. pp. 3–4. ISBN 978-1-57181-655-9.

See also[edit]

  • Lorenz Adlon (1849–1921), German hotelier, grandfather of Percy
  • Hotel Adlon, Berlin, Germany – built by Lorenz Adlon
  • Louis Adlon (1908–1947), German-American film actor in Hollywood, grandson of Lorenz, cousin of Percy
  • Pamela Adlon (born 1966), American actress, daughter-in-law of Percy
  • Hotel Adlon, German film, from book by Louis's father's second wife


  1. ^ Official bio
  2. ^ Hans Günther Pflaum; Hans Helmut Prinzler (1993). Cinema in the Federal Republic of Germany: The New German Film, Origins and Present Situation : with a Section on GDR Cinema : a Handbook. Inter Nationes.
  3. ^ Forde, John (2006). "Percy Adlon". In Gerstner, David A. (ed.). Routledge International Encyclopedia of Queer Culture (1 ed.). Routledge. p. 7. ISBN 9780415306515. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  4. ^ "IMDbPro".
  5. ^ Adlon, Hedda (30 December 1994). Hotel Adlon. Heyne. ISBN 9783453009264 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "Adlon, Hedda [WorldCat Identities]".
  7. ^ "Katalog der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek".
  8. ^ "Hotel Adlon Kempinski".
  9. ^ "Familien-Saga Adlon: Was ist wahr und was ist Erfindung im großen TV-Epos? - TV -". 10 January 2013. Archived from the original on 10 January 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ Stöcker, Martina (9 January 2013). "Berliner Hotel: Die wahre Geschichte des Adlon". RP ONLINE.
  11. ^ "Das Adlon. Eine Familiensaga" – via
  12. ^ "The Glamorous World of the Adlon Hotel" – via
  13. ^ Official bio
  14. ^ Rundfunk, Bayerischer (29 June 2015). "Ein "Ciao" zum Abschied: Thomas Meyerhöfer geht in den Ruhestand -". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  15. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 December 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ Rundfunk, Bayerischer. "Eins zu Eins. Der Talk - Bayern 2 - Download, MP3, Video - Podcast - BR".
  17. ^ Rundfunk, Bayerischer (29 June 2015). "Ein "Ciao" zum Abschied: Thomas Meyerhöfer geht in den Ruhestand -". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  18. ^ "radioWelt: Thomas Meyerhöfer - ModeratorInnen - Bayern 2 - Radio -". 26 January 2012. Archived from the original on 26 January 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  19. ^ "IMDbPro".
  20. ^ "In der glanzvollen Welt des Hotel Adlon - IMDb".

External links[edit]