Renate Müller

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Renate Müller
Renate Müller-Signature.JPG
photographed in 1935
Born(1906-04-26)26 April 1906
Died7 October 1937(1937-10-07) (aged 31)
Other namesRenate Muller
OccupationActress
Years active1929–1937

Renate Müller (26 April 1906 – 7 October 1937) was a German singer and actress in both silent films and sound films, as well as on stage.

One of the most successful actresses in German films from the early 1930s, she was courted by the Nazi Party to appear in films that promoted their ideals, but refused. Her sudden death at the age of 31 was initially attributed to epilepsy, but after the end of World War II, witnesses suggested that she had been murdered by Gestapo officers, although another theory contends that she committed suicide. The true circumstances of her death remain unknown.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Munich, Germany, Müller entered films in the late 1920s in Berlin and quickly became popular. A blue-eyed blonde, she was considered to be one of the great beauties of her day and, along with Marlene Dietrich, was seen to embody fashionable Berlin society. She starred in more than twenty German films, including Viktor und Viktoria (1933), one of her biggest successes, which was remade decades later as Victor Victoria with Julie Andrews. After making Sunshine Susie (1932) in England, she returned to Germany and was delayed by anti-German French officials for a short time in Paris. The incident was used by Dennis Wheatley as a basis for his short story, "Espionage". The story and a short discussion of the incident are included in Wheatley's short story collection Mediterranean Nights.

With the rise of the Nazi Party, Müller came to be regarded as an ideal Aryan woman and particularly in light of Dietrich's move to Hollywood, was courted and promoted as Germany's leading film actress.

In December 1934, she collected for the Winterhilfswerk in Berlin.

Death[edit]

When Müller died suddenly, the German press stated the cause as epilepsy. However, it was later revealed that she had died as a result of a fall from a hotel (or hospital) window. According to Channel 4 documentary "Sex and the Swastika", aired in February 2009, she jumped from a Berlin hospital window where she was being treated for a knee injury or drug addiction.

Officially described as a suicide, it was theorised that she took her own life when her relationship with Nazi leaders deteriorated after she showed unwillingness to appear in propaganda films. She was also known to have been pressured to end a relationship with her Jewish lover, but had refused. Near the end of her life, she became addicted to morphine and abused alcohol. Witnesses also recalled seeing several Gestapo officers entering her building shortly before she died. It has been asserted she was either murdered by Gestapo officers who threw her from a window, or that she panicked when she saw them arrive and jumped.[citation needed] The true circumstances surrounding her death remain unclear.[1]

According to Uwe Klöckner-Draga in his book "Renate Müller - Ihr Leben ein Drahtseilakt" : on April 3, Goebbels wrote in his diary: “Renate tells me her tale of woe. She is a sick woman”. On the 6th, he mentioned that she had been interrogated in a very dishonourable way, and on the 25th of June: “Renate Müller! I help her.” At the end of September – according to her sister Gabriele – Renate was drunk and sitting on a window sill when she lost her balance.[2]

Müller's life and death were portrayed in the 1960 film Sweetheart of the Gods.

Filmography[edit]

List of film credits
Year Title Role Language Notes
1929 Peter the Mariner Victoria Silent Alternative title: Peter der Matrose
Dear Homeland Gretchen Jürgen Silent Alternative titles: Teure Heimat, Drei machen ihr Glück
Revolt in the Reformatory Hausvaters Tochter Silent Alternative titles: Revolte im Erziehungshaus
1930 Love in the Ring Hilde, the Fish Peddler's Daughter German Alternative titles: Liebe im Ring, The Comeback
The Son of the White Mountain Mary Dulac German Alternative title: Der Sohn der weißen Berge
Darling of the Gods Agathe German Alternative titles: Darling of the Gods, Der Große Tenor
The Flute Concert of Sanssouci Blanche von Lindeneck German Alternative title: Flötenkonzert von Sans-souci
1931 The Private Secretary Vilma Förster German Alternative titles: Die Privatsekretärin
Liebeslied [it] Maria Körner German
Storm in a Water Glass Victoria Thoss German Alternative titles: Sturm im Wasserglas, Die Blumenfrau von Lindenau
The Little Escapade Erika Heller German Alternative title: Der kleine Seitensprung
Sunshine Susie Susie Surster English Alternative title: The Office Girl
1932 Marry Me Ann Linden English
Girls to Marry Gerda Arnhold German Alternative title: Mädchen zum Heiraten
How Shall I Tell My Husband? Charlotte Oltendorf German Alternative title: Wie sag' ich's meinem Mann?
When Love Sets the Fashion Nelly German Alternative title: Wenn die Liebe Mode macht
1933 Season in Cairo Stefanie von Weidling-Weidling German Alternative title: Saison in Kairo
Idylle au Caire Stéphy French
Waltz War Katti Lanner German Alternative titles: Walzerkrieg, Waltz Time in Vienna, The Battle of the Walzes
Victor and Victoria Susanne Lohr German Alternative title: Viktor und Viktoria
1934 The English Marriage Gerte Winter German Alternative title: Die englische Heirat
1935 The Private Life of Louis XIV Liselotte von der Pfalz German Alternative titles: Liselotte von der Pfalz, Liselotte of the Palatinate
Liebesleute Dorothea Rainer German Alternative titles: Hermann und Dorothea von Heute, A Pair of Lovers
1936 Tomfoolery Viola German Alternative titles: Allotria
Escapade Madame Hélène German Alternative titles: Geheimagentin Helene, His Official Wife, Spione in St. Petersburg
1937 Togger Hanna Breitenbach German

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wollstein, Hans J. "Renate Müller". Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  2. ^ Original in German, Goebbels: "Renate Müller erzählt mir ihre Leidengeschichte. Sie ist eine kranke Frau." / "...Renate Müller, die auf das Entehrendste vernommen wurde" / "Renate Müller! Ich helfe ihr."
  • Uwe Klöckner-Draga: Renate Müller, Ihr Leben ein Drahtseilakt - "Ein deutscher Filmstar, der keinen Juden lieben durfte". Kern, 2006, ISBN 978-3-939478-01-0

External links[edit]