Saturday, October 14, 2017

Hildegard Knef

Hildegard Frieda Albertine Knef (1925 –2002) was a German actress, singer and writer. She was billed in some English language films as Hildegard Neff or Hildegarde Neff.
Knef began studying acting at the age of 14, in 1940 and at 15 became an apprentice animator with Universum Film AG. After she had a successful screen test, she went to the State Film School at Babelsberg, Berlin, where she studied acting, ballet and elocution. Hitler's propaganda minister Josef Goebbels wrote to her and asked to meet her, but Knef's friends wanted her to stay away from him.
Knef appeared in several films before the fall of the Third Reich, but most were released only afterward. During the Battle of Berlin, Knef dressed as a soldier in order to stay with her lover Ewald von Demandowsky, and joined him in the defence of Schmargendorf. The Soviets captured her and sent her to a prison camp.
Her reputation in the U.S. was hurt because of her nude scenes in the German film Die Sünderin (1950) and because at the age of 19 she fell in love with a Nazi.
During her career, she performed in over 50 films. Nineteen of her films were produced in different countries other than Germany; the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Austria and Spain.
Knef died in Berlin where she moved after German reunification. The Associated Press reported that she died of a lung infection at the age of 76. Knef smoked heavily for most of her life and suffered from emphysema.

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