Zarah Leander

Zarah Leander (* 15. March 1907 in Karlstad, Sweden; † 23. June 1981 in Stockholm) was a Swedish actress.

Table of contents


family and youth

Zarah Leander became to 15. March 1907 at 22.16 o'clock in the Swedish Karlstad under the name “Sara Stina Hedberg” born. Their fatherthe instrument farmer and estate agent were different Lorentz Sebastian Hedberg, her nut/mother the housewife Matilda Ulrika Hedberg, geb. Vikström (both 1882). It buildup with four brothers. Its brother Gustav Hedberg became an actor later likewise. A great-grandmother from the paternal line originated from Hamburg.

Their father had studied building of organs and music in Leipzig. It was by the influence of its German child girl and its German piano teacher already early with German language and culture trusts. Starting from 1911 it received to instruction in violin as well as piano and stepped 1913, with 6 years,with a Chopin - competition up. Until 1922 it visited a High School and went then to Riga, where it perfected its German.

beginning of the career as singer and an actress

1929 sang it to the Swedish revue king Ernst Rolf with their concise old voice forwardsand became by it the star. With the Swedish record company Odeon locked it a contract and took up for it to 1936 80 songs. From 1929 to 1935 Zarah Leander participated together with Karl Gerhard in numerous revues and turned in Sweden threeFeatures. In second marriage Leander was married since 1932 with the journalist Vidar Forsell, a son of the director of the opera in Stockholm, which 1948 separated from it.

film star

1936 got it the Danish Operetten buffo to max of Hansen for its Singspiel Axel at the sky door to Vienna to the stage. Parallel to it it turned its first German-language film (premiere) in Austria.

1937 were taken to Zarah Leander too much by the Ufa favorable conditions under contract. It was allowed to select its film scripts themselves and more largelyPart its fee in Swedish crowns one disbursed. Zarah Leander should replace, which had been lost to the German film through the emigration from Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich at Glamour. The Pressestelle of the Ufa developed their image therefore general staff-moderately, concealed their earlier, in Swedenproduced films and set directly on their nimbus as a singing star. Their Filmgagen was actually exceeded by their incomes from Schallplattenaufnahmen then still. In order to present their face always correctly, the Ufa in all 10 films, in which Zarah Leander arose, set Franz Weihmayr as a cameraman .

From 1937 to 1943 their most famous films developed: To new banks (1937), La Habanera (1937), homeland (1938), it was a rushing ball night (1939), the large love (1942, direction: Rolf Hansen), the way in the free (1941), At that time (1942), some of it under the direction of Carl Froelich, the later president of the realm film chamber. It ascended to the maximumpaid female film star in Hitler Germany, also Hitler showed up gladly with it in the public. The highest honour - the state actress to be appointed- remained it, since it had been developed as pure canvas and record star, however withholding. Zarah Leander remained Swedish Staatsbürgerin and always called themselves after end of the Second World War as an unpolitical artist.

1943 left it Germany and returned on its property Lönö to Sweden,it had acquired 1939. The stately property white a surface of 59.000 m ² up, consisted of fields, forests, 22 islands and a two-story house with 39 rooms. In Sweden their German films were likewise gladly seen. Only after the case of Stalingrad cooleddas Verhältnis ihrer Landsleute zu ihr merklich ab.

postwar career

Zarah Leanders career after the war began 1947 in Switzerland. The composer Ralph Benatzky arranged appearances for it with Geneva broadcast. There also the first postwar record photographs developed. Further concert appearances in Berne, Basel andFollowed Zurich.1948 met it Michael Jary and undertook with it and its Filmorchester a Germany tour (1948/49), which met with large approval. 1949 arose it also for the first time again in its Swedish homeland, in Malmö , and married in January 1956 in third marriage thatKapellmeister Arne Hülphers.

1950 turned Zarah Leander for the first time for seven years again a film. Under the direction of Geza of Cziffra Gabriela developed. The nut/mother daughter drama was with many loans from their earlier features typical Zarah Leander film. But it had aged seven years,which one marked it on the canvas. From the criticism became it tore. At the Kinokasse the film was however despite everything a success, since millions humans in many countries wanted to still see it again. Leander was over the result dissatisfied and went1951 again on tour, which led it into several countries. Also the following motion picture films Cuba Cubana (1952) with O. W. Fischer as lovers at her side and Ave Maria (1953) were financially lucrative, but removes from the earlier cinematic quality mile far.Thus at the same time their career leaned as a cinema star the end too.

Off then she dedicated herself more to the presentation of her songs. Peter Kreuder composed musical the madame Scandaleuse and lady from Paris with texts of Ernst Nebhut and Karl Farkas for it. In Swedenand television shows with their Evergreens developed for Germany in the early 60's. In addition an appearance in the musical the blue of the sky of Friedrich dutchman followed.

During a performance of the musical it suffered the smile of one Sommernacht in Stockholm 1978 a first brain bleeding. InJune 1979 communicated it in a press conference their final parting from the stage. Zarah Leander withdrew itself to its property after Lönö, wanted only more closest relatives and acquaintance to see, was to the wheelchair, suffered at language disturbances and had to do several marks bound inHospital to be treated. To 23. June 1981 died it at a further brain bleeding.


Operetten and musical

  • 1931 Franz Lehár, the merry widow
  • 1936 Ralph Benatzky, Axel at the sky door (Role of the Gloria Mills)
  • 1958 Ernst Nebhut and. Peter Kreuder, Madame Scandaleuse (role of the Helene)
  • 1960 OSCAR Straus, a woman, who knows, what it wants (role of the Manon Cavallini)
  • 1964 Karl Farkas and. Peter Kreuder, Lady from Paris (role that Mrs. Erlynne)
  • 1968 Peter Thomas, Ika Schafheitlin and. Helmuth Gauer, Wodka for the queen (role of the queen Aureliana)
  • 1975 Stephen Sondheim and. Hugh Wheeler, the smile of one Sommernacht (role of the madame Arnfeldt)


see also


  • Antje Ascheid: Hitler's of heroines. Star cathedral and womanhood in Nazi cinema. Philadelphia: Temple University press. 2003. ISBN 1-56639-984-X
  • Kaethe Brinker: Zarah Leander. A large career. Berlin: Wendt. O.J. (1937)
  • Micaela Jary: I white, it becomes once a miracle gescheh'n. The life of the Zarah Leander. Berlin: Structure paperback publishing house. 2001. ISBN 3-7466-1751-0
  • Guido Knopp: Hitler's women and Marlene. Munich: Bertelsmann. 2001. ISBN 3-570-00362-0
  • Ulrike of Sanders: Zarah Leander - can hit be sin? Cologne: Pahl Rugenstein. 1988. (= Pahl Rugenstein Hochschulschriften society and natural sciences; 251) ISBN 3-7609-5251-8
  • Paul Seiler: Zarah Leander. A cult book. Reinbek with Hamburg: Rowohlt. 1985. ISBN 3-499-15497-8
  • Paul Seiler: Zarah Leander. I am a voice. Berlin: Ullstein. 1997. ISBN 3-548-35711-3
  • Cornelia Zumkeller: Zarah Leander. Their films - their life. Munich: Heyne. 1988. ISBN 3-453-02623-3

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