alt.obituaries Memorial Deadpool
Hansi Knoteck was one of the last
remaining actresses from the glorious silver era of German cinema and maybe the
last well-known face of the Universum Film AG (UFA), who made films before,
during, and after World War II. During the last twenty years, Knoteck went forgotten,
not because of her missing talent but because of the early end of her career
and the unpopularity of her film genre.
Born in Vienna, Austria, on March 2,
1914, as Johanna Gnoteck, she started a career as a ballet dancer at the age of
14. She then changed her name to Hansi Knoteck, which was easier to pronounce.
In 1934, her first film appearance was as the leading role in Schloß Hubertus, one of seven film
versions of writings by Ludwig Ganghofer. Those sentimental films played in a
rural milieu and were part of the largest genre of that time: Heimatfilm, films with a regional
background, about typical conservative virtues.
With her childlike face and large
eyes, Knoteck seemed to be perfect for the genre-typical role of the young and
naïve woman, which made her unable to get any character roles. Her best-known
role was heiress Jane Berry in the 1937 film Der Mann, der Sherlock Holmes war ("The Man Who Was Sherlock
Holmes"), a comedy-like criminal romance about a Sherlock Holmes
impersonator and his fight for the rights of two young heiresses. She was the
last survivor of that film's main cast.
In 1940, Knoteck married actor and
director Viktor Staal (1909–1982), with whom she had a son, Hannes. The couple
moved to Munich, Germany. Both Staal and Knoteck stayed popular in their genre's
film business, so Knoteck's postwar career was marked by roles in sentimental Heimatfilms
like Der Jagerloisl vom Tegernsee (1951) and Der Pfarrer von
Kirchfeld (1955), which was her last film before she officially ended her
career. Her last screen appearance was a short role in the 1974 movie Der Jäger vom Fall.
Hansi Knoteck died on February 23,
2014, in Eggstätt, Bavaria. German genre experts celebrated her 100th birthday
seven days later without being aware of her death, which was published in
August for the first time. The last well known actress of the golden times of
UFA died in oblivion. Only WEP recalled her and receives seven points: two for
the hit and five for the solo.
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