Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (4) | Trivia (21)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 14 February 1896Königsberg, East Prussia, Germany [now Kaliningrad, Russia]
Date of Death 30 May 1961Munich, Bavaria, Germany
Birth NameWerner Richard Heymann

Mini Bio (1)

Werner Richard Heyman was active as a classical composer in Berlin from 1912. By the end of the decade, he also wrote songs for cabaret and served as musical director for Max Reinhardt from 1918 to 1919. In films with Ufa from 1923, he initially worked as assistant to the head of the music department Erno Rapee, before replacing the latter in 1926. Heyman remained under contract until 1933 as musical director and composer, scoring several classic films for F.W. Murnau and Fritz Lang. He also established himself as among the foremost writers of songs for film operetta, penning hits for popular fare like Die Drei von der Tankstelle (1930) and Bombs Over Monte Carlo (1931).

Forced to flee from Nazi persecution because of his Jewish background, Heywood made his way to Hollywood via Paris and London. There, he was noted particularly for scoring two of Ernst Lubitsch's best films: Ninotchka (1939) and To Be or Not to Be (1942). Heyman returned to Germany in 1951, where he resumed writing film scores and songs for the theatre until his death in 1961.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (4)

Elisabeth Millberg (5 March 1952 - 30 May 1961) (his death) (1 child)
Eva Heymann (1940 - ?) (divorced)
Ilse Bachmann (1931 - ?) (divorced)
Liselotte Schumacher (July 1916 - ?) (divorced)

Trivia (21)

Member of the jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1960
When Werner Richard Heymann was engaged by movie producer Erich Pommer as an assistant of the musical director of the UFA in 1925 this marked the beginning of a unique career as a film composer.
The film composer Werner Richard Heymann belonged to the most important composers of the German movie of the 20s and 30s.
He worked as a composer for cabarets in Berlin, among them "Schall und Rauch" directed by Max Reinhardt. Later he took over the direction of the cabaret himself.
He attended the Königliche Hochschule for music in Berlin where he was teached by Paul Juon.
Beside his numerous film compositions he also wrote a number of scores for the studios which were called Additional Music or Stock Music. This music was used in many movie productions without the mention of his name.
With the takeover of the National Socialists his impressive career in Germany came to an abrupt end. Because of his Jewish ancestry his contract with the UFA was canceled and he emigrated to Paris. Shortly afterwards he went to Hollywood but was not able to gain a foothold for the time being. Therefore he returned to Paris and he wrote some more movie compositions for productions like "Caravane" (1934) and "Le grand refrain" (1936).
He had once summed up his thoughts thus: "I love my wife, my child, the world, eating, drinking, smoking, driving. I love freedom. I hate dictatorship, godlessness, writing scores, wool next to my skin, and stones in my shoes. I hope for a United States of Europe.".
During this creative career Werner Richard Heymann was nominated for a total of four Oscars but never won one.
He went via London to the USA again and this time he managed to establish himself in the American film business in 1937. From now on he wrote numerous film soundtracks for popular movies.
After World War II, he returned to Germany where he wrote the music for a stage version of the classic film The Blue Angel in 1952.
He wrote numerous evergreens.
He returned to Germany in 1951 and could continue his work seamlessly.
His memoirs, recorded on tape during his last years, were published as an autobiography in Germany in 2001.
Beside his work for movies he also left musical contributions like the so-called Serious Music (e.g. "Rhapsodische Sinfonie"), operettas (e.g. "Florestan I. Prfince de Monaco" and "Trente et Quarante"), hits and cabaret music (e.g. für "Schall und Rauch", "Cabaret Grössenwahn", "Die Rampe" and "Die Wilde Bühne").
The émigré German director Ernst Lubitsch got him to work on 5 of his classic American comedies.He also scored 2 films by another great comedy director, Preston Sturges Heymann was an Academy Award nominee four times in the early 1940s.
Already in 1926 he became the musical director of the UFA and in the next years he wrote numerous compositions for popular silent movies.
His artistic way became interrupted with the outbreak of World War I and he served as a soldier for a short time before he was released because of illness.
He made first musical experiences by Max Brode and at the age of 12 he played the violin for the Königsberger philharmonic orchestra for the first time.
A documentary film about his career, So Wie Ein Wunder, featuring his daughter Elisabeth Trautwein, and directed by New German Cinema auteur Helma Sanders-Brahms, was shown on German television in 2012.
When the sound film heralded a new era in the cinemas the music of Werner Richard Heymann became more important than ever.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page