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Biography

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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 3 January 1915Berlin-Neukölln, Germany
Date of Death 29 August 2009Munich, Bavaria, Germany  (cancer)
Birth NameEdith Gertrud Meta Raschke
Height 5' 3¾" (1.62 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Beautiful, smoky-voiced platinum blonde Mady Rahl was the 'Sportsmädel' of the German cinema in the 1930's and 40's. During the war years, she was touted in Nazi propaganda as an ideal of Germanic femininity. Her association with members of the regime, including the ever roving-eyed Joseph Goebbels, damaged her career in the aftermath of World War II. Nonetheless, she would reemerge in the 1950's as a more versatile actress, if not a bigger star.

Mady Rahl was strong-willed and had a commanding, almost aristocratic air about her. Most of all, she possessed that quality called pizzazz. From her early teens, Mady was determined to seek a career in the performing arts. In the process, she financed her expensive acting (at the Ilka Grüning School) and dance classes by doing secretarial work (being an adept typist and stenographer). Rumour has it, that she got her start on the stage (in Leipzig) without having to sit for an audition. Her looks and comportment seemed entirely sufficient. Film work came in due course, after she met a young director named Detlef Sierck (who later found fame and fortune in Hollywood as Douglas Sirk). He starred her in his first film (a short comedy) as, perhaps unsurprisingly, a secretary. Having signed a four-year contract with Ufa, she found herself in yet another clerical role for The Mysterious Mister X (1936). Her first critical acclaim arrived courtesy of a role in the lavish circus drama Truxa (1937), in which she co-starred alongside the dancer La Jana. Then followed a succession of small roles in big Ufa productions like To New Shores (1937) and Hallo Janine! (1939) and leads in lightweight romantic comedies (notably Fräulein (1939) and Die lustigen Vagabunden (1940), opposite Johannes Heesters). By the mid-1940's, Mady had become one of the most celebrated stars of German films.

After a post-war hiatus, her screen career was reinvigorated with a handful of dramatic character roles as mysterious or genteel women in prestige pictures like Die Dame in Schwarz (1951), Haie und kleine Fische (1957) and Der Greifer (1958). In the early 1960's, Mady returned to the theatre, going on tour with the Munich-based 'Kleine Komödie'. She also became a popular TV guest star, seemingly omnipresent in prime time cop shows. She was also busily doing voice-overs for diverse American actresses, from Gillian Anderson to Arlene Francis. By the mid-1990's, the thrice-married actress had wound down her performing career to concentrate on her other vocation as a successful painter and exhibitor of water colours. Almost blind and afflicted by dementia, Mady Rahl died in August 2009 at the respectable age of 94.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (3)

Theodor Reimers (? - ?) (divorced)
Wilhelm Sperber (? - ?) (divorced)
Werner Bürkle (? - ?) (divorced)

Trivia (15)

Made her stage debut in Leipzig under the direction of Douglas Sirk in 1935.
Being the last female UFA star alive, she lived in a retirement home in Munich. She was almost blind and suffered from dementia.
After discovering her talent as painter, her works were shown in exhibitions.
She continued her career after the war and she impersonated many roles, especially in the 50's.
Her engagements in front of the camera took off in the 60's.
She acted again in some feature movies, from the 70's she normally worked for TV productions.
Her grave is in the Nordfriedhof Cemetery in Munich (plot 178-U-66), where her sister Ellen had been buried in 1995.
She appeared in approximately 90 movies, several of them for UFA. In later years, she appeared frequently on television, while also pursuing her career in the theatre.
She was also the German voice of many cartoon characters and of Lucille Ball.
Rahl's first marriage was to Theodor Reimers, her second was to producer Wilhem Sperber, and her third was to Werner Bürkle.
Late in life she painted in the Impressionist style.
She already came in contact with the theater during her school time and got acting lessons from the famous Rudolf Klein-Rogge. Lessons in singing and dance rounded off her education.
With her role in the circus drama Truxa (1937) Rahl became known to a wider audience.
In 2004, aged 90, she made a short-lived return to the stage.
During the 1960s she joined the Munich Comedy Theatre, and began a prolific career as a television actress, appearing in various popular crime serials.

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