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Biography

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Overview (2)

Born in London, England, UK
Died in Munich, Bavaria, West Germany

Mini Bio (1)

Friedrich Hollaender was the son of the composer Victor Hollaender, who composed shows in Berlin in the 1890s to 1910s. Frederick received early musical training, since 1913 he was student of opera composer Engelbert Humperdinck (who composed Hänsel und Gretel). He started as repetitor at a theater in Prague, and became - inspite of his classical training, that rather should have led to a career as classical composer - an important compser of shows and cabaret songs in Berlin in the 20s. He started working for the UFA movie Der blaue Engel (1930) per chance, an actress wanted him as pianist for her audition for that movie - but he got the job as composer, while the role went to Marlene Dietrich. He even directed the Lilian Harvey movie Ich und die Kaiserin (1933) in 1932 in all three versions (German/Frensh/English). After the Nazis came to power on January 30, 1933 he immigrated via France and England to Hollywood, where he got a three months contract. There, he wrote songs and scores for various movies (Sometimes he collaborated with Leo Robin, Frank Loesser or 'Sam Coslow (I)'), most mentionable Boys in the Backroom, The for Marlene Dietrich in Destry Rides Again (1939). RKO signed him as director for the Western "Bullets and Ballots". After the decline of musicals in the mid 50s he returned in 1956 to Germany, where he continued working for shows and cabaret, this time in Munich. As composer/lyricist he retired in the 60s, but he kept writing books till the 70s.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Spouse (4)

Heidi Shope (1932 - 1944) ( divorced)
Blandine Ebinger (1919 - 1926) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Leza (? - ?) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Berthe (? - 18 January 1976) ( his death)

Trivia (42)

Father of Melody Hollaender.
He became one of the great film composers in Hollywood and he wrote filmsongs and soundtracks to many well-known productions.
Friedrich Hollaender had brief appearances in the movies "Der blaue Engel" (1930) und "Der Mann, der seinen Mörder sucht" (1931). And in 1933 he even realised the movie "Ich und die Kaiserin" (1933) as a director.
In 1956 he returned to Germany and again worked for several years as a revue composer at the Theater Die Kleine Freiheit in Munich.
Young Hollaender had a solid music and theatre family background: his uncle Gustav was director of the Stern Conservatory in Berlin, his uncle Felix Hollaender was a well-known novelist and drama critic, who later worked with Max Reinhardt at the Deutsches Theater.
Friedrich Hollaender already got music lessons at a young age and he studied among others by the composer Engelbert Humberdinck.
In 1919 he married the actress Blandine Ebinger, the couple divorced in 1926. Their daughter Philine later became the wife of the cabarettist Georg Kreisler.
After his film career Friedrich Hollaender wrote several books, among them his biography "Von Kopf bis Fuss" (1965).
He emigrated via France and England to the USA where he was able to continue his film career in Hollywood. Because music is an international language he was not confronted with the linguistic barriers like many emigrated actors in order to continue to work. He even realised two more movies there as a director.
His ambitious career came to a premature end with the rise of the National Socialist because he was a Jew.
He followed his father's footsteps and he became a successful composer of numerous shows in Berlin during the 20s. Moreover he founded together with Mischa Spolianksy, Blandine Ebinger, Kurt Tucholsky and other artists the cabaret "Schall & Rauch". Other stage activities came into being for the cabaret "Die Wilde Bühne" by Trude Hesterberg and he also founded the "Tingel-Tangel-Theater".
As "Frederick Hollander", he also wrote the semi-autobiographical novel Those Torn From Earth, which was released in 1941.
He wrote the film music for the classic "Der blaue Engel" (1930) with Emil Jannings and a young Marlene Dietrich who became a world star afterwards. For this movie he composed the world wide hit "Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuss auf Liebe eingestellt".
His father Victor Hollaender was a successful operetta composer who wrote music for different shows in Berlin and his mother was the singer Rosa Perl.
Friedrich Hollaender was nominated for four Oscars but never received one.
In 1920 he already wrote his first composition for the silent movie "Sumurun".
He was born in London, where his father, operetta composer Victor Hollaender, worked as a musical director at the Barnum & Bailey Circus.
With the rise of the sound film the film business offered him new possibilities to establish his musical talent and he soon became a demanded film composer in Germany.
In the 50s came his last filmcompositions for the American film market into being.
He made a cameo appearance in Billy Wilder's film comedy One, Two, Three (1960) as a Kapellmeister.
By the age of 18 he was employed as a répétiteur at the New German Theatre in Prague and also was put in charge of troop entertainment at the Western Front of World War I.
In 1931, he opened his own satirical cabaret, the Tingel Tangel Theater in Berlin, where he spoofed fashions and foibles of the day, including politics.
In 1965, he published his autobiography, which was followed by other, mostly humorous books.
Little Fritz Hollaender was destined for a career in classical music, and early on he composed lieder under the influence of his idol Richard Strauss--but most amazing was his uncanny to improvise.
In the mid-'20s he wrote and directed clever miniature revues that spoofed fashions and morals of the big city, as well as theatrical scores for director Max Reinhardt.
A committed liberal and pacifist, he took a stand for reproductive freedom, women's rights and economic justice, and he lambasted anti-Semitism and the rising Nazi movement on his tiny stage, while bloody street battles raged outside the doors.
In the fall of 1955, he packed up his bags and returned to Germany with an ambitious new musical named Scherzo in his suitcase.
His biggest hit of the early '20s, the 1923 novelty song "Liliput," went around the world and came to America as "Tiny Town.".
In 1899 Hollaender's family returned from London to Berlin, his father began teaching at the Stern Conservatory, where his son became a student in Engelbert Humperdinck's master class. In the evening he played the piano at silent film performances in local cinemas, developing the art of musical improvisation.
Over the years, he worked for different studios and on films of all genres.
Frederick Hollander's score for The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. was one of the works of which he was most proud, and arguably the most significant, albeit under-appreciated, contribution of his 22-year American career.
In May 1933, Hollaender relocated to the US, where Erich Pommer had negotiated a 3-year-contract at Fox for him.
As an outspoken progressive satirist, a jazz musician and a Jew, Hollaender was for the Nazis a symbol of Weimar decadence and intellectual subterfuge.
When the family made a visit to New York in 1912, where father Victor had been hired to write some shows, Friedrich would spend his afternoons playing at the nearby movie theater, whose proprietors were so charmed that they called his parents and begged them to let the boy stay a while longer, for his music was so delightful.
Hollaender returned to Germany in the mid-1950s and settled in Munich. He directed musical revues - with mixed success -, and later also appeared in television.
Hollander's greatest opportunity for a full-blown musical came with fellow Berliner Ernst Lubitsch's 1948 operetta That Lady In Ermine, starring Betty Grable. Unfortunately, Lubitsch died after filming the musical numbers and Otto Preminger finished the work.
In 1944, Hollaender married actress Leza Hay, followed by his fourth marriage, to Berthe Jeanne Kreder, in 1946.
In 1932, he married the dancer and actress Hedi Schoop and in the same year, his revue "Es war einmal" had its premiere. But after several performances were disturbed by Nazi thugs, the show was closed. Hollaender made his debut as a film director with "Ich und die Kaiserin". One week after the film's premiere, the board of the Ufa was already eliminating contracts with Jewish artists and staff. Hollaender, whose apartment was demolished by the Nazis, emigrated to Paris with his wife. He later wrote about the experiences of the emigrants in his novel "Those Torn From Earth", which was published in 1941 with a preface by Thomas Mann.
An accomplished pianist, Hollaender also discovered and played with Berlin's best jazz band, Weintraub's Syncopators, and his songs became standards of the cabaret and dance band repertoire.
For the movie The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. Frederick Hollander wrote an enormous score: 15 songs, two ballets and a parodic concert based on "Ten Happy Fingers." (A 16th song, "Count Me Out," was eliminated early on.) The composing job was an attractive challenge for Hollander: rather than just using incidental songs, here music would be integral to the plot and conception of the film. There would be huge amounts of scoring, running almost from beginning to end, with two ballets. Initial publicity reported that Hollander had composed an unheard-of 24 songs. It verged on "an unusual children's opera for adults," as Hollander called it.
In the last few years of his life, Friedrich Hollaender, as he was now known again, devoted his energies to writing his memoirs and experimental novels.
He was the on-screen pianist for Marlene Dietrich in the 1948 Billy Wilder comedy "A Foreign Affair", which he also composed the music score.

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