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Betty Amann
Amann in 1933
Philippine Amann

(1905-03-10)10 March 1905
Died2 or 3 August 1990 (aged 85)
Resting placeWillowbrook Cemetery
Other names
  • Bee Amann
Years active1926–1943
David B. Stillman
(m. 1938; died 1963)

Philippine Amann (10 March 1905 – 2 or 3 August 1990),[1][2][3][4][5] known professionally as Betty Amann, was an American film actress.[6] Born to American parents in the German Empire, she began her acting career in the United States with the film The Kick-Off (1926).[7] She is perhaps best known for her role in Asphalt (1929).

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Betty Amann - Femme Fatale - Asphalt - 1929
  • 1928: Larry Semon - A Simple Sap (Betty Amann, Walter Hiers)
  • ASPHALT (1929) BETTY AMANN GUSTAV FROHLICH German Silent Film Dir Joe May
  • Asphalt (Joe May, 1929) -- The Beauty of Betty Amann
  • "Hold Your Breath" (1924)


Early years

Philippine Amann was born in 1905 (some sources say 1906[8][9] or 1907[10][11][12]) in Pirmasens to a Swiss-German Lutheran family. She has also been referred to as Jewish.[13] Raised in America, Amann studied painting at the National Academy School of Fine Arts in New York; she had been an intent lover of art and painting since childhood.[14]


Amann in Asphalt, 1929

Amann acted in small parts at the May Palace Theater[15] before making her screen debut in The Kick-Off (1926), credited as Bee Amann. She next appeared in seven Mack Sennett short comedies, including The Campus Vamp (1928), which also featured a pre-Hollywood fame Carole Lombard.

Her first major film role was in the western Trail of the Horse Thieves (1929). In 1928, she traveled to Germany, where she met Erich Pommer and Joe May, who picked her for the female lead in Asphalt (1929). It was Pommer who gave Amann the pseudonym Betty.[15] She remained in Germany, where she next starred in The Convict from Istanbul (1929) with Heinrich George and Paul Hörbiger. The newspaper Vossische Zeitung wrote of her role in the film, "She was not at all born to portray unexperienced, middle-class girls".[15]

She followed up with The White Devil, and traveled to Poland, where she appeared in Niebezpieczny romans (1930), which was her last silent film.

Her talkie debut was in The Great Longing (1930), which she appeared in as herself. Her following speaking parts included a millionaire's daughter in Oh Those Glorious Old Student Days (1930), as well as an alluring stranger who turns out to be a murderess in Carl Froelich's crime film Hans in Every Street (1930).

In 1931, she traveled to England, where she appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's Rich and Strange (1931), as well as an array of comedies. Back in Germany, she starred in The Big Bluff, Die kleine Schwindlerin, and Tugboat M 17, in which she portrayed a prostitute and thief who seduces a family man.

Upon the rise of Nazism, Amann emigrated to England. She married David B. Stillman in 1938 and returned to America for the final time. Her final film role was as a harbor prostitute in Edgar G. Ulmer's treasure hunter movie Isle of Forgotten Sins (1943).

In 1987, Amann received the German award Filmband in Gold for her long and outstanding work and performance for the German film. Uta Berg-Ganschow wrote of her, "Her eyes are the mirror of other people's wishes. That's what makes them attractive – they're brazen. These eyes do not reveal anything, they merely attract looks. Men are quick to jump upon these wishes: the calculated tear, the teetering bow above her bottom, her curls. All this is banished into the world of the demimonde. But why would the viewers care into what kind of social figure their fantasy is transformed? […] Instead of becoming the picture of fallen morality, Betty Amann becomes the picture of self-assured transgression."

Personal life and death

Amann was married to David B. Stillman until his death in April 1963.[16]

Amann died of Alzheimers on 2 or 3 August 1990. She was cremated at Ferncliff Crematorium in Hartsdale, New York on 4 August 1990 and buried at Willowbrook Cemetery in Westport, Connecticut on 23 May 1991.[3]


Year Title Role Notes
1926 The Kick-Off Ruth Credited as Bee Amann
1928 Smith's Holiday Short, uncredited role
1928 The Beach Club Short, uncredited role
1928 A Simple Sap She Short
1928 The Best Man Short, uncredited role
1928 The Campus Carmen Short; extra, uncredited role
1928 Motorboat Mamas Catalina, Café Patron Short, uncredited role
1928 Hubby's Weekend Trip Charley's 2nd girlfriend Short, credited as Bee Amann
1928 The Campus Vamp Short, uncredited role
1929 Trail of the Horse Thieves Amy Taggart Credited as Bee Amann
1929 Asphalt Else Kramer
1929 The Rodeo Short, uncredited role
1929 The Convict from Istanbul Hilde Wollwarth
1930 The White Devil Saira
1930 Niebezpieczny romans Ada
1930 The Great Longing Herself
1930 Oh Those Glorious Old Student Days Norma, dessen Tochter
1930 Hans in Every Street Nelly, die Andere
1931 The Song of the Nations
1931 The Perfect Lady Jacqueline Dubarry
1931 Rich and Strange (German title Endlich sind wir reich) The Princess
1931 Strictly Business Theodora Smith
1931 Pyjamas Preferred Violet Ray
1933 The Big Bluff Marion Millner
1933 Daughters of Today Joan
1933 Die kleine Schwindlerin Gwendoline
1933 Tugboat M 17 Gescha
1933 Strictly in Confidence Rita Short
1938 In Old Mexico Janet Leeds
1939 Nancy Drew... Reporter Eula Denning
1943 Isle of Forgotten Sins Olga Final film role


  1. ^ Bock, ans-Michael; Bergfelder, im (September 2009). The Concise Cinegraph: Encyclopaedia of German Cinema. ISBN 9780857455659.
  2. ^ Vazzana, Eugene Michael (2001). Silent Film Necrology. ISBN 9780786410590.
  3. ^ a b Wilson, Scott (August 19, 2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. ISBN 9781476625997.
  4. ^ Massa, Steve. "Slapstick Divas: The Women of Silent Comedy".
  5. ^ Aschke, Katja; Wagner-Neumann, Gretel (1993). Berlin en vogue: Berliner Mode in der Photographie. ISBN 9783803030573.
  6. ^ Prawer, Siegbert Salomon (2007) [2005]. Between Two Worlds: The Jewish Presence in German and Austrian Film, 1910–1933. New York: Berghahn Books. p. 213. ISBN 978-1-84545-303-9.
  7. ^ Bock, Hans-Michael; Bergfelder, Tim, eds. (2009). The Concise Cinegraph: Encyclopaedia of German Cinema. New York: Berghahn Books. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-57181-655-9. The daughter of German-American parents, Amman grew up in the United States [...] she made her film debut in the college romance The Kick Off[.]
  8. ^ "Amann, Betty, 1906-1990 - LC Linked Data Service: Authorities and Vocabularies | Library of Congress, from LC Linked Data Service: Authorities and Vocabularies (Library of Congress)".
  9. ^ Craddock, Jim (August 2000). Video Hounds Golden Movie Retrievee: The Complete Guide to Movies on Videocassette, DVD and Laserdisc. ISBN 9781578591206.
  10. ^ Slide, Anthony (2003). The Encyclopedia of British Film. ISBN 9780413773012.
  11. ^ Wilson, Scott (August 19, 2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. ISBN 9781476625997.
  12. ^ Halliwell, Leslie (2001). Halliwell's Who's who in the Movies. ISBN 9780002572149.
  13. ^ Siegbert Salomon Prawer, Between Two Worlds: The Jewish Presence in German and Austrian Film, 1910-1933, Berghahn Books (2007), p. 213
  14. ^ Massa, Steve. "Slapstick Divas: The Women of Silent Comedy".
  15. ^ a b c "Betty Amann |".
  16. ^ "DAVID B. STILLMAN, LAWYER, FILM MAN". The New York Times. April 26, 1963. p. 35. His survivors include his widow, Betty Amann Stillman...

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This page was last edited on 30 November 2023, at 02:46
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