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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Curt Goetz
Kurt Walter Götz

(1888-11-17)17 November 1888
Died12 September 1960(1960-09-12) (aged 71)
OccupationActor, director, writer

Curt Goetz (German: [kʊʁt ɡœt͡s] (listen); 17 November 1888 – 12 September 1960), born Kurt Walter Götz, was a Swiss German writer, actor and film director. He was regarded[by whom?] as one of the most brilliant German comedy writers of his time. With his wife Valérie von Martens, he acted in his own plays and also filmed them. He was a distant relative of Irish writer George Bernard Shaw, to whom he was often compared.[by whom?]

Life and work

Curt Goetz with Leopoldine Konstantin (1917)
Curt Goetz with Leopoldine Konstantin (1917)

Goetz was born in Mainz, Germany the son of Swiss wine examiner Bernhard Götz and his German wife of Italian-French descent, Selma (born Rocco). His father died in 1890. Two-year-old Curt and his mother then moved to Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, where she managed a private clinic.

In 1906 Goetz graduated from City High School in Halle,[1] where he played Franz Moor in The Robbers by Schiller.

His mother remarried, and his stepfather encouraged and financed Goetz's first steps in the theatre.[2] He studied acting under Berlin's Emanuel Reicher. In 1907 he made his stage debut at the Stadttheater in Rostock, and wrote his first sketches for the stage. He played at theatres in Nuremberg, then went to Berlin.[3] In 1912 he played the lead in the silent movie Black Blood, directed by Harry Piel.

In 1914 he married Erna Nitter; they divorced in 1917. He continued acting in silent movies, mainly comedies such as Ich möchte kein Mann sein (I Don't Want To Be A Man, 1918), directed by Ernst Lubitsch. One of his colleagues from that time was actor Max Landa.

In 1923 he married Valérie von Martens in Berlin, whom he met while acting in Vienna, and they toured together, acting in his own productions.

Statue of Curt Goetz in Halle, by Michael Weihe
Statue of Curt Goetz in Halle, by Michael Weihe

In 1939 he went to Hollywood to study filmmaking, and decided to remain there, with Valérie, when war broke out. He worked with director Reinhold Schunzel and others, and several of his comedies become films. He was signed by MGM [4] and worked on a number of film scripts. He and Valérie bought a farm in Van Nuys, California, where they successfully bred chickens.[5]

In California, Goetz drafted his tale Tatjana and a new version of his Hokuspokus. He also reworked an older play into The House in Montevideo, which he successfully produced in Broadway's Playhouse Theatre in 1945.

The Goetzes returned to Europe in 1945, living in Switzerland by Lake Thun (Goetz had Swiss nationality from birth), where he wrote some successful novels. They later moved to Liechtenstein.

Goetz died in Grabs, St. Gallen, on 12 September 1960.

Works (originally published in German)


  • Der Lampenschirm (1911)
  • Nachtbeleuchtung (1918, v. 1919) 5 Einakter: Nachtbeleuchtung, Lohengrin, Tobby, Minna Magdalena, Der fliegende Geheimrat
  • Menagerie (1919) 4 Einakter: Der Spatz vom Dache, Die Taube in der Hand, Der Hund im Hirn, Der Hahn im Korb
  • Ingeborg (1922)
  • Die tote Tante und andere Begebenheiten (1924) 3 Einakter: Der Mörder, Das Märchen, Die tote Tante
  • Hokuspokus (Original) (1926)
  • Der Lügner und die Nonne (1928)
  • Frauenarzt Dr. med. Hiob Prätorius (Original) (1934)
  • Das Haus in Montevideo (1945)
  • Hokuspokus (Neufassung) (1953)
  • Dr. med. Hiob Prätorius (Neufassung) (1953)
  • Nichts Neues in Hollywood (1956)
  • Miniaturen (1958) 3 Einakter: Die Rache, Herbst, Die Kommode
  • Seifenblasen (1962) 3 Einakter: Ausbruch des Weltfriedens, Die Bacarole, Die Bärengeschichte
Curt Goetz' and his wife's grave
Curt Goetz' and his wife's grave


  • Tatjana (1944)
  • Die Tote von Beverly Hills (1951)


  • Die Memoiren des Peterhans von Binningen (Memoirs Vol. 1, 1960)
  • Die Verwandlung des Peterhans von Binningen (Memoirs Vol. 2)
  • Wir wandern, wir wandern ... (Memoirs Vol. 3, Reminiscences of Valérie von Martens, 1963)

Other works

  • Gesammelte Werke (1958)
  • Viel Spaß mit Curt Goetz (1964) – Fritz Fröhling
  • Das große Curt-Goetz-Album, Bilder eines Lebens (1968)
  • Curt's Geschichten
  • Ergoetzliches (1974)
  • Curt Goetz - In deinem Sinne (1982)
  • Sämtliche Bühnenwerke (1987)






  1. ^ Goetz, Curt (1960). Die Memoiren des Peterhans von Binningen (in German). Berlin: Grunewald. p. 11.
  2. ^ Goetz, Curt (1960). Die Memoiren des Peterhans von Binningen (in German). Berlin: Grunewald. p. 55.
  3. ^ Goetz, Curt (1960). Die Memoiren des Peterhans von Binningen (in German). Berlin: Grunewald. p. 239.
  4. ^ Gertraud Steiner Daviau (April 2005). "Austrian Writers and the Unifying Aspects of Cultures". TRANS Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
  5. ^ von Martens, Valérie (1972). Curt's Geschichten, Kurzgeschichten von und über Curt Goetz (in German). Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt. ISBN 978-3-423-01052-8.

External links

This page was last edited on 29 November 2022, at 14:51
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