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Nadja Tiller
Tiller in 2009
Born(1929-03-16)16 March 1929
Died21 February 2023(2023-02-21) (aged 93)
Hamburg, Germany
Years active1949–2009
(m. 1956; died 2011)

Nadja Tiller (16 March 1929 – 21 February 2023) was an Austrian actress in film, television, and on stage. She was one of the most popular German-speaking actresses in the international cinema of the 1950s and 1960s,[1] receiving international recognition when she played the title role in the 1958 film Das Mädchen Rosemarie (Rosemary) in 1958, shown at the Venice Film Festival. It opened the way to international films. She often played alongside her husband, Walter Giller.

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Early life and background

Tiller was born in Vienna on 16 March 1929,[2] the daughter of actor Anton Tiller of Vienna and his wife Erika née Körner [de] (1902–1979),[3] an opera singer and actress from Danzig.[4] She attended there a Realgymnasium secondary school. In 1945 she began her studies at the Max-Reinhardt-Seminar, which she later continued until 1949 at the Musik- und Schauspielakademie, studying dance, ballet, and acting.[5] She became an ensemble member at the Theater in der Josefstadt in 1949. That year she won the Miss Austria competition, a national beauty pageant for unmarried women in Austria.[2][1]

Acting career

Tiller made her film debut, also in 1949, in Arthur de Glahs [de] 's Märchen vom Glück [de] (Good Luck Fairytale),[5] opposite Hildegard Knef.[6] In 1952, she starred opposite Inge Egger and O. W. Fischer in Eduard von Borsody's Ich hab' mich so an Dich gewöhnt [de].[7] She met her future husband Walter Giller in 1953; they became the German Traumpaar (dream couple) in many productions to come. Tiller had her artistic breakthrough in the 1955 film Die Barrings, directed by Rolf Thiele,[5] alongside Lil Dagover, Ida Wüst, Paul Hartmann and Dieter Borsche.[8]

In 1955, she acted opposite O. W. Fischer again in the film Ich suche Dich, based on a play by A. J. Cronin. Her international breakthrough role was Rosemarie Nitribitt in the 1958 German film Das Mädchen Rosemarie (Rosemary) in 1958,[9][10] again directed by Thiele.[9] The film was presented at the Venice Film Festival, and was awarded the Golden Globe the following year as the best foreign film. She then received offers for international productions, including from Antonioni for La notte, from Fellini for La dolce vita, and from Visconti for Rocco and His Brothers. She refused, naming family as a reason.[8]

Nadja Tiller with Vittorio Gassman in Anima nera

She actually played in Tendre voyou (Tender Scoundrel) opposite Jean-Paul Belmondo, and in Du rififi à Paname (The Upper Hand) opposite Jean Gabin, among others.[5] She appeared in Rossellini's Anima nera (1962) and in The Poppy Is Also a Flower (1966) with Rita Hayworth and Angie Dickinson.[9]

With Thiele, she appeared in films based on literature, including as Gerda Buddenbrook in The Buddenbrooks in 1959, based on Thomas Mann's novel; she matched the author's description as an "elegant, strange, captivating and enigmatic beauty".[8] She played Lulu opposite Mario Adorf in 1962,[11] followed by Schloß Gripsholm, after Tucholsky's novel, in 1963, and Tonio Kröger based on Mann's novella in 1964.[8]

Tiller appeared in around 120 films,[6] including several international productions. She performed with partners such as Curd Jürgens, Hansjörg Felmy, Yul Brynner, Robert Mitchum, Rod Steiger, and Jean Marais, and at the height of her career was considered along with Sophia Loren to be among the most alluring women in European film.[2][5][11]

In 1967 and 1968, she appeared on the open stage at Salzburg Festival in the annual play, Hofmannsthal's Jedermann (Everyman), as the Buhlschaft.[11] In the 1970s and 1980s, she had theatre engagements, at the Theater Lübeck from 1974 to 1976), in Berlin in 1980 and 1984, and Vienna in 1981.[5] In both Lübeck and Vienna, she played the lead female role in Kurt Weill musical Lady in the Dark.[5] She appeared in boulevard plays until the late 1990s, such as the role of the aging film diva Joan Crawford in Cas Enklaar [nl]'s Nächte mit Joan at the Hamburger Kammerspiele in 1997.[5]

Subsequently, she played occasional leading roles and made guest appearances in various television productions. After a long absence from the cinema, she was cast in 2005 by Til Schweiger in his roadmovie Barfuss, and in 2009 by Leander Haußmann in his film comedy Dinosaurier – Gegen uns seht ihr alt aus! [de], alongside her husband, playing a couple of senior citizens.[5]

From September to October 2010, Tiller made guest appearances in the role of the greatest diva of all time in Schorsch Kamerun's production of the play Vor uns die Sintflut at the Thalia Theater Tent in Hamburg's Hafencity. From January – April 2015, she appeared in the musical My Fair Lady as Mrs. Higgins at the Staatstheater Braunschweig, a role she repeated in the 2015/16 season.[2][5]

In the 1980s, Tiller promoted the Mon Chéri line of pralines produced by Italian manufacturer Ferrero.[12]

Personal life

Nadja Tiller married actor Walter Giller in 1956; they had a son (born 1964) and a daughter (born 1959). In March 2008, they moved into the Augustinum retirement home in Hamburg.[9] Giller died of cancer on 15 December 2011, at age 84.[9]

Tiller died in Hamburg on 21 February 2023, at age 93.[9][13]


Films with Tiller include:[5]


Tiller and her husband, Walter Giller, jointly received a Bambi for their life's work on 30 November 2006.[9] Her awards also included:


  1. ^ a b Bock, Hans-Michael; Bergfelder, Tim, eds. (2009). The Concise Cinegraph: Encyclopaedia of German Cinema. New York: Berghahn Books. pp. 476–477. ISBN 978-1-57181-655-9.
  2. ^ a b c d Brug, Manuel (21 February 2023). "Der Star aus Wirtschaftswunderland". Die Welt (in German). Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  3. ^ see family grave on the Wiener Zentralfriedhof in: Gräberdatenbank der Friedhöfe Wien.
  4. ^ Erika Körner in
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Nadja Tiller". Filmportal (in German). 22 February 2023. Retrieved 21 February 2023.
  6. ^ a b c d e Zemke, Andreas (14 February 2013). "1980: Interview mit Nadja Tiller". Deutsche Welle (in German). Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  7. ^ Gesek, Ludwig (1986). Filmkunst: zeitschrift für filmkultur und filmwissenschaft. p. 34.
  8. ^ a b c d e Bartetzko, Dieter (16 March 2009). "Ikone, Diva und endlich Charakterdarstellerin". FAZ (in German). Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i Seidl, Claudius (22 February 2023). "Unwiderlegbare Sinnlichkeit". FAZ (in German). Retrieved 21 February 2023.
  10. ^ Nadja Tiller wird 80 Jahre alt Archived 19 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine (9 March 2009)
  11. ^ a b c Jungblut, Peter (21 February 2023). ""Mädchen Rosemarie": Schauspielerin Nadja Tiller gestorben". Bayerischer Rundfunk (in German). Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  12. ^ " - Markenhistorie: Mon Cheri". (in German). Archived from the original on 5 May 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  13. ^ "Publikumsliebling Nadja Tiller mit 93 Jahren gestorben". 21 February 2023. Retrieved 21 February 2023.
  14. ^ a b c d "Nadja Tiller". Kurier (in German). Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  15. ^ "Romy Preisträger 1999". Kurier (in German). 23 February 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  16. ^ "Ehrenmedaille der Bundeshauptstadt Wien an Nadja Tiller". Vienna (in German). 10 May 2000. Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  17. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question" (PDF) (in German). p. 1288. Retrieved 27 December 2012.

Further reading

  • Hermann J. Huber: Langen Müller's Schauspielerlexikon der Gegenwart [de]. Deutschland. Österreich. Schweiz. Albert Langen • Georg Müller Verlag GmbH, München • Wien 1986, ISBN 3-7844-2058-3, p. 1023.
  • Peer Moritz: Nadja Tiller – Schauspielerin. In: 'CineGraph – Lexikon zum deutschsprachigen Film [de], 1990.
  • Kay Weniger: Das große Personenlexikon des Films [de]. Die Schauspieler, Regisseure, Kameraleute, Produzenten, Komponisten, Drehbuchautoren, Filmarchitekten, Ausstatter, Kostümbildner, Cutter, Tontechniker, Maskenbildner und Special Effects Designer des 20. Jahrhunderts. vol. 7: R–T. Robert Ryan – Lily Tomlin. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-89602-340-3, p. 678.

External links

This page was last edited on 19 February 2024, at 21:16
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