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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Theo Lingen
Publicity photo
Franz Theodor Schmitz

(1903-06-10)10 June 1903
Died10 November 1978(1978-11-10) (aged 75)
Vienna, Austria
Occupation(s)Actor, film director, screenwriter
Years active1929–1978
SpouseMarianne Zoff (1928–78)

Theo Lingen (German pronunciation: [ˈteːoˈlɪŋən] ; 10 June 1903 – 10 November 1978), born Franz Theodor Schmitz, was a German actor, film director and screenwriter. He appeared in more than 230 films between 1929 and 1978, and directed 21 films between 1936 and 1960.[1]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Peter Lorre in M (1931)
  • Pidax - Sie können's mir glauben (1960, Theo Lingen)
  • Alter Kahn und Junge liebe ganzer film mit Roy Black 1973
  • Laurel & Hardy - Theo Lingen-Intro + Abspann
  • Gertrud Kückelmann Die Stärkere 1950


Life and career

Lingen was born the son of a lawyer in the city of Hanover, and grew up there. He attended the Royal Goethe Gymnasium – the predecessor of the Goethe School – in Hanover, but left before taking the Abitur (final exams). His theatrical talent was discovered during rehearsals for a school performance at the Schauburg boulevard theatre.

Beginning his professional stage career, the young actor adopted as a stage name his middle name together with that of the birthplace of his father, Lingen in the North German Emsland region. As "Theo Lingen" he performed at theatres at Hanover, Halberstadt, Münster and Frankfurt; in plays like The Importance of Being Earnest he very quickly earned a reputation as a superb character comedian, distinguished by his characteristic nasal speech. This distinction followed him when he began appearing in films in 1929, often together with the Viennese actor Hans Moser, since together they made a contrasting pair. In 1929 he was invited by Bertolt Brecht to the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin, where he performed as Macheath in The Threepenny Opera. He starred in drama films like M and The Testament of Dr. Mabuse directed by Fritz Lang.

Lingen and Genia Nikolajewa performing at the Scala vaudeville theatre in Berlin, 1936

In February 1928, Lingen's daughter, Ursula, was born to Bertold Brecht's then wife Marianne Zoff (1893–1984). Brecht and Zoff divorced in September; Lingen and Zoff married later the same year, they also raised Zoff's elder daughter Hanne. Conditions worsened after the Machtergreifung of 30 January 1933: Because Zoff was of Jewish descent, which under the Nazi regime usually resulted in a professional disqualification (Berufsverbot), Lingen thought about going into exile. However, because of his great popularity with the general public he was given a special permit by Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels to continue to perform and was able to protect his wife from persecution. In 1936 Gustaf Gründgens placed Lingen at the ensemble of the Berlin Prussian State Theatre. He also directed films like Hauptsache glücklich (1941) starring Heinz Rühmann.

In 1944 Lingen moved to Vienna, and in view of the approaching Red Army retired to his cottage at Strobl on the Wolfgangsee shortly afterwards. Here for a few days in May 1945, he acted as de facto mayor, when he managed to disempower the local Nazi authorities and surrendered to the US Army at St. Gilgen. Lingen's measures were followed by the liberation of King Leopold III of Belgium and his wife by the 106th Cavalry Regiment.

After the war he became a naturalised Austrian citizen, and from 1948 worked as a character actor at the Vienna Burgtheater and appeared frequently onstage in Germany, most notably in Carl Sternheim satires directed by Rudolf Noelte. Foremost however he pursued his film career, performing in numerous comedies of varied quality, in his later days of the 1970s also on television, for example as a presenter for Laurel and Hardy films.

Theo Lingen died of cancer in 1978 at the age of 75 in Vienna. The city of Vienna dedicated a grave to him at the Zentralfriedhof. The municipalities of Strobl and Lingen (in 2007) have named squares in his honor.[2]

Selected filmography

Short films

  • Ins Blaue hinein (1931) - Prokurist Spitz
  • Mein Name ist Lampe (1932)
  • Nur ein Viertelstündchen (1932)
  • Welle 4711 (1933) - Sendeleiter
  • Meine Frau – seine Frau (1933) - Diener
  • Wie werde ich energisch? (1933) - Herr Knöllchen
  • Gutgehendes Geschäft zu verkaufen (1933) - Wahrsager Meier
  • Die Goldgrube (1933) - Josef, Kellner in der »Goldgrube«
  • Schlagerpartie (1934)
  • Herr oder Diener? (1934) - Heinz Udo von Zickezack
  • Die Abschieds-Symphonie (1934) - Thomasini
  • Wie Eulenspiegel zu Marburg den Landgrafen malte (1936, also director) - Till Eulenspiegel
  • Wie Eulenspiegel sich einmal erbot, zu fliegen (1936, also director) - Till Eulenspiegel
  • Wie Eulenspiegel ein Urteil spricht (1936, also director) - Till Eulenspiegel
  • Wie Eulenspiegel den Neunmalweisen Rede und Antwort steht (1936, also director) - Till Eulenspiegel

Films based on plays by Theo Lingen

  • Was wird hier gespielt?, directed by Theo Lingen (1940, based on the play Was wird hier gespielt?)
  • L'attore scomparso, directed by Luigi Zampa (1941, based on the play Was wird hier gespielt?)
  • Johann, directed by Robert A. Stemmle (1943, based on the play Johann)


  1. ^ "Theo Lingen". Film Portal. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Theo Lingen" from German Wikipedia using machine translators (Google and Babelfish).

External links

This page was last edited on 7 June 2024, at 23:35
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