Hans Albers was born in Hamburg, Germany, on September 22, 1891. Perhaps Germany's biggest pre-World War II movie star, Albers began his career in film in 1911 before temporarily suspending work to fight in Word War I, where he was injured. Albers eventually resumed his career, becoming a national celebrity. He died in Kempfenhausen, Bavaria, Germany, in 1960.
Hans Philipp August Albers was born on September 22, 1891, in Hamburg, Germany. The son of a butcher, Albers showed an early passion for the stage but hid his interest from his parents.
In 1911, the young actor began his work in film but was soon forced to suspend his career due to the onset of World War I. Albers was drafted to serve in the German army in 1915 and was severely wounded early in his combat service.
Following a significant recovery period, Albers, determined to resume stage work, moved to Berlin and quickly found work in the city's theaters. It was there that Albers met and fell in love with Hansi Burg, a Jewish actress, who would remain with Albers until his death in 1960.
With films like Demetrius in A (1924) and Rasputin (1928), Albers soon became a recognizable star in his home country. In 1929, Albers appeared in his first German talkie, The Night Belongs to Us.
In 1930s, the heavy-set but rugged-looking actor starred in a number of adventure movies. By the start of World War II he was Germany's biggest movie celebrity.
The Nazi Years
With the rise of the Nazi party in 1930s, Albers walked a careful line. While technically a party member, he kept his distance from the government and shied away from appearing in any propaganda material. In return for his accommodation, the government, for a few years anyway, permitted his relationship with Burg, who was Jewish.
Eventually, however, Burg was forced to flee to Great Britain. She returned to Germany to be with Albers after World War II.
After World War II
Whether it was his age or his connections, however tenuous, to the Nazi party, Albers' career slowed down following the war. Character roles became his bread and butter. Albers continued to stay busy as an actor and singer right up until his death in Kempfenhausen, Bavaria, Germany, in 1960.
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