Family Card - Person Sheet
Family Card - Person Sheet
NameOttilie (Tilla) GODEFROY (DURIEUX) 798
Birth18 Aug 1880, Wien
Death21 Feb 1971, Berlin
Burialgrave #4, 5c Berlin, Heerst.
Birth21 Feb 1871, Breslau (now Wroclaw), Upper Silesia, Poland602,603
Death7 Jan 1926, Berlin
FatherDr Louis (Leupold) CASSIRER (1839-1904)
MotherEmilie SCHIFFER (1847-1890)
Death1944, Oranienburg802
Notes for Ottilie (Tilla) GODEFROY (DURIEUX)
See also:
Misc Note 2. - further biographical details

Occupation: Famous Actress - the prominent actress in Germany

Daughter of Richard Goddefroy, a University professor in chemistry and a Hungarian pianist. Because they didn't support her acting career, she took the name of her french grandmother.

She made her debut in 1902 in Olm¸tz. From 1903 to 1933 she performed in Berlin, starting out as a member of Reinhardt's ensemble (until 1912). In 1912 she played the Circe in Calderon's comedy of the same name.[see picture attached] In 1913 she played Frank Wedekind's Lulu in Munich. Durieux was the first to perform Oscar Wilde's Salome on the stage and also the first Eliza Doolittle in Shaw's "Pygmalion". In 1914 she made her film debut in the silent movie "Der Flug in die Sonne".

In 1904 she married the painter Eugen Spiro, but she divorced him in the same year. In 1910 she married Paul Cassirer, an art dealer. He tried to kill himself after their marriage failed and died as a result of this attempt in 1926.

In 1927 she worked with Erwin Piscator to realize the theatre at the Nollendorfplatz in Berlin. In 1930 she married theatre director Ludwig Katzenellenbogen, generaldirektor of Schultheifl-Patzenhofer.

In 1933 she didn't return to Germany after a tour abroad with Basserman. She went to Switserland and settled in Zagreb in 1934. In 1936 and 1937 she lectured at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and in 1936 she started a hotel in Abbazia, Yugoslavia. In 1941 her jewish husband was arrested after the Germans entered Yugoslavia and he died two years later in a concentration camp in Berlin. Tilla joined the Yogoslavian partisans and also started writing about her life.

From 1945 to 1951 she was assistant director and sewer at a puppet theatre in Zagreb and in 1954 her memoirs were published: "Eine T¸r steht offen".

She returned to Berlin in 1954 and returned to the stage in Ionesco's "St¸hlen" and many other pieces. In 1959 she became a Honorary Member of the German Academy for Performing Arts and in 1961 a member of the Academy of Arts. Her last engagement was in 1969/1970 at the Wiesbadener Staatstheater.

Franz von Stuck painted her as Circe (c.1912/1913). P.A. Renoir (1914) and Arnold Rechberg also painted her portrait. She owned the painting "Girl with Ruffled Hair" by Vincent van Gogh.

The painting by Renoir has the following provenance: “The sitter, later Mrs. Paul Cassirer, Berlin (1914-35; commissioned by Cassirer from the artist; due to the onset of war between France and Germany, the painting remained with Renoir until his death in 1919; the painting was then held by Renoir's Paris dealers until the mid 1920s; the painting was released subsequent to the settling of accounts between Cassirer (Tilla's husband) and the French dealers; Tilla and Cassirer brought the painting to Berlin, where it remained with Tilla until her departure in April 1933; with Tilla in Switzerland and finally Zagreb, from which it was consigned to Feilchenfeldt at the Galerie Cassirer) ; [Cassirer, Amsterdam, 1935; sold in March for Swiss Fr 30,000 to Bignou]; [Étienne Bignou, Paris and New York, 1935; sold to Clark]; Stephen C. Clark, New York (1935–d. 1960)”
Misc Note 2 notes for Ottilie (Tilla) GODEFROY (DURIEUX)
1. Tilla Durieux and her art collection

Tilla Durieux (née Ottilia Godefroy, 1880-1971) belongs to the most significant actors of Germany. She used to be a great star of the Berlin's theatre in 'the golden twenties'. She belongs to the capricious times of the Weimar Republic. Her life in the period between 1903 and 1918 was marked by two persons: Max Reinhardt, who made an actress out of her, and Paul Cassirer who introduced her to the centre of the most advanced movements from the 'end of the century'. The second period of her life ends with Hitler's persecutions (1933). 'The Zagreb period' (1934-1952) meant a refuge, peace and rest before new temptations. In the foyer of the Croatian National Theatre she met Zlata Lubienski, and from 1938 she lived in Jurjevska No. 27. In 1955 she returned to Berlin, and dedicated herself to acting until the end of her life. In 1982 in the Sabor building Mrs. Erika Danhoff signed the charter about the donation of a part of the collection (19 works of art) to the city of Zagreb. Her words were: My great friend and my mother in the artistic sense Tilla Durieux loved your city. She loved Zagreb, which was also her city for so many years, and to which she remained permanently bound. Therefore I am convinced that she would agree with pleasure to remain permanently present in it in this way.
Tilla's room in Jurjevska No. 27
* Ivan Gerersdorfer's cabinet of mechanic music machines
* Working room of maestro Zajc

* August Sˇenoa and Zagreb

* Tilla Durieux and her art collection

Portrait of Tilla Durieux · Max Slevogt · Berlin, 1907 · Oil on cardboard
Lady with a bird ("lovers") · Marc Chagall · Paris, between 1926 and 1927 · Gouache
Portrait of Tilla Durieux II · Ernst Barlach · Berlin, 1912 · Polished gypsum; the first original cast according to the clay model

2. Biographical Note. Tilla Durieux

The actress Tilla Durieux was born as Ottilie Godeffroy in Vienna.

In 1901 she got her first theater engagement at the Königlich-Städtischen Theater in Olmütz and already in 1903 she played at the stages of Max Reinhardt in Berlin.

During World War I she worked as a nurse, after the war she continued her successful theater career. It followed entrances in New York and in whole Germany.

In the silent movie era she made her debut already in 1914 with "Der Flug in die Sonne", which followed the movies "Die Launen einer Weltdame/Königin der Laune" (14) and "Nahira - Die Hand am Vorhang" (15). In the next years she played only sporadically in movies, so in "Die Verschleierte" (20), "Prinz Karneval" (23) and "Frau im Mond" (29).

After that she attended again exclusively for the theater. She got married with the industrialist Ludwig Katzenellenbogen in 1930 and they had to emigrate from Germany in 1933. From now on she played in Zurich, Prague and Vienna, later also in Budapest and Paris.

When the married couple tried to depart from Yugoslavia in 1941, Tilla Durieux's husband was arrested and deported, he died in Oranienburg in 1944. Tilla Durieux got involved in the Yugoslav resistance movement from 1941 to 1945.

After the war she played again at the theater and also the film business won influence on the agile actress. To her best-known movies of the 50's belong "Die letzte Brücke" (53), "Anastasia, die letzte Zarentochter" (56), "Illusionen" (57), "Ihr 106. Geburtstag" (57) and "El Hakim" (57). She continued her career till to the 60's with "Als geheilt entlassen" (60), "Die Festung/Verdammt zur Sünde" (64) and "Es" (65).

Other movies with Tilla Durieux:
Der zeugende Tod (20) Haschisch, das Paradies der Hölle (21) Die Stärkere (53) Die Schwestern (57) Gerichtet bei Nacht (57) Nebel (57) Von allen geliebt (57) Antigone (58) Auferstehung (58) Eine fast mögliche Geschichte (58) Vergessene Gesichter (59) Labyrinth/Neurose (59) Morgen wirst Du um mich weinen (59) Ein Traumspiel (59) Langusten (60) Barbara (61) Nur eine Karaffe... (62) Achtzig im Schatten (63) Unterm Birnbaum (63) Das Fässchen (63) Haben (63) Die Schneekönigin (64) Weisse Wyandotten (65) Ein To
Last Modified 25 Sep 2005Created 21 Mar 2024 by Jim Falk