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Dolly Haas Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (14)

Overview (3)

Born in Hamburg, Germany
Died in East Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA  (ovarian cancer)
Birth NameDorothy Clara Louise Haas

Mini Bio (1)

Dolly Haas was born on April 29, 1910 in Hamburg, Germany as Dorothy Clara Louise Haas. She was an actress, known for I Confess (1953), Der Ball (1931) and Ein Mädel der Strasse (1932). She was married to Al Hirschfeld and John Brahm. She died on September 16, 1994 in East Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA.

Spouse (2)

Al Hirschfeld (9 September 1943 - 16 September 1994) ( her death) ( 1 child)
John Brahm (27 October 1937 - 1941) ( divorced)

Trivia (14)

Married Al Hirschfeld in Baltimore, Maryland while she was appearing in a show at the old Ford's Theater. Hirschfeld came to Baltimore for decades to see pre-Broadway tryouts.
Diminutive German leading lady, daughter of an English father and a Viennese mother. Studied ballet at the age of six. Aged twenty, she performed in cabaret and musical revues. In romantic films and comedies from 1930. Left Germany in 1936 to continue her career in Britain. Married the director John Brahm, who directed her in the sound version of "Broken Blossoms". Went to Hollywood and was signed by Columbia, but was never utilised following her refusal to change her name to 'Lilli Marlowe'. Acted for some time on the New York stage. Broadway debut in 1943 in "Doctors Disagree". Later with John Gielgud and Lillian Gish in "Crime and Punishment". Off-Broadway in Brecht's "Threepenny Opera". Only later film appearance of note in Hitchcock's "I Confess".
Her second film "Dolly macht Karriere" (30) could stand nearly prophetically for her future, wouldn't had been the political circumstances in the following years.
Although Haas did not appear in many English language films, she did have an important role in Alfred Hitchcock's 1953 film, I Confess. Haas was a personal friend of Hitchcock's, and Hitchcock cast her as Alma Keller, the wife of the murderer-janitor Otto Keller.
Her first marriage was to German-born film director John Brahm, who at one point was resident director for acting troupes such as Deutsches Theater and the Lessing Theater, both in Berlin.
She replaced Mary Martin in the lead role in "Lute Song" in 1946 for the touring production. Her co-star, Yul Brynner, stated that Haas's casting substantially improved the show, stating that, "Dolly Haas understood the part. She had an affinity for it, and the play immediately improved. It wasn't at all that Dolly was a better actress. She was just better casting for the part than Mary." Martin reportedly agreed with Brynner's assessment and helped Haas to prepare for the role in a very short span of time allotted for rehearsal.
Her attendance in the film "Das hässliche Mädchen" (1933) started her turning away from German movie. When it came to riots against her Jewish partner Max Hansen during the first night and after the names of director Hermann Kosterlitz and writer Felix Joachimson were stroke off from the credits, she became aware of the political threat. This finally led to her emigration to England in 1936.
She played in two movies before she got a three-year contract from Columbia. But she wasn't allowed to shoot films. In 1941 she devoted herself to the theater and appeared only sporadic in TV productions.
In 1975, she returned to Germany, where she was honored with a retrospective of her films at the 25th annual Berlin International Film Festival.
When Dolly Haas made her New York stage debut in 1941 in Erwin Piscator's production of the Chinese fantasy "The Circle of Chalk," Brooks Atkinson, the drama critic of The Times, wrote that she was "an exquisitely beautiful actress, with the limpid grace of a Chinese poem or print.".
Haas was born in Hamburg, Germany, the daughter of an English father and a German or Austrian mother (Charles Oswald Haas and Margarete Maria Hansen). As a child, she studied ballet. After her graduation she went to Berlin and got a supporting role in a stage play by Erik Charell. Before she was 20 years old, she was singing and acting in cabaret and musical comedy.
Whisked off to Hollywood, she languished for a time as producers looked for suitable roles and tried to persuade her to change her name to Lilli Marlowe. Soon she left for New York and a life on the stage.
Haas died from ovarian cancer at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, and was survived by her husband Al Hirschfeld, their daughter Nina (born October 20, 1945), and two grandchildren.
Haas became a naturalized United States citizen on August 16, 1944.

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