- Category : 1887-births
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Sleeping Phoenix 1
German actor, stage director and arts administrator.
Ebert was the son of a Polish father, Count Anton Potulicky, who was a government official in Berlin, and an Irish-American mother, Mary Collins, a music student. To keep it secret from her family that she had an illegitimate child, Mary Collins persuaded a fellow-student, Eileen Lawless, to be officially recorded as the boy's mother. He was given the name of Charles Lawless. His father rented rooms in the house of Wilhelm and Maria Ebert in Berlin. He persuaded the couple to take charge of his son. When the boy was seven years old the Eberts legally adopted him as their son. He was known as Charles Ebert from then until the First World War when he took a German form of his first name.
Ebert's early career was as an actor, training under Max Reinhardt and becoming one of the leading actors in his native Germany during the 1920s. During that decade he was also appointed to administrative posts, both theatrical and academic. In 1929 he directed opera for the first time, and during the 1930s established a reputation as an operatic director in Germany and beyond. A strong opponent of Nazism, he left Germany in 1933 and did not return until 1945.
Together with John Christie and the conductor Fritz Busch, Ebert created the Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 1934. Ebert remained its artistic director until 1959, though productions were suspended during the Second World War. In the 1930s and 1940s Ebert helped establish a national conservatory in Turkey, where he and his family lived from 1940 to 1947.
In his later years Ebert held administrative posts in Los Angeles and Berlin, and was a guest director at opera houses and festivals in Europe.
Ebert retired to California, where he died in Santa Monica on 14 May 1980 at the age of 93.