- Category : Entertainment-Actor-Actress
- Type : GP
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Split - Small (51,52,57)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Vessel of Love 4
German actor, famous and infamous at times. In 1923 he went to the Kammerspiele in Hamburg, where he also appeared as a director for the first time, co-working with the author Klaus Mann, son of Thomas Mann, and his sister Erika. Gründgens married Erika Mann in 1926. However, they divorced three years later. Klaus Mann, who died in 1949, wrote the novel Mephisto presenting his ex-brother-in-law Gründgens as a cold carrierist. In 1981 the novel was made into the film Mephisto, directed by István Szabó, Klaus Maria Brandauer played the role of Hendrik Höfgen. The film was a huge commercial and critical success winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1981.
Gründgens' career proceeded after the Nazi Machtergreifung: in 1934 he became intendant of the Prussian State Theatre and was later appointed as a member of the Prussian state council by the Prussian Minister President Hermann Göring. In 1941, Gründgens starred in the propaganda film Ohm Krüger and also in Friedemann Bach, a film he also produced. After Goebbels's total war speech on 18 February 1943, Gründgens volunteered for the Wehrmacht but was again recalled by Göring, who had his name added to the Gottbegnadeten list.
Imprisoned by the Soviet NKVD in 1945, Gründgens was released thanks to the intercession by the Communist actor Ernst Busch, whom Gründgens himself had saved from execution by the Nazis in 1943. During the denazification process his statements helped to exonerate acting colleagues like Göring's widow Emmy and the director Veit Harlan (Jud Süß). Gründgens turned back to the Deutsches Theater, later became intendant of the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus and from 1955 directed the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg. He again performed as Mephistopheles, the 1960 film Faust by Peter Gorski was shot with the Deutsches Schauspielhaus ensemble.
He died during a world tour on 7 October 1963 of internal hemorrhaging in Manila, Philippines.