- Category : 1904-births
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Penetration 4
German-American stage and film actress, writer and socialite, the daughter of engineer Edward Levy and opera singer Else Landshoff.
She came from a middle class Jewish family and during the Weimar Republic counted among her friends Ernst Toller, Bertolt Brecht, Thomas Mann, Albert Einstein and Swiss writer Annemarie Schwarzenbach. She enjoyed a privileged lifestyle in Berlin and frequented the many gay bars, sometimes dressing as a man and appearing in public as her alter ego René.
Landshoff appeared in several avant-garde films before she trained as an actress, playing Ruth in Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau's landmark silent film Nosferatu (1922) and making a brief appearance in The Search (Die Gezeichneten, 1922) by Carl Theodor Dreyer. After attending Max Reinhardt's acting school, Landshoff turned to stage acting. She made appearances in Berlin, Leipzig, and Vienna.
From 1924 to 1930 she was in a relationship with playwright and screenwriter Karl Vollmöller (The Miracle, The Blue Angel). She married David Graf Yorck von Wartenburg in 1930, however they divorced in 1937.
In 1933 she emigrated from Nazi-Germany to France, then to the United Kingdom, then to Switzerland and finally in March 1937 to the USA, where she worked until her death as a writer and translator in New York City. She wrote novels, poems, and magazine columns. Though she was a native German speaker, she quickly learned to write in English. Landshoff died in New York during a theatre performance of Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss on 19 January 1966. Her bequest, the Ruth Yorck Archive, is located in the Department of Special Collections/Mugar Memorial Library of Boston University.