Academic journal article German Quarterly

"Das Leben Ist eine Rutschbahn."Albert Steinrück: Eine Biographie Des Schauspielers, Malers Und Bohemiens (1872-1929)

Academic journal article German Quarterly

"Das Leben Ist eine Rutschbahn."Albert Steinrück: Eine Biographie Des Schauspielers, Malers Und Bohemiens (1872-1929)

Article excerpt

Heymann, Margret. "DasLebenisteineRutschbahn..."AlbertSteinrück:EineBiographie des Schauspielers, Malers und Bohemiens (1872-1929). Berlin: Vorwerk 8, 2014. 200 pp. i24.00 (paperback).

Margret Heymann's book celebrates the life of Albert Steinrück and his career as a stage and film actor. Her point of departure is the Albert Steinrück Gedächtnisfeier, which took place at the Berliner Staatstheater shortly after his death on March 28, 1929, and was attended by mostofthebest-knownactorsinBerlin.Thecentralquestiondrivingherinvestigationishow a star like Albert Steinrück, who was incredibly popular with the public during his lifetime, couldbesoquicklyforgottenafterhisdeath.Heymannseekstoreconstructanddrawrenewed attention to his life and influential role as a stage actor, director, and film star.

Steinrück's acting career began in 1901 at the Berliner Schiller-Theater, at the time a startingpointformanytalentedyoungactors.HethenworkedwithMaxReinhardtbeforemoving on to the Münchner Hofbühnen, where he rose to stardom. Heymann's account is structured largely around the major roles he played and those productions he directed that were particularly important for his career. Examples include Gerhart Hauptmann's Kollege Crampton,a character with whom he strongly identified, Georg Büchner's Woyzeck-Steinrück became known as the Woyzeck actor-and Frank Wedekind's Der Marquis von Keith-Wedekind stated that Steinrück was the only actor to play the role as he had imagined it. Heymann goes on to discuss Steinrück's personal life, including his bohemian lifestyle, his two marriages, his heavy drinking, and his chronic financial difficulties. These chapters are framed by his later career in Berlin, guest appearances in Vienna and at the Heidelberger Festspiele, and his transition to film. …

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