Emil Jannings

Emil Jannings (23 July 1884 – 2 January 1950) was a Swiss-born German/Austrian actor. He was the first actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, as well as the first person to be presented an Oscar. He later starred in a number of Nazi propaganda films. He was christened as Theodor Friedrich Emil Janenz in Rorschach, Switzerland, the son of a German mother and an American father. While he was still young the family moved to Görlitz in Germany and in the town state theatre Jannings started his stage career. He worked in Bremen and Leipzig before joining the Max Reinhardt theatre company in Berlin. Jannings was a theater actor who went into films. He starred in the 1922 film version of Othello and in F. W. Murnau's The Last Laugh (Der Letzte Mann, 1924), as a proud but aged hotel doorman who is demoted to a restroom attendant. Jannings worked with Murnau on two other films, playing the title character in Herr Tartüff (1925) and Mephistopheles in Faust (1926). Jannings eventually started a career in Hollywood. In 1929 he won the Oscar for two films, The Way of All Flesh, and The Last Command.


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