Hildegard Knef  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Hildegard Frieda Albertine Knef (December 28, 1925 - February 1, 2002) was a German actress, singer and writer, probably best-known outside of the Germanosphere for her interpretation of "Mackie Messer" and her performance in The Sinner.


She was billed in some English language films as Hildegard(e) Neff. Arguably, her most influential roles included that of Susanne Wallner in Wolfgang Staudte's film Die Mörder sind unter uns (The Murderers Are Among Us) (the first film released after the Second World War in East Germany and produced by the Soviet filmmaking enterprise DEFA-Studio für Spielfilme) as well as her role as Marina in Die Sünderin (The Sinner) in which she performed the first nude scene in German filmmaking in 1950. The incident in the latter film sparked one of the largest scandals in German filmmaking history and drew the criticism of the Roman Catholic Church. She was the first and only German to have a successful Broadway show (Silk Stockings written by Cole Porter). She was sometimes compared to that other great German actress, Marlene Dietrich, in that they both were, or portrayed as, the liberated, self-confident woman. Hildegard Knef was one of the most important actresses of post-war Germany.

In the 1960s and 1970s she enjoyed much success as a singer of German chansons, which she often co-wrote. The song she is mostly remembered for is "Für mich soll's rote Rosen regnen" ("It shall rain red roses for me"). She is also known for her version of the song "Ich hab noch einen Koffer in Berlin" (I`ve got a suitcase left in Berlin...), the title of which is still often cited in articles and in common speech throughout Germany.

She has published several books. Her autobiography Der geschenkte Gaul - Bericht aus einem Leben (The Gift Horse - Report of a Life) from 1970 is a candid, but not sensationalist, recount of her life in Germany during and after World War II. It became the best selling German book after World War II. Her second book "Das Urteil" ("The Verdict") from 1975 was a moderate success. It dealt with her struggle with breast cancer.

She was married three times and had a daughter (born in 1968) from her second husband David Cameron Palastanga.


  • 1955 Cole Porter: Silk Stockings
  • 1961 Hildegard Knef spricht Jean Cocteau: Die geliebte Stimme
  • 1963 Die Dreigroschenoper
  • 1963 So oder so ist das Leben
  • 1964 Die großen Erfolge
  • 1964 Hildegard Knef
  • 1964 Seitensprünge nach Noten: Schauspieler singen Chansons (Ilse - Wedkind)
  • 1964 Ihre großen Erfolge
  • 1964 Illusionen
  • 1964 Germany’s Hildegard Neff
  • 1965 Mrs. Dally (Heute ist Unabhängigkeitstag)
  • 1965 Hildegard Knef spricht und singt Tucholsky
  • 1965 Chansons mit Hildegard Knef
  • 1966 Ich seh die Welt durch deine Augen
  • 1966 So hat alles seinen Sinn
  • 1966 Die neue Knef – Tournee LIVE
  • 1966 Die große Knef
  • 1967 Halt mich fest
  • 1967 Hildegard Knef
  • 1968 träume heißen du
  • 1968 knef concert
  • 1968 Na und ...
  • 1968 Der Mond hatte frei
  • 1969 Love for Sale
  • 1969 Die großen Erfolge 2
  • 1970 knef
  • 1970 Portrait in Musik
  • 1970 Hildegard Knef liest: Der geschenkte Gaul – Bericht aus einem Leben
  • 1970 Tapetenwechsel
  • 1970 Grand Gala
  • 1970 Hildegard Knef
  • 1971 From Here On In It Gets Rough
  • 1971 Worum geht’s hier eigentlich?
  • 1971 The World of Hildegard Knef
  • 1971 Gestern - Heute
  • 1972 Und ich dreh’ mich nochmal um
  • 1972 Texte, geschrieben und gelesen: Hildegard Knef
  • 1973 Portrait in Gold
  • 1974 Ich bin den weiten Weg gegangen
  • 1975 Das Urteil – Hildegard Knef liest aus ihrem Roman
  • 1975 Applaus
  • 1975 Star für Millionen: Hildegard Knef
  • 1976 Bei dir war es immer so schön
  • 1976 Die großen Erfolge
  • 1976 Grand Gala der Stars: Hildegard Knef
  • 1977 Lausige Zeiten
  • 1977 Goldene Serie: Hildegard Knef
  • 1978 Heimweh-Blues
  • 1978 Überall blühen Rosen
  • 1979 Eins & Eins – Hildegard Knef, ihre großen Erfolge und das Orchester Bert Kaempfert
  • 1979 Wereldsuccessen
  • 1979 Profile: Hildegard Knef
  • 1979 20 große Erfolge
  • 1980 Da ist eine Zeit ...
  • 1980 Tournee, Tournee ... Das Live-Album ihrer Konzertreise
  • 1980 Motive: Hildegard Knef
  • 1980 Star-Magazin: Hildegard Knef
  • 1981 Portrait: Hildegard Knef
  • 1984 Aber schön war es doch – 16 große Erfolge
  • 1985 Ihre Freunde nennen sie Hilde
  • 1985 Ihre 16 größten Erfolge
  • 2002 The Reform Sessions

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Hildegard Knef" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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