HENNY PORTEN: MAJOR GERMAN FILM ACTRESS WITH ADMIRABLE PRINCIPLES (RESISTED THE NAZI GOVERNMENT)

 

Henny Porten (1890-1960) is the subject of this real photo postcard. Porten was a German actress and film producer of the silent era. She was Germany’s first major film star and appeared in more than 170 films produced between 1906 and 1955. Along with Asta Nielsen and Pola Negri, she was one of the three most popular German actresses. Her father was a film director and her sister was an actress/screenwriter. She began her film career without any stage experience which was an unusual phenomenon for German actresses. Porten was not well known outside of Germany. A large number of her early films were directed by her husband, Curt Stark. Stark died during World War I (1916) while serving on the Eastern Front. In 1921 she remarried a Jewish man named Wilhelm von Kaufmann. When the Nazis took power, she received much pressure to divorce her husband. She refused to comply and her career plummeted. She was denied a visa to emigrate. Her career blossomed again after World War II. The photograph of Miss Porten seen on this postcard is by the Becker & Maass studio of Berlin, Germany. The photographers were well known for portrait and fashion photography in the first decades of the twentieth century. They photographed dozens of German film stars for magazines and postcards. You can view more of this studios photographs by clicking on the category “Photographer: Becker & Maass”.  The postcard is published by Rotophot which began publishing “RPH” postcards in 1916. There were three different series: Buhnen-Sterne (stage star), Film Sterne (film star), and Film Sterne (displayed scenes). This postcard is from the Film Sterne series and was no. 216/3. The film star series ran from number 61 through number 224. The front of the Film Sterne cards included the name of the film studio represented. This card advertises Messter-Films of Berlin. These postcards were continued by the Ross Verlag company who’s origins can be traced back to the earlier Rotophot postcard company. The You Tube clip below presents Henny Porten in some scenes from “24 Hours from the Life of a Woman” (1931).

 

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PORTRAIT OF PRETTY ACTRESS TAMARA DESNI AND A LIFELIKE DOLL (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

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The pretty subject of this vintage real photo postcard is actress Tamara Desni (1910-2008). She has an exotic appearance. She was a German born daughter of a Ukrainian born silent film actress named Xenia Desni (1894-1962). Tamara begin her stage and film career as a child in Berlin, Germany. She also appeared in several British made films in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  She also starred in German films. In 1931 she had a major role in the operetta “White Horse Inn” which appeared in London. It was a spectacular hit at the Coliseum Theater. She next appeared in another leading role at the Coliseum in “Casanova”. She then had success in the British films “Falling For You (1933)”, “Forbidden Territory (1934)”, “Jack Ahoy (1935)”, and “Dark World (1935). Desni also played a supporting role in “Fire over England (1937)” which starred Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. She continued her film career through 1950. Tamara Desni’s social life must have been quite interesting. She was married five times. She must have learned from her four mistakes because her fifth marriage lasted half a century and only ended with her husband’s death. Tamara Desni appears in this postcard holding a life-like doll. Desni is flashing a beautiful smile. The photograph was taken by Becker & Maass of Berlin, Germany. The postcard was published by Ross Verlag and was part of a series (No. 6346/1). The company printed real photo postcards of excellent quality. Some consider their portrait photos the finest movie/theater star postcard portraits ever published.