Conrad Veidt Biography
Hans Walter Conrad Veidt was born on January 22, 1893, in Berlin, to Amalie Marie and Philipp Heinrich Veidt, a former military man turned civil servant. “Like many fathers, he was affectionately autocratic in his home life, strict, idealistic,” Veidt would later recall. Veidt’s only sibling, an older brother named Karl, died of scarlet fever when he was nine years old in 1900. Summers were spent in Potsdam by the family. Veidt began attending Berlin’s many theaters with the money he earned from odd jobs and the allowance his mother gave him.He was sent to the Eastern Front as a non-commissioned officer in 1915 and participated in the Battle of Warsaw. He became ill with jaundice and pneumonia and had to be airlifted to a hospital on the Baltic Sea.
Conrad Veidt Career
Hans Walter Conrad Veidt was a German film actor who rose to prominence with roles in films such as Different from the Others (1919), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), and The Man Who Laughs (1921). (1928). After a successful career in German silent films, where he was one of UFA’s highest-paid stars, he and his new Jewish wife Ilona Prager fled Germany after the Nazis took power in 1933. The couple settled in the United Kingdom, where he obtained British citizenship in 1939. He appeared in several British films, including The Thief of Bagdad (1940), before emigrating to the United States around 1941, where he was cast in what is possibly his most famous role as Major Strasser in Casablanca (1942). Veidt appeared in over 100 films between 1917 and his death. One of his earliest roles was as the murderous somnambulist Cesare in director Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), a German Expressionist film classic starring Werner Krauss and Lil Dagover.
Conrad Veidt Personal Life
Veidt married cabaret entertainer Gussy Holl on June 10, 1918. They first met at a party in March 1918, and Conrad described her as “very lovely, tall, dignified, and somewhat aloof” to friends. They divorced in 1919 but tried to reconcile several times. In 1922, Holl and Veidt divorced. Anna Maria “Felizitas” Radke, Veidt’s second wife, came from an aristocratic Austrian family. They met at a December 1922 party or a Charleston dance competition in 1923. Radke divorced her husband in exchange for him, and they married on April 18, 1923. Vera Viola Maria, nicknamed “Kiki” and also known as “Viola,” was born on August 10, 1925.
Radke and Veidt divorced in 1932, with Radke claiming that Veidt’s acting schedule necessitated frequent relocations and separations. Viola died on February 2, 2004 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
Veidt last married Flora Ilona Barta Greger, a Hungarian Jew known as “Lilli” or “Lily,” on March 24, 1933, in Berlin. They stayed together until he died. The two had met in a Berlin club.
Conrad Veidt Death
Veidt discovered in the 1930s that he had a heart condition that had killed his mother; the condition was exacerbated by his chain smoking, and Veidt began taking nitroglycerin tablets. On 3 April 1943, he died of a heart attack while playing golf at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles with singer Arthur Fields and his personal physician.