Hildegard Knef
Name: Hildegard Knef
Occupation: Actor
Gender: Female
Height: 168 cm (5' 7'')
Birth Day: December 28, 1925
Death Date: 1 February 2002(2002-02-01) (aged 76)
Berlin, Germany
Age: Aged 76
Birth Place:  Ulm, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Germany
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn

Social Accounts

Hildegard Knef

Hildegard Knef was born on December 28, 1925 in  Ulm, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Germany (76 years old). Hildegard Knef is an Actor, zodiac sign: Capricorn. Nationality: Germany. Approx. Net Worth: Undisclosed.

Net Worth 2020

Find out more about Hildegard Knef net worth here.

Family Members

# Name Relationship Net Worth Salary Age Occupation
#1 Christina Palastanga Children N/A N/A N/A
#2 Paul von Schell Spouse N/A N/A N/A
#3 David Cameron Spouse N/A N/A N/A
#4 Kurt Hirsch Spouse N/A N/A N/A

Does Hildegard Knef Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Hildegard Knef died on 1 February 2002(2002-02-01) (aged 76)
Berlin, Germany.


Height Weight Hair Colour Eye Colour Blood Type Tattoo(s)
168 cm (5' 7'') N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A


Biography Timeline


Hildegard Knef was born in Ulm. Her parents were Hans Theodor and Friede Augustine Knef. Her father, a decorated First World War veteran, died of syphilis when she was only six months old, and her mother moved to Berlin and worked in a factory. Knef began studying acting at age 14 in 1940. She left school at 15 to become an apprentice animator with Universum Film AG. After she had a successful screen test, she went to the State Film School at Babelsberg, Berlin, where she studied acting, ballet, and elocution. Joseph Goebbels, who was Hitler's propaganda minister, wrote to her and asked to meet her, but Knef's friends wanted her to stay away from him.


Knef appeared in several films before the fall of the Third Reich, but most were released only afterward. During the Battle of Berlin she dressed as a soldier to stay with her lover Ewald von Demandowsky, and joined him in the defence of Schmargendorf. The Soviets captured her and sent her to a prison camp. Her fellow prisoners helped her escape and return to Berlin. Von Demandowsky was executed by the Russians on 7 October 1946, but before that he secured for Knef the protection of the well-known character actor Viktor de Kowa in Berlin. De Kowa gave her the opportunity to be a mistress of ceremonies in the theatre that he had opened. Knef also got a part in Marcel Pagnol's Marius, which was directed by Boleslaw Barlog and proved one of the German theatre's great plays. De Kowa also directed Knef in other plays by Shakespeare, Pagnol, and George Abbott.

Her two best known film roles were "Susanne Wallner" in Wolfgang Staudte's film Die Mörder sind unter uns (The Murderers Are Among Us), produced in 1946 by the East German state film company, and the first film released after the Second World War in East Germany; and "Marina" in Die Sünderin (The Sinner), in which she performed a brief nude scene, the first in German film history, which caused a scandal in 1950. The film was also criticised by the Catholic Church, which protested against the nude scene. Knef stated that she didn't understand the tumult that the film was creating. She wrote that it was totally absurd that people reacted in that manner and made a scandal because of her nudity as Germany was a country that had created Auschwitz and had caused so much horror. She also wrote, "I had the scandal, the producers got the money."


She was married three times and divorced twice. Her first marriage was in 1947 to Kurt Hirsch. He was a U.S. information officer. They got divorced in 1952. The second time she married the actor and record producer David Anthony Palastanga, on 30 June 1962. Knef had a daughter with him. They named her Christina Antonia. She attended public schools in Germany. When Knef was 47, she wrote a letter for her 5-year-old daughter. She wrote what she had learned; of beauty; of her grandfather’s legacy about anti-human beings, of unconditional love and truth. She also wrote that the only mission of humans in this world was to serve in one form or other because she had noticed that those who didn’t serve ended up as slaves. When she died, she was still married to her third husband, Paul von Schell.


She performed in many films. In 1948, she received the best-actress award from the Locarno Film Festival because of her role in the film Film Without a Title. Her successful singing career started in the 1960s once her film career was not going very well. She wrote some songs by herself. She performed in television shows such as in episodes of Scarecrow and Mrs. King and in a 2000 documentary in which she was playing by herself Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song.


Finally, in 1955, Knef was offered a starring role in the Broadway musical Silk Stockings by Cole Porter, which was based on the 1939 film Ninotchka, which had starred Greta Garbo in the title role. Knef had acted in at least 30 films in the United States and Europe, but her triumph came in New York when she played Ninotchka, an unemotional Soviet commissar. The New York Times drama critic Brooks Atkinson described her rendition as "an immensely skillful performance."


In the 1960s, Knef took a break from acting and started writing song lyrics. Then she started a successful concert and recording career. She began her singing career in the United States on Broadway. She began her new career in 1963 as a singer and surprised her audiences with the deep, smoky quality of her voice and the many lyrics, which she wrote herself. Fans around the world rallied in her support as she defeated cancer several times. She returned to Berlin after the reunification. In her peak, entertainment columnist called her the ""willowy blonde" who had "dusty voice" and "generous mouth". In the 1960s and 1970s, she enjoyed considerable 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" ("Red roses are to rain for me"). She is also known for her version of the song "Ich hab noch einen Koffer in Berlin" ("I still have a suitcase in Berlin") and "Mackie Messer" ("Mack the knife"). She sold more than three million records in total.


She published several books. Her autobiography Der geschenkte Gaul: Bericht aus einem Leben (The Gift Horse: Report on a Life, 1970) was a candid recount of her life in Germany during and after the Second World War, and reportedly became the best-selling German book in the post-war years. Her second book Das Urteil (The Verdict, 1975) was a moderate success, and dealt with her struggle with breast cancer. Knef not only achieved international best-seller status, her books were also widely praised by critics because her autobiographies were "better-than-the-average celebrity's". Arthur Cooper of Newsweek claimed that the way in which Knef accounted in The Gift Horse: Report on a Life her childhood and difficult life being an actress and singer while living in Hitler's Berlin and after the war in Europe and America, was "a bitterly honest book and a very good one". The book is not considered a book of "Hollywood-Broadway gossip. The book doesn't try to persuade the public depicting a made up celebrity's adventures. It seems a book that tells the real life of Knef. It refers to her struggles as a German woman who grew up in Berlin under the Nazis. The Gift Horse: Report on a Life was translated to English by Knef's second husband David Anthony Palastanga. In The Verdict which was also translated by Palastanga, Knef looked at her life in another perspective because she knew that she had cancer. Rachel MacKenzie wrote that Knef had her 56th operation, a mastectomy, in Salzburg on 10 August 1973. MacKenzie stated that from that cancer surgery, life had to be thought of in terms of pre-verdict and post-verdict. The book is divided in these two sections but they are not chronologically ordered because Knef wrote the two sections in a way that the reader is moved forward and backward in time and space. The Verdict describes in great detail the hospital scenes as well as the doctors and nurses in New York, Los Angeles, Zürich and Hamburg where she was hospitalised.


She appeared in the 1975 screen adaptation of the Hans Fallada novel, Every Man Dies Alone directed by Alfred Vohrer, released in English as Everyone Dies Alone in 1976, and for which she won an award for best actress at the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary, then Czechoslovakia.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Hildegard Knef is 95 years, 9 months and 20 days old. Hildegard Knef will celebrate 96th birthday on a Tuesday 28th of December 2021.

Find out about Hildegard Knef birthday activities in timeline view here.

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