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The Times (19/Jul/1976) - Obituary: Lucie Mannheim

(c) The Times (19/Jul/1976)



English and German stage career

Lucie Mannheim, the actress, has died in Germany at the age of 71. Distinguished in Germany, she was swiftly recognized, both for emotional parts and as a comedienne, when she reached London from Berlin in the mid-1930s. After the war her most important stage work was again in Germany.

Born near Berlin, she acted while still a schoolgirl. From 1924 she was showing extreme versatility in Berlin, at the Staatstheater and elsewhere, as Juliet; Ibsen's Nora; Chekhov's Irena in The Three Sisters; Hauptmann's Hannele; Raina in Arms and the Man; Mary Dugan, and a great deal else, musical comedy included. She appeared with such players as Werner Krauss, Albert Bassermann, Fritz Kortner, and Oscar Homolka.

Coming to England, during 1935. she was applauded for her two contrasted major parts in Hubert Griffith's version of Bruno Frank's Nina. She played Sonia in The Last Straw, and Nora Helmer in a revival of A Doll's House directed by her future husband, the English actor, Marius Goring, whom she married in 1941. For this she was warmly praised. James Agate said: "She does not sit about waiting for something to happen; she is always making something happen".

During the war she broadcast often to Germany in the BBC European Service. Later she was Rebecca in Rosmersholm and the Nurse in Too True to be Good (Arts, 1948); and in November that year, also at the Arts, she partnered Marius Goring in The Third Man, a treatment of Jealousy, the Verneuil play in which she had acted with Bassermann in Berlin.

Thereafter she kept principally to the German stage in an uncommon range of parts, Lady Pitts in Daphne Laureola, which she translated and directed; Miss Moffatt (The Corn is Green), and much else between Tolstoy and Coward. In 1965 she played Mrs Pankhurst on television from Bremen.

Lucie Mannheim received the Grand Cross of the German Order of Merit in 1959, and in 1963 was made Berlin State Actress for services to the theatre.