Weitere Namen
Dorothy Clara Louise Haas (Weiterer Name)
Cast, Music
Hamburg New York, New York, USA

Biography

Dorothy Clara Louise Haas was born April 10, 1910, in Hamburg as the daughter of the Briton Charles Oswald Haas and the Viennese Margarete Hansen. From 1917 until 1927, she attended the progressive lyceum of Dr. Löwenberg.

Dolly Haas took ballet classes since the age of six. At the age of ten, she choreographed and performed her own dances. After graduating from school, she moved to Berlin where Erik Charell gave her a large supporting role in "Mikado". Subsequently, she obtained further engagements and performed at the cabaret. One of the highlights of her stage career was a role in the Max Reinhardt production "Wie werde ich reich und glücklich" (1930, directed by Erich Engel). In the same year, she made her debut as a movie actress with "Eine Stunde Glück", in which she played a singing and dancing shop window dummy. Her second movie, carrying the predictive title "Dolly macht Karriere", (Dolly"s Way to Stardom) found its way into cinemas before "Eine Stunde Glück" premiered. The film magazine Lichtbild-Bühne wrote about her performance: "She can dance and sing, she’s charming, spirited, and she has a great sense for situations that are both grotesque and funny. Moreover, she is an intelligent woman who‘s very aware of what she’s doing. A comic temperament par excellence… absolutely unique."

 


In addition to her theater work, Dolly Haas has played the cheerful child-woman who outmatches her male partners as far as decisiveness, smartness, energy, and courage is concerned in fifteen other movies. In "Liebeskommando", she enables her brother to become an artist by joining the army in place of him. In "Scampolo",she restores a broke banker to a new existence. In "Der Page vom Dalmasse Hotel", she rescues a rich nobleman from female impostors. Small, skinny, and preferably disguised as a boy, she has to convince her heroes – and sometimes even herself – from her femaleness. After having played men in several movies, Dolly Haas parodied her image in "Das häßliche Mädchen".

The premiere of this film saw violent excesses against her Jewish co-star Max Hansen. Dolly Haas left Germany in 1936 due to the growing anti-Semitism. In England, she played the role of Lucy in a remake of D.W. Griffith’ classic "Broken Blossoms", which was directed by her future husband Hans (John) Brahm. In 1936, the Hollywood studio Columbia offered her a three-years-contract. After having futilely waited for a role for 18 months, however, she returned to the theater in 1941. In New York, she starred as Hai-Tang in Erwin Piscator’s production of Klabund’s "Kreidekreis". From 1943, she achieved success on Broadway and occasionally starred in television productions. After a 17-year absence she returned to the big screen with Hitchcock’s "I Confess", in which she starred alongside O.E. Hasse as the wife of a sexton who emigrates to the United States, where her life ends tragically.

In 1943, Dolly Haas married the caricaturist Al Hirschfeld with whom she has a daughter (born in 1945). In 1983, the Berlin International Film Festival dedicated a retrospective to her work. She died September 16, 1994, in New York.