Weitere Namen
Kätherose Derr (Geburtsname) Rose Dor (Weiterer Name)
Wiesbaden München


Karin Dor, born as Käthe Rose Derr February 22, 1938 in Wiesbaden, grew up in a middle-class family. Although she initially wanted to become a fashion designer, she took actor's training and ballet lessons. Then, director Arthur Maria Rabenalt recommended the young extra to his upcoming colleague Harald Reinl who gave her a part in his film "Rosen-Resli" ("Rose-Girl Resli") and another part in his 1954 film "Der schweigende Engel". In the same year, Dor married the 28-year older director Reinl.

The young actress made her first major appearances as a high-school graduate in Rudolf Jugert's "Ihre grosse Prüfung" ("The Big Test") and as a mayor's daughter during the Spanish Civil War in Reinl's "Solange Du lebst" ("As Long As You Live"). Soon, Dor specialized on the gentle and naïve roles in popular music films and sentimental comedies with regional background. But Dor managed to successfully transfer her image to the crime movie genre in Harald Reinl's "Die Bande des Schreckens" ("Hand of the Gallows", 1960), the third movie in the Edgar Wallace series, and to prove her acting skills in several parts of innocently prosecuted women. Dor then became popular as Germany's "Miss Krimi" and was seen in outstanding performances in most films of the Edgar Wallace crime series.

But Dor was also a key asset to the series of Karl May films, the second huge West German genre success. Again directed by her husband Harald Reinl, Dor delivered several brilliant performances as the belle in need of protection.

Later, Karin Dor dismissed these one-dimensional parts and took over the role of Brunhild in Reinl's two-part Burgundian saga "Die Nibelungen" (1966). Although the film was not well received by the critics, it became the starting point for Dor's international movie career. As Germany's "star without affairs" Dor got the part of sexy Helga Brandt in the fifth James Bond movie "You Only Live Twice" alongside Sean Connery and was able to act against her former, rather virtuous role image. Dor delivered a convincing performance as a red-haired temptress trying to stop the famous undercover agent using her erotic charm.

Another important step in Dor's international career was the unexpected offer to play a Cuban woman in Alfred Hitchcock's spy thriller "Topaz" in 1969. Dor starred as the beautiful and proud Juanita de Cordoba, the leader of an underground movement. She and her lover collaborate with the West until Juanita dies in the style of an opera's finale. In 1968, Karin Dor became sick with cancer and was divorced from Harald Reinl.

But after a brief halt, Dor was able to continue her movie career. From the 1970s on, she made less and less films but instead focussed on TV and theatre productions such as the American crime series "Ironside" and "It Takes a Thief". She also made a name for her performances in popular theatre in Germany. Her TV work in the 1990s included the family series "Die große Freiheit" where she starred alongside Hans-Joachim Kulenkampff as well as the TV movie "Der Preis der Liebe", a Rosamunde Pilcher adaptation. In 2006, Dor made her first movie for years and starred in Margarethe von Trotta's "Ich bin die Andere" ("I Am the Other Woman"). Nearly ten years later she played her last role in a feature film in "Die abhandene Welt" ("The Misplaced World", 2015), again directed by Margarethe von Trotta.

Karin Dor died November 6, 2017 in Munich.


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