Theodor Friedrich Emil Janenz

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Theodor Friedrich Emil Janenz was born in Rorschach, Switzerland back in 1884 to Emil and Margarethe.  At an early age, he ran away from school and went to sea.  He returned in 1901, and started working with several theatre companies in and around Nuremberg.  He was good enough in the silent film era to be signed by Paramount Pictures when he moved to Hollywood.

His career in America came to an end with the advent of talkies, because of his thick German accent.

In 1933, he returned to Germany where he continued his career in the service of the Nazi cinema during the Third Reich.  When the troops of the Allied Powers entered Germany in 1945, because of his role in Nazi propaganda meant that he was subject to denazification, effectively ending his career.  He moved to Austria where he died in 1950, he was 65.

What you may not know about Theodor AKA Emil Jannings, is that he was the first German and last actor to receive the Academy Award for Best Actor for his roles in The Last Command and They Way of All Flesh.

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Comments (17)

Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

He should have stayed in the USA.

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Nov 16, 2020 04:08 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - an interesting story. Choices have consequences, don't they?  

Nov 16, 2020 04:17 AM
Donald Urschalitz
Lubeck Realty Group - Jupiter, FL
P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County

Some times our decision will have consequences that we can't determine.

Nov 16, 2020 04:19 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning James Dray - very interesting career.  I assume he had no other way to make a living.

Nov 16, 2020 04:56 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, James... although none of these names ring a bell with me, it was a very interesting story.

Nov 16, 2020 05:16 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Hmm, I don't recognize any of his films and doubt that I will ever attempt to watch them, haha.

Nov 16, 2020 05:31 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. The end of the silent movie era was the end for many careers. He just made some bad choices. Enjoy your day!

Nov 16, 2020 05:36 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

Very interesting post James Dray . I had never heard of him before but I had heard that "talkies" ruined several careers.

Nov 16, 2020 05:48 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, James, for sharing this story.

Take care, be safe and have an outstanding week.

Nov 16, 2020 07:07 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Good morning James. I understand the first German, but the last to recieve a Best Actor?  You mean the last German?

Nov 16, 2020 08:50 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi James- interesting story. I've watched a lot of old movies but not familiar with those two. 

Nov 16, 2020 10:29 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


What a great story, and I had no idea of this actor.  I am always learning something new from you on a daily basis. A

Nov 16, 2020 10:54 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

An interesting man. I cannot say if the punishment fit the crime. The NAZI party was pure evil.

Nov 16, 2020 11:08 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi James:

Another post about someone I knew nothing about...and hadn't heard of these movies. Interesting read!

Good to see you today at the Zoom meeting.


Nov 17, 2020 05:30 PM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Hmm I wonder if Emil Jannings had second thoughts about those Nazi propaganda films.

Nov 18, 2020 11:41 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear James,

It seems, Mr Jannings was quite eclipsed by one of his co-stars, Marlene Dietrich.

Dec 15, 2020 06:37 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Theodor Friedrich Emil Janenz is an interesting footnote to cinema history. I do not think that you will fine his movies on Netflix.

Feb 28, 2021 04:05 PM