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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