Dorothy Clara Louise Haas (29 April 1910 – 16 September 1994) was a German-American actress and singer who played in German and American films, and often appeared in Broadway plays. Her husband was caricaturist Al Hirschfeld.
Haas in 1955
April 29, 1910|
|Died||September 16, 1994
New York, N.Y.
|Cause of death||Ovarian cancer|
|Spouse(s)||John Brahm (date ?)
(1943-1994; her death)
Life and workEdit
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Haas was born in Hamburg, Germany, to Charles Oswald Haas, a bookseller of British origin, and Margarete Maria (née Hansen). Haas was an accomplished actress in German cinema before moving to the United States.
Charles Haas was half-German but grew up in England, with British citizenship. Dolly and her sister, Margarete attended Jacob Loewenberg's prestigious girls' school Lyzeum in Hamburg, the Anerkannte höhere Mädchenschule.
Her first marriage was to German-born film director John Brahm, who at one point was resident director for acting troupes such as Deutsches Theater and the Lessing Theater, both in Berlin. Haas, a naturalized U.S. citizen, married her second husband, famed Jewish New York Times portraitist Al Hirschfeld in Baltimore, Maryland in 1943. They had a daughter, Nina, born in 1945.
Although Haas did not appear in many English language films, she did have an important role in Alfred Hitchcock's 1953 film, I Confess. Haas was a personal friend of Hitchcock's, and Hitchcock cast her as Alma Keller, the wife of the murderer—janitor Otto Keller. This high-profile film also starred Montgomery Clift, Anne Baxter, Karl Malden and Brian Aherne.
Dolly Haas had her debut as a professional actress in 1927. She then worked at Berlin's Grosses Schauspielhaus, before embarking on a film career that brought her to England and to Hollywood. She also performed on Broadway. Haas enjoyed a brief but successful stage career in the United States as well, appearing alongside such luminaries as John Gielgud and Lillian Gish in the 1947 revival of Crime and Punishment. She made her New York stage debut in 1941 in Erwin Piscator's production of "The Circle of Chalk."
She followed Mary Martin in the lead role in Lute Song in 1946 for the touring production. Her co-star, Yul Brynner, said that Haas' casting substantially improved the show, stating that, "Dolly Haas understood the part. She had an affinity for it, and the play immediately improved. It wasn't at all that Dolly was a better actress. She was just better casting for the part than Mary."
Mary Martin agreed with Brynner's assessment, and she helped Haas to prepare for the role in a very short span of time allotted for rehearsal. She performed in Off Broadway productions of The Threepenny Opera and Brecht on Brecht.
- Dolly Gets Ahead (1930)
- Der Ball (1931)
- One Hour of Happiness (1931)
- The Virtuous Sinner (1931)
- Liebeskommando (1931)
- A Tremendously Rich Man (1932)
- Es wird schon wieder besser (1932)
- Scampolo (1932)
- You Don't Forget Such a Girl (1932)
- Großstadtnacht (1932)
- Die kleine Schwindlerin (1933)
- Das häßliche Mädchen (1933)
- Little Girl, Great Fortune (1933)
- The Page from the Dalmasse Hotel (1933)
- Ein Mädel mit Tempo (1934)
- Girls Will Be Boys (1935)
- Warum lügt Fräulein Käthe? (1935)
- Broken Blossoms (1936)
- Spy of Napoleon (1936)
- Riviera (1949)
- I Confess (1953)
- The Fugitive (1954, from the Armstrong Circle Theatre TV series)
- Regarding File Number 4356 (1956, from the Studio One TV series )
- German movie institute profile Archived 20 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- John Brahm at AllMovie
- Gussow, Mel (17 September 1994). "Dolly Haas, 84, an Actress And the Wife of Hirschfeld". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
- Davis, Ronald L. Mary Martin, Broadway Legend. University of Oklahoma Press, 2008, pp. 100-101.