Erica Vaal

Erica Vaal (1927 in Vienna – 17 October 2013 in Staatz) was an Austrian actress, writer, radio host and presenter. She was born in Vienna of Austrian parents. She was best known for her work as an Austrian radio host. She was also a photographer.

Erica Vaal
Born1927 (1927)
Vienna, Austria
Died17 October 2013(2013-10-17) (aged 85–86)
Staatz, Austria
EducationAcademy of Music and Expressive Arts
OccupationActress, writer and presenter
Spouse(s)Victor Pahlen (divorced)
Robert Roberts (until her death)
Children1 daughter


She finished high school and her studies in acting at the Academy of Music and Expressive Arts in Vienna, the Reinhart Seminar.


Acting and EurovisionEdit

She then moved to Rome where she performed in various theaters, TV plays, and international films such as The Journey (1959) directed by Anatole Litvak, Thunderstorm (1956) and various Italian films such as The Firemen of Viggiù (a film with Toto) and "Adam and Eve" (1949 film) as Ricky Denver. Acting engagements in Mexico, Spain, and Germany followed thereafter.

When she returned to Vienna, the Austrian Television chose her to host the “Grand Prix d’Eurovision de la Chanson 1967”, the Eurovision Song Contest 1967, speaking in seven languages.[citation needed] Erica Vaal continued her acting career in theaters throughout Germany and Austria.

Following the successful Eurovision broadcast, Ö3 the Austrian Television contracted Vaal to create and present programming, which included the radio hit “Musik aus Lateinamerica” among others. “Musik aus Lateinamerica” went on air to span 25 years. During her research for content, Vaal traveled frequently to Latin America and the Caribbean islands. She grasped and documented the mentality of the people, their customs, their music and their religions in depth and detail. Her radio show made her the unofficial coordinator and cultural representative of most Spanish speaking countries in Austria, mostly by the Embassies and Cultural Centers.[citation needed] Many Spanish speaking music related personality at that time were in her company throughout their Austrian stay - interviewed, escorted by, and translated for - by Vaal. She compiled an extensive body of research on Latin American culture and all music and religion related knowledge - ranging across the Latin American Countries, the Islands, and including Africa. In 1992 and 1993, she studied the dances of the African Gods at the University of Havana (“Instituto Superior de Arte”).

She is known for her deep and unique voice.[citation needed]

Vaal also wrote and moderated the international "Evergreens," "Musicals,""Stars von Druben," and 1 hour shows on Pop Musik for the Austrian Radio. "Evergreens" featured extensive German/Austrian. Her shows were broadcast in Austria, Germany, partly in the CH, and probably in northern Italy


Her experience took the literary form of “Where the sun dances”, ("Wo Die Sonne Tanzt") which was published by Austria Press. Her second book “Jineteras, a New Form of Prostitution in Cuba,” was published in Austria and Germany.


Vaal's first exhibition of photography, “The Flowers of the Fifth Avenue” (in black & white) was exhibited in the Museum of Ethnology (the “Völkerkundemuseum”) in Vienna, from December 1999 to February 2000. In November 2000, she created a calendar in color, featuring Cuban Art which she named “Sabor Cubano”.

She devoted 2000-2010 to her experiences of Cuba.

Personal lifeEdit

Vaal married Victor Pahlen, a film producer. They have a daughter, Kyra Pahlen. Vaal then divorced Victor Pahlen. Vaal married Robert Roberts (aka Paul Roberts), an actor.[citation needed]

On October 17, 2013, Vaal died in Staatz, Austria, at the age of 86,[1] 7 months before Austria's Eurovision Song Contest victory in Copenhagen.


  • 1953 Ivan, Son of the White Devil - Myriam.[2]
  • 1956 Thunderstorm - Juana.[3]
  • 1957 Dort in der Wachau - Gelina
  • 1959 The Journey - Donatella Calucci


  1. ^ "Erica Vaal". Niederösterreichischen Nachrichten (in German). 22 October 2013.(subscription required)
  2. ^ "Ivan, Son of the White Devil (1953)". IMDb. Retrieved April 17, 2019.(credited as Erica Vaal Pahlen)
  3. ^ "Thunderstorm (1956)". IMDb. Retrieved April 17, 2019.

Additional sourcesEdit

External linksEdit

Preceded by
  Josiane Shen
Eurovision Song Contest presenter
Succeeded by
  Katie Boyle