Ingrid Caven (/kɑːvɛn/; born 3 August 1938)[1] is a German film actress and singer. She is best known for her roles in several films directed by her husband, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, including Love Is Colder Than Death (1969), Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? (1970), and The American Soldier (1970). She continued to appear in Fassbinder's films after their 1972 divorce until his death in 1982. She has also appeared in Silent Night (1995), 35 Shots of Rum (2009) and Suspiria (2018).

Ingrid Caven
Ingrid Schmidt

(1938-08-03) 3 August 1938 (age 81)
Years active1969–present
Rainer Werner Fassbinder (m. 1970⁠–⁠1972)
Partner(s)Jean-Jacques Schuhl
RelativesTrudeliese Schmidt (sister)

Early lifeEdit

Caven was born Ingrid Schmidt in Saarbrücken, Germany on 3 August 1938. She had one younger sister, Trudeliese Schmidt (1943–2004), who went on to become an opera singer. Caven's father worked as a tobacco trader.[2] Prior to establishing herself as a film actress in 1970s, Caven worked as a teacher in Upper Bavaria.[3]


Caven originally began acting onstage in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's antiteater acting troupe in the 1960s.[4] Her film debut was in 1969 in the short film Fernes Jamaica; this was swiftly followed by her first feature film Love Is Colder Than Death, directed by Fassbinder, to whom she was briefly married (1970–72).[5] She also had a supporting role in his film The Merchant of Four Seasons (1970), a drama about a farmer who drinks himself to death.[4] Even after their divorce, Caven remained a frequent collaborator of Fassbinder until his death in 1982,[4] also appearing in his films La Paloma (1974), Fox and His Friends (1975),[6] and Mother Küsters' Trip to Heaven (1975).[7]

Her career was at its peak in the 1970s and early 1980s, mostly in film. In the 1970s, while making films in France, Caven became acquainted with fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent,[8] and became one of his muses; he designed one of her stage costumes during her career as a singer.[9]

In 1979 she was a member of the jury at the 29th Berlin International Film Festival.[10] In 1981 Caven starred alongside Carole Bouquet in the film Day of the Idiots as a doctor, and the next year she won an award for Outstanding Individual Achievement: Actress at the German Film Awards for her performance as Inga in the film Looping - Der lange Traum vom kurzen Glück.

Caven has appeared in several films since the turn of the millennium, including supporting parts in Claire Denis's 35 Shots of Rum (2009), and Luca Guadagnino's American remake of Suspiria (2018).[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Caven has lived in Paris since 1977.[11][12] She resides with her partner, French writer Jean-Jacques Schuhl, whose book Ingrid Caven won the prestigious Prix Goncourt in 2000.

Selected filmographyEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1969 Love Is Colder Than Death Prostituierte German: Liebe ist kälter als der Tod
1970 Gods of the Plague Magdalena Fuller German: Götter der Pest
1970 Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? Nachbarin German: Warum läuft Herr R. Amok?
1970 The American Soldier Sängerin German: Der amerikanische Soldat
1970 The Niklashausen Journey Screaming girl Television film; German: Niklashauser Fart
1971 The Merchant of Four Seasons Hans's great love German: Händler der vier Jahreszeiten
1971 Rio das Mortes Hannas Kollegin Television film
1971 Beware of a Holy Whore Statistin German: Warnung vor einer heiligen Nutte
1971 Die Ahnfrau - Oratorium nach Franz Grillparzer Geist Television film
1972 Ludwig: Requiem for a Virgin King Lola Montez / Erste Norna German: Ludwig – Requiem für einen jungfräulichen König
1972 Tonight or Never [it] Actress German: Heute nacht oder nie
1973 The Tenderness of Wolves Dora German: Die Zärtlichkeit der Wölfe
1973 World on a Wire Urschi Miniseries; German: Welt am Draht
1974 Martha Ilse Television film
1974 La Paloma La Paloma
1974 My Little Loves La mère French: Mes Petites Amoureuses
1975 Playing with Fire La servante du bordel French: Le Jeu avec le feu
1975 Fox and His Friends Sängerin German: Faustrecht der Freiheit
1975 Mother Küsters' Trip to Heaven Corinna German: Mutter Küsters Fahrt zum Himmel
1975 Fear of Fear Edda Television film; German: Angst vor der Angst
1975 Lieber Franz ich liebe Dich Lillian
1976 Shadow of Angels Lily Brest German: Schatten der Engel
1976 I Only Want You to Love Me Nähmaschinenverkäuferin Television film; German: Ich will doch nur, daß ihr mich liebt
1976 Goldflocken
1976 A Young Emmanuelle Anne French: Néa
1976 Satan's Brew Lisa German: Satansbraten
1977 Violanta Alma
1978 Despair Hotel Manager
1978 In a Year of 13 Moons Die rote Zora German: In einem Jahr mit 13 Monden
1980 Narcissus and Psyche Ingrid
1981 Malou Malou
1981 Looping Lissy Filmband in Gold für darstellerische Leistung beim Deutschen Filmpreis
1981 Day of the Idiots Dr. Laura German: Tag der Idioten
1982 Hors Saison Lila
1983 The Roaring Fifties Claudine German: Die wilden Fünfziger
1986 L'araignée de satin Mme de Challens
1987 Devil's Paradise Madame
1993 My Favorite Season La femme du bar French: Ma saison préférée
1995 Silent Night Sängerin German: Stille Nacht
1999 Le Temps retrouvé German: Die Wiedergefundene Zeit
1999 Marcel Proust's Time Regained La princesse Russe
2006 Deepfrozen Vicki
2009 35 Shots of Rum La tante allemande
2016 Sleeping Beauty La fée méchante
2018 Suspiria Miss Vendegast



  • Au Pigall's (1978 LP Barclay, live in Paris, re-released on CD Barclay in 2001)
  • Der Abendstern (1979 LP RCA, re-released on CD Viellieb Rekords in 1999)
  • Live In Hamburg (1980 LP RCA, concert at Audimax Hamburg, May 9, 1980)
  • Erinnerungen An Édith Piaf (1983 LP RCA, Édith Piaf chansons with German lyrics)
  • Spass (1986 LP Schariwari)
  • Chante Piaf 'En Public' (1989 LP Clever, recorded in 1988, live at Théâtre de l'Athénée, Paris, re-released on CD Fpr Music in 2001)
  • Chambre 1050 (1996 CD Arcade/2000 CD Tricatel, 13 songs from Helle Nacht in French)
  • Helle Nacht (1998 CD Viellieb Rekords, 16 songs, German version of Chambre 1050)


  • Chansons und Themen aus Fassbinder Filmen (1994 CD Alhambra, includes 3 Caven songs from the movie "Mutter Küsters Fahrt zum Himmel/Mother Kuesters Goes To Heaven", 1975)
  • Hors saison (CD released in Japan in 1993, includes 6 songs sung by Ingrid Caven)


  1. ^ "Ingrid Caven". BBC Music. British Broadcasting Company. Archived from the original on 5 November 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  2. ^ Fischer & Hörner 2013, p. 259.
  3. ^ "Biographies: Ingrid Caven". Scala. Frankfurter Societäts-Druckerei (1–4): 4. 1989. OCLC 890503896.
  4. ^ a b c Reimer & Reimer 2010, p. 77.
  5. ^ Hodgkiss, Rosalind (8 January 1999). "The bitter tears of Fassbinder's women". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 19 October 2018.
  6. ^ Lorenz, Schmid & Gehr 1999, p. 2.
  7. ^ Lorenz, Schmid & Gehr 1999, p. 142.
  8. ^ a b Desta, Yohana (29 October 2018). "Suspiria: A Guide to the Coven's Key Wicked Witches". Vanity Faire. Condé Nast.
  9. ^ "Stage Costumes for Ingrid Caven". Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris. Archived from the original on 5 November 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  10. ^ "Berlinale 1979: Juries". Retrieved 2010-08-08.
  11. ^ Lorenz, Schmid & Gehr 1999, p. 41.
  12. ^ "Ingrid Caven". Volksbühne. Berlin. Archived from the original on 5 November 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2018.

Works citedEdit

  • Fischer, Michael; Hörner, Fernand (2013). Lied und populäre Kultur - Song and Popular Culture (in German). 57. Germany: Waxmann Verlag. ISBN 978-3-830-97787-2.
  • Lorenz, Juliane; Schmid, Marion; Gehr, Herbert, eds. (1999). Chaos as Usual: Conversations about Rainer Werner Fassbinder. New York: Applause Books. ISBN 978-1-557-83359-4.
  • Reimer, Robert C.; Reimer, Carol (2010). The A to Z of German Cinema. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-1-461-73186-3.

External linksEdit