John Gottowt

John Gottowt (15 June 1881 – 29 August 1942) was an Austrian actor, stage director and film director for theatres and silent movies.

John Gottowt
Isidor Gesang

(1881-06-15)15 June 1881
Died29 August 1942(1942-08-29) (aged 61)
Years active19131933

He was born as Isidor Gesang in Lemberg, Austria-Hungary. After his education in Vienna, he joined the Deutsches Theater in Berlin in 1905, working for Max Reinhardt as an actor and director. Gottowt was mainly active in different theatres in Berlin as a character actor and director.

His first silent film appearance was in Paul Wegener’s Der Student von Prag ("The Student of Prague") (1913). In 1920 he appeared in Robert Wiene's Genuine and took the main role in the early science fiction film Algol. In 1921 he played Professor Bulwer (Abraham van Helsing) in the classic silent film Nosferatu directed by F.W. Murnau.

Gottowt made also several films with his brother-in-law Henrik Galeen but, as a Jew, was banned in 1933 from working as a professional actor. After a few years in Denmark he moved to Kraków in Poland. He was murdered in 1942 by the SS in Wieliczka.

List of filmsEdit


  • Pioniere in Celluloid, Juden in den frühen Filmwelt, Stratenwerth, Simon (Hg), Henschel Verlag, Berlin, 2004,
  • KARTA 42 – 2004, Fundacja Ośrodka KARTA, 02-536 Warszawa,
  • Dotknięcie anioła (The Kiss of an Angel), Henryk Schönker, 2005, Ośrodek KARTA, 02-536 Warszawa,
  • Ich war acht und wollte leben, Heinrich Schönker, 2008, Patmos Verlag
  • Archives of British Film Institute, London

External linksEdit