* 1880 Wien
† 1971 Berlin
Tilla Durieux was born Ottilie Godeffroy on August 18, 1880, in Vienna, where she later attended the acting school. After her debut in Olmütz Mähren in 1902 and smaller engagements in Stuttgart and Breslau, she went to Berlin in 1903. Until 1933 and the National Socialist takeover, she acted on many German stages under the direction of Max Reinhard and Erwin Piscator, among others. At this time she left Germany with her third husband, the Jewish industrialist Ludwig Katzenellenbogen, and settled first in Switzerland, then in Jugoslavia in 1937. Aside from her guest roles on various European stages, Tilla Durieux began writing her memoirs during her exile in Jugoslavia. These were published under the title "Eine Tür steht offen" ("A Door is Open") in 1952 after her return to Germany. In the western Federal Republic of Germany after the war, Durieux played in numerous theater and film roles as well as on television and radio shows until shortly before her death on February 21, 1971, in Berlin. She received many awards for her roles, including the Federal Cross of Merit first class in 1960, the Filmband in Gold for "Service in and around German Film" in 1961, and the Federal Film Prize in 1965. Durieux was inducted as an honorary member into the German Academy of Performing Arts in 1959 and was named State Actress in 1963. Besides her work as an actress, Tilla Durieux composed a number of literary works, including the novel "Eine Tür fällt ins Schloss" and the drama "Zagreb 1945," which premiered in Luzern in 1946.