Gertrude Welcker

Gertrude Welcker (16 July 1896 – 1 August 1988) was a German stage and silent film actress who appeared in films between 1917 and 1925.

Gertrude Welcker
Born(1896-07-16)16 July 1896
Died1 August 1988(1988-08-01) (aged 92)
Other namesGertrud Welcker
Gertrude Carlsund
OccupationFilm actress
Years active1917–1925
Spouse(s)Otto Gustaf Carlsund


Welcker was born in Dresden. Her father, who was editor-in-chief and general manager of the "Posener Tageblatt", died in 1909.[1] She visited Max Reinhardt's acting school in Berlin during the First World War. During 1915–16 she starred in Albert theater in Dresden. From 1916 to 1919 she performed in the Reinhardt theaters (Deutsches Theater Berlin, Kammerspiele, and Volksbühne). There she was seen as a prostitute in August Strindberg's Meister Olaf in a production of Ferdinand Gregori, as Lesbia in Felix Hollaender's staging of Friedrich Hebbel's Gyges und sein Ring, as Recha in Lessing's Nathan the Wise and as sister Martha in Gerhart Hauptmann's Hanneles Himmelfahrt. In addition to these, she played under Marion Reinhardt's direction of Georg Büchner's Danton's Death, a maid Sophie in Friedrich Schiller's Intrigue and Love and Desdemona in William Shakespeare's Othello and Jessica in The Merchant of Venice.[2]

1917 Gertrude Welcker began her film acting career.[3] Her first role was of an angel in the film Hans Trutz in the Land of Plenty directed by her stage partner Paul Wegener. Her most famous roles include Gesine von Orlamünde in Chronicles of the Gray House, and Countess Dusy Told, the wife of a millionaire in Fritz Lang's Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922),[4][5] in which the title character abducts and abuses her.[1] Other major productions in which Welcker participated were Richard Oswald's Lady Hamilton and Carl Froelich's Luise Miller (after Schiller's Intrigue and Love). In low-budget productions like Die Geisha und der Samurai and Eine Frau mit Vergangenheit she played the lead role.[2] She starred opposite Albert Bassermann in four films. She played the character of Queen Margaret in the controversial film The Women House of Brescia. The film was rejected by the British Board of Film Classification on grounds that it depicted prostitution.[6]

During her mid-20s Welcker ended her career as a film actress and in 1930 retired from the stage as well. In July 1930 she married Swedish painter Otto Gustaf Carlsund (1897–1948), whom she had met during a visit to Paris. They divorced in August 1937.[1] Before the outbreak of World War II she had a brief career as an editor at the Universum Film AG. In 1941 she became active for the Red Cross. Shortly before the end of the war, Gertrude Welcker managed to escape to Sweden, where she spent the rest of her life as Gertrud Carlsund.[2] She died in Danderyd, Stockholm on 1 August 1988. Her estate was rediscovered in 2005.[3]



  1. "Gertrude Welcker" (in German). Steffi Line. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  2. Kay Weniger (2011). „Es wird im Leben dir mehr genommen als gegeben …“. Lexikon der aus Deutschland und Österreich emigrierten Filmschaffenden 1933 bis 1945. Eine Gesamtübersicht ["It is in life you taken more for granted ...". Encyclopedia of emigrated filmmakers from Germany and Austria from 1933 to 1945 a complete overview] (in German). Hamburg: Acabus-Verlag. p. 655. ISBN 978-3-86282-049-8.
  3. "Porträt der Schauspielerin Gertrud Welcker by Thomas Staedeli" [Portrait of the actress Gertrude Welcker by Thomas Staedeli] (in German). Cyranos. Archived from the original on 3 July 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  4. Georges Sadoul (1972). Dictionary of Films. University of California Press. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-520-02152-5.
  5. Sander L. Gilman; Xun Zhou (2004). Smoke: A Global History of Smoking. Reaktion Books. p. 248. ISBN 978-1-86189-200-3.
  6. Dr James C Robertson (2005). The Hidden Cinema: British Film Censorship in Action 1913-1972. Routledge. pp. 17–18. ISBN 978-1-134-87672-3.
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