Max Landa

Max Landa (Belarusian: Макс Ландаў; 24 April 1873 – 8 November 1933;[1] born Max Landau) was a Russian-born Austrian silent film and stage actor. He attended the Handelsakademie (commercial academy) in Vienna and took classes with acting teacher Karl Arnau in the same city. After working as a bank clerk for a short period he decided to focus on his acting career in 1893.[2] After working at various theatres in Austria and Germany for about twenty years he was discovered in Berlin as leading man by movie star Asta Nielsen with whom he played in several movies directed by Urban Gad.[3]

Max Landa
Landa photographed in 1920 by Nicola Perscheid
Born24 April 1873
Died8 November 1933
Other namesMax Landau
Years active1913–1928 (film)
Spouse(s)Margot Walter

When Joe May founded his own film production company in 1915 he formed a contract with Max Landa[4] who became the first of a number of actors to play the role of the fictional British detective Joe Deebs, created as a rival to Sherlock Holmes during the silent era.[5] The Jewish Landa and his wife Margot Walter fled Germany following the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, and he committed suicide in exile in Yugoslavia.[1]

Selected filmography


  1. "Z Bleda" [From Bled]. Triglav (in Slovenian). 1 (22). Konzorcij. 18 November 1933. p. 3.
  2. Weniger p.75
  3. Weniger p.75-76
  4. Weniger p.76
  5. Prawer p.88


  • Isenberg, Noah William. Weimar Cinema: An Essential Guide to Classic Films of the Era. Columbia University Press,2013.
  • Prawer, S.S. Between Two Worlds: The Jewish Presence in German and Austrian Film, 1910-1933. Berghahn Books, 2005.
  • Weniger, Kay: 'Es wird im Leben dir mehr genommen als gegeben ...' Lexikon der aus Deutschland und Österreich emigrierten Filmschaffenden 1933 bis 1945: Eine Gesamtübersicht. ACABUS Verlag, 2011, p. 75-77

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