Ernst Reicher

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Ernst Reicher
Ernst Reicher by Becker & Maass 2.jpg
Born(1885-09-19)19 September 1885
Died1 May 1936(1936-05-01) (aged 50)
Prague, Czechoslovakia
  • Actor
  • film director
  • film producer
  • screenwriter
Years active1912–1932
Spouse(s) Stella Harf (divorced)
Parent(s) Emanuel Reicher (father)
Relatives Hedwiga Reicher (sister)
Frank Reicher (half-brother)
Reicher, c.1918 Ernst Reicher by Becker and Maass.jpg
Reicher, c.1918

Ernst Reicher (19 September 1885 1 May 1936) was a German-Jewish [1] actor, screenwriter, film producer and film director of the silent era. [2]



His father was the actor Emanuel Reicher, born in Galicia, then part of the Kingdom of Austria. Emanuel married firstly the opera singer Hedwig Reicher-Kindermann (15 July 1853 – 2 June 1883): their son was the actor Frank Reicher. After Hedwig's death, he married the actress Lina Harf and the couple had three children: Hedwiga Reicher, Ernst, and Elly (b. Berlin 1893), who all worked as actors. [3] [4]

At Continental-Kunstfilm's studios Ernst Reicher acted, wrote scripts and directed films from 1912 to 1918. In December 1912 he starred in Vorglühen des Balkanbrandes, directed by Joe May. He wrote, directed and starred in two films: Das Werk in February 1913, and Die Statue in 1914, which was banned by the Berlin police censor until 1919.

Starting in winter 1913/14, he wrote and starred in the first three of the 'Stuart Webbs' detective films, a popular detective series directed by Joe May for Continental in which he played a gentleman detective modelled on Sherlock Holmes: Die geheimnisvolle Villa ; Der Mann im Keller ; and Der Spuk im Haus des Professors. [5] [6] When World War I broke out, Joe May split with up Reicher to make his own Joe Deebs detective motion pictures. [7]

For more than a decade after 1914, Reicher continued to write and star as Stuart Webbs, and was closely identified with the part. It was not until 1918 that Reicher turned to other topics. On the first of April 1919, he moved the headquarters of his film company to Munich. His most elaborate production was The Book of Esther (1919) in which he also starred. At the beginning of the twenties he suffered a serious car accident, in which he suffered a vertebral and fractured skull. Only from 1926 he appeared again on the screen, but he could no longer build on previous successes.

After the seizure of power in 1933 by the National Socialists, Reicher emigrated to Prague, where he fell into obscurity. His last, tiny role in the 1936 French-language remake of The Golem was cut out of the final version. Later that year, he committed suicide by hanging in a Prague hotel room, "in a small, narrow room, in a street that was far from the stage of fame." [8]

Selected filmography

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  1. Siegbert Salomon Prawer, Between Two Worlds: The Jewish Presence in German and Austrian Film, 1910-1933, Berghahn Books (2007), p. 213
  2. "Ernst Reicher". Film Portal. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  3. Vazzana, Eugene Michael (2001) Silent Film Necrology (2nd ed.) McFarland Publishing, p. 439.
  4. Truitt, Evelyn M. (1983). Who Was Who On the Screen. New Providence, NJ: RR Bowker Company, p. 607.
  5. "Progressive Silent Film List: Die geheimnisvolle Villa". Silent Era. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
  6. Abel 2005, pp. 219–220.
  7. Hesse 1996, pp. 147–8.
  8. "Stuart Webbs' letzte Rolle". Pariser Tageblatt (in German). 8 May 1936. p. 4c. Retrieved 28 March 2018.. The Pariser Tageblatt (later Pariser Tageszeitung) was a German-language paper for exiles in France after Hitler came to power in 1933. See also List of newspapers in France.