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Zarah Leander

Biography

Well-known for her femme fatale roles in German movies from the 1930s and ’40s, she actually is perhaps even even more remembered on her behalf career being a recording artist, where she became known for singles such as for example “Davon Geht die Welt Nicht Unter” and “Ich Weiss, es Wird Einmal ein Wunder Geschehen.” In the first 1930s, she started her rise to popularity after performing within a production from the operetta The Merry Widow. She was highly criticized for learning to be a contracted musician with Universum Film AG — an entertainment business that was possessed by Hitler’s Nazi federal government. Delivered Sara Stina Hedberg, she spent her years as a child in Karlstad, Sweden. Between 1926 and 1978, she was wedded 3 x: to Nils Leander (with whom she got two kids), Vidar Forsell, and Arne Hulphers. Early in her profession, she documented a cover from the Marlene Dietrich strike “Falling in Like Again.”

Quick Facts


Full Name Zarah Leander
Date Of Birth March 15, 1907
Died June 23, 1981, Stockholm, Sweden
Place Of Birth Karlstad, Sweden
Profession World Music Singer
Nationality Swedish
Spouse Arne Hülphers, Vidar Forsell, Nils Leander
Children Göran Forsell, Boel Forsell
Parents Mathilda Ulrika, Anders Lorenz Sebastian Hedberg
Siblings Gustaf Hedberg, Alle Hedberg, Ante Hedberg, Jonas Hedberg
Movies Premiere, To New Shores, La Habanera, Heimat, The Blue Fox, The Life and Loves of Tschaikovsky, Die große Liebe, At That Time, How I Learned to Love Women, The Marriage Game, The Heart of a Queen, Gabriela, Cuba Cabana, Ave Maria, The Blue Moth
Star Sign Pisces

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1She has an entry in Jean Tulard's "Dictionnaire du Cinéma. Les Acteurs" published in Paris in may 2007, page 671, ISBN: 978-2-221-10895-6.
2There are 2 new books out on Miss Leander - The Films Of Zarah Leander A Zarah Leander Sheet Music Album.
3At a party she met the Nazi minister of Propaganda, Josef Goebbels, who asked her ironically: "Zarah... Isn't this a Jewish name?" "Oh, maybe" the actress told "but what about Josef?" "Hmmm... yes, yes, a good answer" Goebbels replied.
4Retired from acting in 1979.
5Her most popular song was "Ich weiß, es wird einmal ein Wunder gescheh'n" (lit. for I know there will be a wonder).
6Born at 10:16 PM CET.
7Received a Mercedes-Benz 500K from Adolf Hitler in 1935. She was filmed in that car by Victor Tourjansky.
8According to a 2004 book by Anthony Beevor, ("The Mystery of Olga Chekhova"), she worked for Soviet intelligence during World War II, passing information about Nazi Germany to a Soviet contact during her visits home to Sweden.
9In 1939, using the proceeds of her record earnings, she bought a big mansion, Lönö, at the Swedish East coast close to Norrköping.
10Shocked her friends in the mostly liberal (anti-Nazi) Swedish theatre community, by choosing pass on offers from England and the U.S.A. to instead make films in Germany.
11After the war she never seemed to understand why people couldn't accept that she was a non-political figure who only wanted to make happy musicals and happened to do so in Nazi Germany.
12Her first husband -from 1926 to 1929- was the actor Nils Leander. Their children Boel, a girl, and Göran, a boy, were born in 1927 and 1929. After being married to journalist Vidar Forsell from 1932 to 1943, she finally tied the knot with pianist Arne Hülphers in 1949, with whom she worked for over 25 years. He died in 1978.
13Before and during World War II, she was on the cover of about 80 magazines in Germany due to her enormous popularity.
14Sister of Gustaf Hedberg.
15Sometimes called "the Nazi Garbo" and, like Garbo, she was a Swede whose greatest film successes came while working in a foreign language (German)


Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Gli uomini, che mascalzoni...1932performer: "Parlami d'amore Mariù" - uncredited
The Wrong Millionaire1931performer: "Ögon som ljuga och le"
Dantes mysterier1931performer: "Jag vet vad ingen annan Kvinna Vet", "Illusions Blues"
Eine Freundin so goldig wie Du1930performer: "Eine Freundin so goldig wie Du"
Oskar Pilzer - Die bewegte Geschichte der Wiener Filmateliers2013TV Movie documentary performer: "Davon geht die Welt nicht unter" - uncredited
Rubbeldiekatz2011performer: "Er heisst Waldemar" - uncredited
La Rafle2010"Ein Kleiner Akkord"
Inglourious Basterds2009performer: "DAVON GEHT DIE WELT NICHT UNTER" 1942
Türkisch für Anfänger2008TV Series performer - 1 episode
Märzmelodie2008performer: "Nur nicht aus Liebe weinen"
Downfall2004performer: "Davon geht die Welt nicht unter"
Rosenstrasse2003performer: "Ich hab vielleicht noch nie geliebt"
Skeppsholmen2003TV Series performer - 1 episode
Bellaria - So lange wir leben!2002Documentary performer: "Servus Sagt die Schöne Stadt der Lieder"
History Lessons2000Documentary performer: "Wunderbar"
Out of the Present1997Documentary performer: "Kann denn Liebe Sünde sein"
Ulrike Marie Meinhof1994Documentary performer: "Wenn der Herrgott will"
Schtonk1992performer: "Davon geht die Welt nicht unter", "Ich weiss es wird einmal ein Wunder geschehen", "Er heisst Waldemar"
Eine Bewegung der Zeit1988Short performer: "Ein Kleiner Akkord"
Der Leihopa1985TV Series performer - 1 episode
What Have I Done to Deserve This?1984performer: "Nur nicht aus liebe weinen"
Stjärna mot stjärna1977performer: "Vill ni se en Stjärna" Wenn der Weisse Flieder wieder Blüht
The Mother and the Whore1973performer: "Ich weiß, es wird einmal ein Wunder gescheh'n"
The Damned1969performer: "Nachts ging das Telefon" - uncredited
Come imparai ad amare le donne1966performer: "Eine Frau wird erst schön durch die Liebe"
Das Blaue vom Himmel1964TV Movie performer: "Mir war die Liebe immer so sympathisch", "Das elektrische Klavier", "Abschiednehmen mit Musik"
The Phone Rings Every Night1962performer: "Nachts ging das Telefon"
Schweyk im zweiten Weltkrieg1961TV Movie performer: "Das Lied von der Moldau"
Die Abenteuer des Grafen Bobby1961performer: "Kann denn Liebe Sünde sein" - uncredited
The Blue Moth1959performer: "Ein Leben ohne Liebe" uncredited, "Seit ich dich sah" uncredited, "Pardon, meine Damen, Pardon, meine Herr'n"
Jazzgossen1958performer: "Hela livet är en glad operett"
Eine Frau, die weiss, was sie will1958performer: "Warum soll eine Frau kein Verhältmis haben"
Immer wenn der Tag beginnt1957performer: "Mitternachts-Blues"
War and Peace1956performer: "Die Rose von Nowgorod" - uncredited
A Man Called Peter1955performer: "Give Me That Old Time Religion"
Bei Dir war es immer so schön1954performer: "Eine Frau wird erst schön durch die Liebe", "Nur nicht aus Liebe weinen"
Wenn der weiße Flieder wieder blüht1953performer: "Wenn der Weisse Flieder wieder blüht" Vill ni en en Stjätna
Little Boy Lost1953performer: "Mon Coeur est un Violin"
Ave Maria1953formerly known as "Méditation sur le premier prélude de piano" de nm0001925, performer: "Ich kenn' den Jimmy aus Havanna", "Wenn die wilden Rosen blüh'n", "Wart' nicht auf die große Liebe", "Ave Maria"
Lockende Sterne1952performer: "Mit Roten Rosen fängt die Liebe meistens an"
Cuba Cabana1952performer: "Eine Frau in meinen Jahren", "Sag mir nie wieder Je t'aime", "Schatten der Vergangenheit", "Und wenn's auch Sünde war", "Du machst mich so nervös"
Gabriela1950performer: "Es gibt keine Frau, die nicht lügt", "Wann wirst du mich fragen", "Wenn der Herrgott will"
As Long As I Live1946performer: "Valse des Souvenirs"
Damals1943performer: "Bitte an die Nacht", "Einen wie dich könnt' ich lieben", "Jede Nacht ein neues Glück"
Die große Liebe1942performer: "Mein Leben für die Liebe - jawohl", "Davon geht die Welt nicht unter", "Blaue Husaren Heut' kommen die blauen Husaren", "Ich weiß, es wird einmal ein Wunder gescheh'n", "Non per questo casca il mondo"
The Way to Freedom1941performer: "Ich sag' nicht ja, ich sag' nicht nein", "Ich will nicht vergessen", "Jamais ne s'oublient", "Ni oui ni non", "Non Posso Scordare", "Der Stern hat uns gefunden" from opera "Semiramide'
The Heart of a Queen1940performer: "Schlummerlied", "Wo ist dein Herz?", "Ein schwarzer Stein, ein weißer Stein", "Einst kommt zu Dir ein fremder Gast"
The Desert Song1939performer: "Fatme, erzähl' mir ein Märchen", "Sagt dir eine schöne Frau Vielleicht", "Ein paar Tränen werd' ich weinen um dich", "Heut' abend lad' ich mir die Liebe ein"
It Was a Gay Ballnight1939performer: "Romanze op. 5 Das Lied, das einst in uns'ren Herzen sang ...", "Chanson triste", "Nur nicht aus Liebe weinen", "Vaines Toutes les Peines"
Marguerite : 31939performer: "Ein kleiner Akkord auf meinem Klavier"
The Blue Fox1938performer: "Von der Puszta will ich träumen", "Kann denn Liebe Sünde sein?" - uncredited
Die vier Gesellen1938performer: "Tiefe Sehnsucht"
Magda1938performer: "Drei Sterne sah ich scheinen", "Eine Frau wird erst schön durch die Liebe", "Ach, ich habe sie verloren" from the opera "Orfeo ed Euridice", "Buß' und Reu'" from "St Matthew Passion", BWV 244
La Habanera1937performer: "El Viento me una ha Cantado", "A-B-C ... Kinderlied", "Du kannst es nicht wissen", "Der Wind hat mir ein Lied erzählt Habanera"
Serenade1937performer: "Schön war die Zeit"
To New Shores1937performer: "Tiefe Sehnsucht Ich hab' eine tiefe Sehnsucht in mir", "Ich steh' im Regen"
Premiere1937performer: "Ich hab' vielleicht noch nie geliebt", "Merci, mon ami, es war wunderschön ...!"
Äktenskapsleken1935performer: "Henna du Älska" Sag' kein Wort mir von Liebe, "Verklighet och Drömmar" Liebe ist ein Glück das darf man nicht versäumen
Love in Bloom1935performer: "Let Me Sing You to Sleep with a Love Song" - uncredited
Chourinette1934performer: "Madame Pompadour"
Acht Mädels im Boot1932performer: "En Dag utan dig"

Actress

Actress

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Come imparai ad amare le donne1966Olga
Das Blaue vom Himmel1964TV MovieDésirée
The Blue Moth1959Julia Martens
Bei Dir war es immer so schön1954Filmstar
Ave Maria1953Karin Twerdy aka Maria Talland
Cuba Cabana1952Arabella
Gabriela1950Gabriela
Damals1943Vera Meiners aka Gloria O'Connor
Die große Liebe1942Hanna Holberg
The Way to Freedom1941Antonia Corvelli
Katharina I. von Russland1940unfinished
The Heart of a Queen1940Mary Queen of Scots
Mona Lisa1939Mona Lisa
The Desert Song1939Grace Collins
It Was a Gay Ballnight1939Katharina Alexandrowna Murakina, Michael Iwanowitschs Frau
The Blue Fox1938Ilona Paulus
Die vier Gesellen1938Singer
Magda1938Magda von Schwartze
La Habanera1937Astree Sternhjelm
To New Shores1937Gloria Vane
Premiere1937Carmen Daviot
Äktenskapsleken1935Tora Diidiken
The Wrong Millionaire1931Marguerite Lebon
Dantes mysterier1931Grand Café Guest / Singing Demon

Music Department

Music Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Lockende Sterne1952soloist
Follow the Fleet1936playback singer - uncredited

Composer

Composer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Zijn geheim1995Short

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
One Night in Paris1938special thanks

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Das Sonntagskonzert1978TV SeriesHerself
Stjärna mot stjärna1977Herself
Memories of Berlin: The Twilight of Weimar Culture1976TV Movie documentaryHerself - Interviewee
Ein Walzer zu zweien1975TV MovieHerself - Singer
Herz mit Schnauze - Erinnerungen an Grethe Weiser1975TV Movie documentaryHerself
Seniorenklub1975TV SeriesHerself
Der Wind hat mir ein Lied erzählt1973TV MovieHerself - Singer
Hylands hörna1962-1970TV SeriesHerself
Star unter Sternen1969TV Series documentaryHerself
Schlager International1967TV MovieHerself
Vergißmeinnicht1965-1967TV Series documentaryHerself / Herself - Musician
Es funkeln die Sterne - Eine musikalische Silvesterreise um die Welt1966TV MovieHerself - Singer
Gut gefragt ist halb gewonnen1966TV SeriesHerself
Bei dir war es immer so schön...1966TV MovieHerself - Musician
1e vlaams schlagerfestival1965TV MovieHerself - Singer
Hör hin, schau zu!1965TV SeriesHerself
Jazzgossen1958Herself - Singer (voice, uncredited)
Zarah Leander erzählt und singt1955TV Mini-SeriesHerself - Host - Singer
Heut gehen wir ins Maxim1955TV SeriesHerself - Musician
Bunter Abend1953TV MovieHerself
Totò al giro d'Italia1948Herself (uncredited)
Der Trichter. (Nr. II)1939ShortHerself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Die Kulturakte2013TV Series documentaryHerself - Interviewee, 1974
Duelle2013TV Series documentaryHerself
Herr Alsmann trifft Frau Hielscher2011TV Movie documentaryMary Queen of Scots (uncredited)
Mein Leben mit Zarah Leander - Die private Seite einer Diva2010TV Movie documentaryHerself
Spisok korabley2008DocumentaryAstree Sternhjelm
Bellaria - So lange wir leben!2002DocumentaryHerself (uncredited)
Legenden2001TV Series documentaryHerself - Interviewee 1969 / 1974
Hitlers Frauen2001TV Series documentaryHerself
Ich sag' nicht ja, ich sag' nicht nein2000TV Movie documentaryHerself
Vill ni se en stjärna1999Herself
Alles oder nichts1986TV SeriesHerself
My Life for Zarah Leander1986DocumentaryHerself
Melodien für Millionen1985TV SeriesHanna Holberg
Nur nicht aus Liebe weinen...1984TV MovieHerself
Chantons sous l'occupation1976DocumentaryHerself
Filmgeschichte(n) aus Österreich1971TV Series
It Only Happened Once1958Herself - Zarah Leander
Leckerbissen1948Herself - filmszenen
Wir erinnern uns gern1941Herself

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#Trademark
1Was known for portraying glamorously elegant martyrs in most of the films she made in Nazi Germany; such as Queen Mary of Scots, a famous opera singer disowned by her father, a music hall star covering up for her lover's crimes, etc.

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