Werner Krauss

Werner Johannes Krauss (Krauß in German; 23 June 1884 – 20 October 1959) was a German stage and film actor. Krauss was born at the parsonage of Gestungshausen in Upper Franconia, where his grandfather was Protestant pastor. He spent his childhood in Breslau (present-day Wrocław) and from 1901 attended the teacher's college at Kreuzburg (Kluczbork). After it became known that he worked as an extra at the Breslau Lobe theatre, he was suspended from classes and decided to join a travelling theatre company. In 1903 he debuted at the Guben municipal theatre and later played in Magdeburg, Bromberg (Bydgoszcz), at the Theater Aachen, in Nuremberg and Munich. By the agency of Alexander Moissi, in 1913 he met the noted theatre director Max Reinhardt, who took Krauss to his Deutsches Theater in Berlin. However, Krauss initially only got minor and secondary roles like King Claudius in Shakespeare's Hamlet or Mephistopheles in Goethe's Faust, wherefore after his military discharge as a midshipman of the German Navy in 1916 he also pursued a career as a film actor.


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