CARL DE VOGT

Carl de Vogt was a major film actor in Germany starring in four of Fritz Lang's early films. Besides movie roles, he was a stage actor and singer. Hugely popular in the early 1920's, not much is known about his life. By the time he died in 1970 at age 84, his early film successes were lost and he died unknown despite having made more than 130 movies. In 1978, a single copy of Fritz Lang's Die Spinnen (The Spiders) was found in South America and is now available worldwide. This website was started in order to find out information about him and is very much a work in process. I would very much appreciate hearing from anyone with any information about his life or his film and theatre and music career or any comments about this site. Please write to me, Joan R. McDonald, at joanm@carldevogt.org.


AHASVER photo still by Helmar Lerski identified by Jan-Christopher Horak from Olaf Brill private collection

Carl Bernhard de Vogt was born on September 14, 1885 in Köln, Germany, to typesetter Balthasar de Vogt and Elisabeth Mommertz. While not much is known of his early life, he learned the occupation of typographer (like his father) and then attended the Schauspielschule in Köln, studying singing and dancing along with acting. According to his own account, he was an actor and singer since 1908.

Carl first appeared in the Stadttheater Mainz with Käthe Dorsch. After that he came to Freiburg and then the Königliche Schauspielhaus in Berlin.

Carl participated in World War I from July 22, 1915 until December 9, 1915.

Carl's first movie role was Schwert und Herd (Sword and Stove) in 1916. He continued to get movie roles and achieved stardom with Fritz Lang's Die Spinnen (The Spiders) in 1919. Along with movies he appeared at the Prinzregententheater in Munich and sang German folksongs while accompanying himself on his lute.

Carl married actress Cläre Lotto (born September 23, 1893 or 1898) and had at least one child, son Karl Franz (born May 14, 1917. He became a movie producer and died in Munich in 1999). Cläre Lotto met Carl in 1920 and appeared with him in at least nineteen movies such as Allein im Urwald (Alone in the Jungle), Auf des Trümmern des Paradieses (On the Ruins of Paradise), Die Todeskarawane (The Death Caravan), Dämon Zirkus (Devil Circus), etc.

As a popular film personality Carl continued to make movies and also had a parallel singing career. In 1927 he made several fox trot music recordings and an immensely popular "melodrama" entitled "Der Fremdenlegionär" (The Foreign Legionnaire) with an orchestra and chorus accompanying him.

While doing research at the national archives, Olaf Brill of www.filmhistoriker.de found out the following information about Carl's wartime experience: Carl joined the National Socialist Party (NsdAP) in April, 1933 (Member No. 2659854), one month after the Nazi's rise to power. He also joined the NSBO and SA (Brownshirts) in April, 1933. One NsdAP source mentions that on May 1, 1933, one month after he had joined, Carl "in uniform carried the flag" at the May parade.

When not acting, Carl dubbed at least one foreign film into German. From December 12, 1936 to January 5, 1937, he did voice work on Ramona, starring Loretta Young and Don Ameche.

During World War II, Carl gave concerts for front-line solders (Truppenbetreuung) in which he told them about his travels, sang soldier songs and songs about the German heimat (homeland).

After the war, Carl was blacklisted by the Allied Committee which meant that as a Nazi party member he could not get a license to work in Berlin. This probably accounts for his very small roles in the 11 films he made after the war. Presumably they were not made in Berlin.

Carl made his last movie, Der Würger von Schloss Blackmoor, (The Strangler of Blackmoor Castle), in 1963, when he was 78. He lived in a retirement home in Berlin and entertained his fellow residents by playing his lute.

Carl de Vogt died in Berlin on February 16, 1970 at age 84.

FILMOGRAPHY

In an effort to make this filmography as complete as possible, I am trying to get a cast list, synopsis and film stills for each movie Carl de Vogt made. Some of the synopses are VERY detailed as the purpose of this filmography is for historical research, and I assume that most people will not actually get the opportunity to see these films. It is heartbreaking that so many early silent films from all countries are lost, and no one ever bothered to note their casts, crews and plots. I would like to especially thank Olaf Brill of www.filmhistoriker.de for his tireless efforts in helping me compile this list and supplying many of the rare photographs. Please let me know if you have any information on any other films in which Carl de Vogt and/or Cläre Lotto may have appeared. The underlined titles have information on that particular film.

CLÄRE LOTTO

Not much is known about Cläre Lotto's early life (born in Casekow on September 23,1893). She trained as a dancer at the Wiener Hofoper, danced in Vienna, Budapest and Moscow and then went to Berlin. She appeared in movies, many of which were Hungarian, and met Carl in 1920. They were later married. Her early movies were directed by Michael Curtiz, and she appeared in Az Ezredes, Lili, 99, Die Todeskarawane and Auf des Trümmern des Paradieses with Bela Lugosi. The 19 films with asterisks in front of them are movies she made with Carl de Vogt.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Gilda Tabarez at members.aol.com/GTabarez
Olaf Brill of www.filmhistoriker.de
Michaela Krause of the www.conradveidt.de
Camille Mastronardi of The Denver Public Library
Stefan Friedrich of theHeinz Rühmann Commemorative Society
Dietmar Clees of the Filmarchiv Austria
Torsten Gries of the Karl May Magazine