Gustaf Gründgens born 22 December 1899 (d. 1963)
Gustaf Gründgens was one of Germany's most famous actors of the 20th century, leading theatres in Berlin, Düsseldorf, and Hamburg. His single most famous role was that of Mephistopheles in Goethe's Faust, which is still considered by many to have been the best interpretation of the role ever given.
Born in Düsseldorf, Gründgens was also involved in one of the most famous literary cases in 20th century Germany, as the subject of a novel entitled Mephisto by Klaus Mann, son of Thomas. The novel, a thinly veiled account of Gründgens' life, portrayed its main character as having shady connections with the Nazi regime. A lawsuit ensued, as well as a controversy about libel and the freedom of fiction. Their relation was a complicated one, since Gründgens was at one point married to Erika Mann, Klaus' sister, and the three had together worked in the theatre. Both had sexual relationships with men - Mann was gay, Gründgens bisexual - but this topic was avoided in the novel.
Gründgens adopted son was Peter Gorski, who directed Faust in 1960 and later sued the publisher of Mephisto on his father's behalf.
From 1936 till 1946, Gründgens was married to the famous German actress Marianne Hoppe.
On October 7, 1963, he died in Manila of an internal hemorrhage.
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