Mady Christians

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Mady Christians_table_infobox_0

Mady ChristiansMady Christians_header_cell_0_0_0
BornMady Christians_header_cell_0_1_0 Marguerita Maria Christians

(1892-01-19)January 19, 1892 Vienna, Austria-HungaryMady Christians_cell_0_1_1

DiedMady Christians_header_cell_0_2_0 October 28, 1951(1951-10-28) (aged 59)

Norwalk, Connecticut, U.S.Mady Christians_cell_0_2_1

Years activeMady Christians_header_cell_0_3_0 1916–1950Mady Christians_cell_0_3_1
Spouse(s)Mady Christians_header_cell_0_4_0 Dr. Sven von MuellerMady Christians_cell_0_4_1
RelativesMady Christians_header_cell_0_5_0 Christa Tordy (cousin)Mady Christians_cell_0_5_1

Marguerita Maria "Mady" Christians (January 19, 1892 – October 28, 1951) was an Austrian-born German actress who had a successful acting career in theatre and film in the United States until she was blacklisted during the McCarthy period. Mady Christians_sentence_0

Biography Mady Christians_section_0

She was born on January 19, 1892 to Rudolph Christians, a well-known German actor, and his wife, Bertha. Mady Christians_sentence_1

Her family moved to Berlin when she was one year old, and to New York City in 1912, where her father became the Irving Place Theatre's general manager. Mady Christians_sentence_2

Five years later she returned to Europe to study under Max Reinhardt. Mady Christians_sentence_3

She appeared in a number of European films prior to the early 1930s. Mady Christians_sentence_4

In 1929, she starred in the first full sound film made in Germany It's You I Have Loved. Mady Christians_sentence_5

In 1933, she toured the United States in a play called Marching By and was offered a Broadway contract the following year that allowed her, like a number of other German artists, to seek refuge from the Nazi regime in the United States. Mady Christians_sentence_6

On Broadway, Christians played Queen Gertrude in Hamlet and Lady Percy in Henry IV, Part I, staged by director Margaret Webster. Mady Christians_sentence_7

Webster was part of a small but influential group of lesbian producers, directors, and actors in theater (a group that included Eva Le Gallienne and Cheryl Crawford). Mady Christians_sentence_8

Webster and Christians became close friends: according to Webster biographer Milly S. Barranger, it is likely that they also were lovers. Mady Christians_sentence_9

She also starred in Lillian Hellman's Watch on the Rhine. Mady Christians_sentence_10

She originated the title role in the 1944 play I Remember Mama. Mady Christians_sentence_11

Her last movie roles were in All My Sons, based on the play by Arthur Miller, and Letter from an Unknown Woman, both released in 1948. Mady Christians_sentence_12

During World War II, Christians was involved in political work on behalf of refugees, rights for workers (especially in theater and film), and Russian War relief, political efforts that would bring her to the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other anti-communist institutions and organizations. Mady Christians_sentence_13

Blacklisting Mady Christians_section_1

In addition to her political work, Christians also publicly criticized the House Committee on Un-American Activities in early 1941 and likened the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee's investigation of propaganda in US film to Nazi harassment of film and radio artists in the 1930s. Mady Christians_sentence_14

In 1950, the FBI's internal security division began investigating Christians, who had been identified as a "concealed communist" by a confidential informant. Mady Christians_sentence_15

When Christians' name appeared in Red Channels, the so-called bible of the broadcast blacklist, her career was effectively over. Mady Christians_sentence_16

Death Mady Christians_section_2

On October 28, 1951, aged 59, Christians died of a stroke, which some attributed to the stress of being subjected to FBI surveillance and being blacklisted. Mady Christians_sentence_17

Selected filmography Mady Christians_section_3

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mady Christians.