Inge Meysel
Berlin Gedenktafel at house, Heylstraße 29, in Berlin-Schöneberg
Ingeborg Charlotte Hansen

(1910-05-30)30 May 1910
Died10 July 2004(2004-07-10) (aged 94)

Inge Meysel (German: [ˈɪŋə ˈmaɪ̯zl̩] ; 30 May 1910 – 10 July 2004) was a German actress. From the early 1960s until her death, Meysel was one of Germany's most popular actresses. She had a successful stage career and played more than 100 roles in film and on television.

Life and work

Home in Berlin-Schöneberg until 1999

Born Ingeborg Charlotte Hansen, the daughter of Anna Hansen, who was Danish, and Julius Meysel, a German Jew[citation needed]. She attended drama schools in Berlin from 1928 until 1930, thereafter she was on stage in Zwickau, Leipzig and Berlin.

During Nazi Germany, Meysel was banned from performing from 1935 until 1945 because of her Jewish father.[1] In 1945 she restarted her career in Hamburg.

Since the early 1960s Inge Meysel mainly acted in made-for-TV films and got the nickname (Fernseh-) Mutter der Nation ("(Television) Mother of the Nation").

She won numerous German actor awards including a lifetime achievement award from the German Television Awards, but in 1981 she refused to accept the Bundesverdienstkreuz because "Einen Orden dafür, daß man anständig gelebt hat, brauche ich nicht" ("I don't need an order of merit just for having lived decently").

From the mid-1920s until shortly before her death, Meysel was outspoken on many – often controversial – social and political issues. Despite her decidedly leftist and feminist views, this did not harm her popularity as an actress. In 1992, she came out as bisexual.[2]

Grave of Inge Meysel in Friedhof Ohlsdorf (2011)

In 2004, aged 94, she died of heart failure at her home in Bullenhausen near Hamburg. She was cremated and her ashes were buried near her second husband the Austrian film producer John Olden [de] (1918–1965) at Ohlsdorf Main Cemetery, Hamburg.

Selected filmography




  1. ^ Martins (September 23, 2010). "Remembered: Inge Meysel". Film Daily. Archived from the original on 6 June 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  2. ^ "Ich war bisexuell, ich, die Mutter der Nation". (in German). 2004-07-10. Retrieved 2007-06-10.