Rudolf Klein-Rogge

Rudolf Klein-Rogge
Born (1885-11-24)24 November 1885[1]
Cologne, German Empire
Died 29 May 1955(1955-05-29) (aged 69)
Wetzelsdorf, Austria
Occupation Actor
Years active 1912–1942
Spouse(s) Thea von Harbou (m. 1914–1920; divorced)
Margarethe Neff (m. 19??-1932; dissolved)
Mary Johnson (m. 1932-1955; his death)

Friedrich Rudolf Klein-Rogge (24 November 1885 – 29 May 1955) was a German film actor. Klein-Rogge is known for playing sinister figures in films in the 1920s and 1930s as well as being a main-stay in director Fritz Lang's Weimar-era films. He is probably best known in popular culture, particularly to English-speaking audiences, for playing the archetypal mad scientist role of C.A. Rotwang in Lang's Metropolis and as the criminal genius Doctor Mabuse.


Klein-Rogge was born in Cologne, Germany.[1] He began taking acting lessons while studying art history in Berlin and Bonn. Klein-Rogge made his acting debut in 1909, playing Cassius in Julius Caesar in Halberstadt.[1][2] Klein-Rogge went on to play in theaters located in Düsseldorf, Kiel and Aachen.[1] In Aachen, Klein-Rogge met actress and screenwriter Thea von Harbou. The two married in 1914.[2] In 1915, Klein-Rogge joined Nuremberg's Städtische Bühnen theatre as both an actor and director.[1]

In 1919, Klein-Rogge began acting in films.[1][2] He appeared in an uncredited role as the criminal in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.[3][4] During this time, von Harbou was having an affair with director Fritz Lang and eventually left Klein-Rogge to marry Lang.[2] Despite the split, Klein-Rogge made several films that were written by von Harbou and directed by Lang, including Destiny, Dr. Mabuse the Gambler, Die Nibelungen, Metropolis and Spies. Klein-Rogge's intense look lead him to similar roles such as a tyrant in Fritz Wendhausen's Der steinerne Reiter, a pirate in Arthur Robison's Pietro der Korsar, and the Czar in Alexandre Volkoff's Casanova. Klein-Rogge's last film with Lang was The Testament of Dr. Mabuse in 1933.[1]

Klein-Rogge played the lead roles in two films written and directed by von Harbou: Elisabeth und der Narr and Hanneles Himmelfahrt.[1] Klein-Rogge remarried twice, first to Margarete Neff, and lastly with the Swedish actress Mary Johnson in 1932, to whom he remained married until his death in 1955.[2]

Partial filmography



  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Bock 2009, p. 248
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Eder, Bruce. "Overview:Rudolf Klein-Rogge". Allmovie. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
  3. "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari : Cast: Allmovie". Allmovie. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
  4. Eisner 2008, p. 351


External links

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