Devrient, Ludwig

▪ German actor
born Dec. 15, 1784, Berlin [Germany]
died Dec. 30, 1832, Berlin

      greatest and most original actor of the Romantic period in Germany, whose temperament, characterizations, and life invite comparison with his English contemporary Edmund Kean (Kean, Edmund). Devrient's characterizations conformed to no existing school of acting and owed nothing to any previous performer.

      Born to a family of wholesale drapers, Devrient refused to work in his father's business and ran away from home several times. On one occasion he joined the army. When he decided to become an actor, he appeared under an assumed name so as not to embarrass his parents further. He served his apprenticeship with a provincial company in Thuringia, later appearing at the court theatre in Dessau, where he developed his talent for character parts. In 1809 he joined the city theatre at Breslau, where he achieved artistic maturity. When the actor and dramatist August Wilhelm Iffland (Iffland, August Wilhelm) saw him there, he was struck with his genius and helped him obtain a position with the company of the Royal Court Theatre in Berlin; Devrient made his debut there in 1814 as Franz Moor in Friedrich von Schiller's Die Räuber (The Robbers).

      In 1816 Devrient was appointed stage manager but only for comedy and was given comedy roles only. Preferring tragedy, he grew dispirited, drank heavily, and as the years passed became ill and crippled with gout. In 1828, in an appearance at the Vienna Burgtheater, he recovered his spirit and performed as of old. The last few years of his life in Berlin, however, were years of dissipation; he was only 48 years old at the time of his death. His greatest roles were Franz Moor and Shakespearean parts, including Shylock, King Lear, Richard III, and Falstaff. His nephews Karl August (Devrient, Karl August), Eduard (Devrient, Eduard), and Emil (Devrient, Emil), as well as Eduard's son Otto (Devrient, Otto) and Karl's son Max (Devrient, Max), also made important contributions to the German stage.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Devrient, Ludwig — Devrient, Ludwig, der deutsche Garrik, einer der größten Schauspieler aller Zeiten, war am 15. Dec. 1784 in Berlin geboren. Die Darstellungen Iffland s (s. d.) und Fleck s bewogen ihn, zum Theater zu gehen. Unter dem Namen Herzberg gehörte er bis …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Devrient, Ludwig — (1784 1832)    Actor. Among the first German actors to earn the sobriquet demonic, Devrient was an emblem of Romanticism on the German stage. He began his career in 1804 as Ludwig Herzberg, whom audiences found utterly unconvincing.    When he… …   Historical dictionary of German Theatre

  • DEVRIENT, LUDWIG —    a popular German actor, born in Berlin, of exceptional dramatic ability, the ablest of a family with similar gifts (1784 1832) …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Devrient-Schröder, Wilhelmine — Devrient Schröder, Wilhelmine, Wilhelmine. Viel des Großen und Schönen in der deutschen Bühnenwelt knüpft sich an die Namen Schröder und Devrient. Ludwig Devrient und Sophia Schröder waren die bedeutendsten Erscheinungen des deutschen Theaters… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Devrient, Eduard — ▪ German actor born Aug. 11, 1801, Berlin [Germany] died Oct. 4, 1877, Karlsruhe, Ger.       actor, director, manager, translator of Shakespeare into German, and author of the first detailed account of the development of the German theatre,… …   Universalium

  • Devrient, Karl August — ▪ German actor born April 5, 1797, Berlin [Germany] died Aug. 3, 1872, Hanover, Ger.       German actor who achieved popularity in heroic and character roles such as the title roles of Friedrich von Schiller s Wallenstein, Goethe s Faust, and… …   Universalium

  • Devrient, Max — ▪ German actor born Dec. 12, 1857, Hanover, Hannover [Germany] died June 13, 1929, Chur, Switz.       German actor who excelled in tragic roles, particularly in the plays of Goethe, Schiller, and Shakespeare, but who was also much admired in… …   Universalium

  • Devrient, Otto — ▪ German actor and director born Oct. 3, 1838, Berlin [Germany] died July 23, 1894, Stettin, Ger.       German actor, director, producer, and playwright.       Grandnephew of the great Romantic actor Ludwig Devrient (Devrient, Ludwig), Otto was… …   Universalium

  • Devrient, Emil — ▪ German actor born Sept. 4, 1803, Berlin [Germany] died Aug. 7, 1872, Dresden, Ger.       German actor of the 19th century who gained prominence in youthful heroic parts.       Nephew of the great Romantic actor Ludwig Devrient (Devrient,… …   Universalium

  • Ludwig Devrient — (Gemälde von Christoph Wilhelm Wohlien, 1831) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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