Runkehl, Karla


Karla Runkehl (Luise Faber) was born in Stettin, Germany (now: Szczecin, Poland) on November 7, 1930. In 1945, she settled in Greifswald and two years later at the age of 17, she moved to Berlin and started an acting class at the DEFA Studio for Young Talents. After graduating in 1951, she joined the Deutsches Theater ensemble.


Starting in the 1950s, Karla Runkehl also performed in film for cinema and television. Critics noted her portrayals of lively young girls, who, in due course, matured into worldly and emancipated women. Runkehl became one of East Germany's most popular actresses and was eventually held up as a socialist role model. East German film journalists called her a star of young DEFA.


One of Runkehl’s first leading film roles was in Kurt Maetzig’s two-part historic film about the German working class leader Ernst Thälmann. She performed the character of Änne Harms, a young Hamburg working-class girl (part 1), who grows into a strong and beautiful motherly woman (part 2). Runkehl is also remembered as Annegret, an idealistic peasant girl and the illegitimate daughter of the former lord of the manor, who goes to study to become an agronomist in Maetzig’s 1956 epic Schlösser und Katen.


In the 60s, Runkehl played in two films that were impacted by censorship: She performed as Luise Faber, an emancipated and self-confident university lecturer and wife of a success-driven manager, in Günter Stahnke’s 1965 banned production Der Frühling braucht Zeit; and she was part of the cast of Heiner Carow’s Die Russen kommen, a psychological study of a teenager in the last days of WWII. Officials banned both films because of their modernistic style.


Runkehl played in various literary adaptions (Die Frau am Pranger, Unterm Birnbaum), youth films (Die aus der 12b) and contemporary dramas (Sabine Wulff).


Karla Runkehl died on December 24, 1986 in Kleinmachnow, Germany.


1985 Rabenvater (Bad Father)
1983 Alleinstehend (Single, TV)
1983 Robert in Berlin (TV)
1982 Sonjas Rapport (Sonya’s Report)
1981 Romanze mit Amélie (Romance with Amélie)
1980 Pugowitza (Pugovitsa)
1978 Sabine Wulff
1974 …verdammt, ich bin erwachsen (Damn It, I’m Grown Up)
1973 Unterm Birnbaum (Unter the Pear Tree)
1969 Im Spannungsfeld (Tension Zone)
1968 Die Russen kommen (The Russians are Coming)
1965 Der Frühling braucht Zeit (Spring Takes Time)
1963 Daniel und der Weltmeister (Daniel and the World Champion)
1962 Mord ohne Sühne  (Murder Without Atonement)
1962 Ach, du fröhliche... (A Lively Christmas Eve)
1962 Die Entdeckung des Julian Böll (The Discovery of Julian Böll)
1961 Die aus der 12B  (Those from Class 12B)
1961 Urlaub ohne dich  (Vacation Without You)
1961 Die Igelfreundschaft (The Hedgehog Friendship)
1960 Ärzte (Doctors)
1959 Einer von uns (One of Us)
1959 Maibowle (The Punch Bowl)
1958 Nur eine Frau (Just a Woman)
1956 Schlösser und Katen (Castles and Cottages)
1956 Genesung (Recovery)
1955 Ernst Thälmann – Führer seiner Klasse (Ernst Thälmann: Leader of the Working Class)
1954 Ernst Thälmann – Sohn seiner Klasse (Ernst Thälmann: Son of the Working Class)
1954 Hexen (Witches)
1953 Das Stacheltier – Der Bart ist ab (The Porcupine: The Beard is Off)
1952 Frauenschicksale (Destinies of Women)
1950 Saure Wochen, frohe Feste (Hard Days, Happy Days)

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