In Berlin um die Ecke © DEFA-Stiftung, Heinz Wenzel
Hans Hardt-Hardtloff was born in Cologne on August 8, 1906. At age 17, he left home to join a traveling theater group, which marked the beginning of his acting career. After acting school, he had his first engagement at the Cologne Millowitsch Theater. He left Germany during World War II and had several international performances in Europe and South America. In 1945, he returned to East Germany and became the director of Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR, Central German Broadcasting) in Leipzig. He also had regular stage work throughout East Germany. From 1960 to 1969, he performed at the Hans Otto Theater in Potsdam.
Hardt-Hardtloff began acting for film and television in 1956, and in 1969 he was hired full-time at the Deutscher Fernsehfunk (DFF, German Television; after 1972 Fernsehen der DDR, GDR Television). He played in over 100 supporting roles, including several memorable characters such as Meister Meternagel in Konrad Wolf’s Der geteilte Himmel.
1965 was one of the most prolific and also one of the most devastating years of Hardt-Hardtloff’s acting career. He was deeply impacted by the 1965-66 Kahlschlag (clear-cutting): the decision of the Central Committee of the SED Party to ban twelve films produced or in production in those years. Six of his films were included: Fräulein Schmetterling, Der Frühling braucht Zeit, Das Kaninchen bin ich, Berlin um die Ecke, Karla, and Denk bloß nicht, ich heule. This was not the first time he faced such censorship in his career. His short film for television, Monolog für einen Taxifahrer, was also banned for its experimental style. Nevertheless, after the Kahlschlag and up until his death, Hardt-Hardtloff appeared in a wide variety of films, such as in the Western Die Söhne der großen Bärin as Major Samuel Smith, or in the television film, Tod eines Millionärs, as the gangster, Napoleon.
Hans Hardt-Hardtloff died in Potsdam on May 24, 1974.
|1974||Der erste Urlaubstag (The First Day of Vacation, TV)|
|1972||Die Legende von Paul und Paula (The Legend of Paul and Paula)|
|1972||Leichensache Zernik (Murder Case Zernik)|
|1971||Tod eines Millionärs (Death of a Millionaire, TV)|
|1968/87||Die Russen kommen (The Russians Are Coming)|
|1967||Kleiner Mann – was nun? (Little Man, What Now?, TV)|
|1967||Geschichten jener Nacht: Der grosse und der kleine Willi (Stories of that Night: Two Wills)|
|1967||Brot und Rosen (Bread and Roses)|
|1965||Die Söhne der großen Bärin (The Sons of Great Bear)|
|1966/90||Berlin um die Ecke (Berlin around the Corner)|
|1965/2005||Fräulein Schmetterling (Miss Butterfly)|
|1965||Denk bloß nicht, ich heule (Just Don’t Think I'll Cry)|
|1965||Das Kaninchen bin ich (The Rabbit Is Me)|
|1965||Der Frühling braucht Zeit (Spring Takes Time)|
|1965||Lots Weib (Lot's Wife)|
|1964||Der geteilte Himmel (Divided Heaven)|
|1962||Monolog für einen Taxifahrer (Monolog for a Taxi Driver, TV)|