Hildegard Knef: Chronology of her life 1960 – 1969
The author is not responsible for the correctness of the following information.
April 30, 1960:
Marlene Dietrich – arriving for a concert evening in
June 4, 1960:
Returns to Schlosspark Theater to star in the play Der Nerz (originally “Marius”) by Félicien Marceau, director: Harry Meyen (Romy Schneider’s then husband).
• Film director Fritz Lang plans to cast Hildegard Knef in his last movie “Die tausend Augen des Dr. Mabuse” (“The Shadow vs. the Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse”) but is replaced by Dawn Addams; David Cameron has a small supporting part.
July 14, 1960:
German television airs Hildegard Knef’s performance of Jean Cocteau’s one-woman-play Die geliebte Stimme (“The Human Voice”); the play is released on LP; “Der Spiegel” criticises the staging: “[The staging] showed that it does not need much to hunt down a talent.”
Six-week vacation with David Cameron in Tangiers, Morocco; shortly before, Hildegard Knef learns that the US tax authorities claim back about 65,000 dollars for the years 1954 – 1956; her agent Harry Heidemann clarifies that she hasn’t got the means to pay the amount and recommends her to do as many films as possible.
Her serious financial situation – aggravated by high treatment expenses for her sick mother – forces her to sell personal belongings in a pawnshop: “My last valuables were a mink coat and some jewellery, for which I got 3,000 D-marks” (interview in “Quick” magazine, 43/1964).
January 12, 1961:
In Minden, Westphalia, première of Garson Kanin’s play Nicht von gestern (“Born Yesterday”), a tour production through Germany, directed by Karl-Heinz Schroth for “Tourneetheater Berliner Schaubühne”, co-starring David Cameron; on August 1st the play is shown in Berlin’s Theater am Kurfürstendamm; the tour is a tremendous success with critics and audiences alike.
Guest of honour at the “Deutsch-amerikanisches Volksfest” (“German-American Folk Festival”).
August 14, 1961:
The day after the erection of the Berlin Wall,
Hildegard Knef and David Cameron move to Pöcking beside
October 10, 1961:
Opening night of the Italian film La strada dei giganti; in 1964, Hildegard Knef describes it as an “atrocious, ghastly film”.
The tour of Nicht von gestern ends in
December 22, 1961:
Early January 1962:
April 16, 1962:
First German recordings since 1951, Er war nie ein Kavalier and ...und der Mann mit der Harmonika; first co-operation with Austrian composer/lyricist Charly Niessen; she promotes it in her first TV appearance as chanteuse, on the programme Aktuelle Schaubude (to which she will return many times in the coming years); the record proves to be a success.
April 30, 1962:
In Percha on Lake Starnberg, Hildegard Knef marries David Cameron, who was divorced 8 months before; the date was set by her astrologer, Carroll Righter; at first, the newly-weds move to a 16-room-villa in Percha, Am Mühlberg 2, then, in 1965, temporarily to a house in Wolfratshausen, to finally settle at “Villa Berkenhof” in Kempfenhausen beside Lake Starnberg.
July 22, 1962:
German magazine “Bravo” quotes Hildegard Knef with a
statement on TV productions: “I have high esteem for television, simply,
because TV offers me good roles. And also because TV productions in
October 22, 1962:
New collaboration with director Wolfgang Staudte,
for the re-make of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s Dreigroschenoper (a
German-French co-production, shot at the
First performance as chanteuse in front of a live audience, at the so-called “Treibjagd-Ball” (“Hunters’ Ball”) of Munich’s famous gossip columnist Hannes Obermaier; she is presented by actor Karl Schönböck and performs Macky Messer and Seeräuber-Jenny; both songs are released on 7” that same month; the recording is financed by Knef herself (25,000 DM) as several record companies refused to release it.
February 28, 1963:
Première of Die Dreigroschenoper at
Her first LP, So oder so ist das Leben, is released and reaches number 8 on the German pop charts.
October 24, 1963:
German opening night of the French-Italian
co-production Caterina di Russia starring Knef as Russian tsarina Catherine; the film was shot in the spring
of 1962, in
November 12, 1963:
January 27, 1964:
Her album Die großen Erfolge is released; it spends 8 weeks on
February 28, 1964:
German opening night of the French film Ballade pour un voyou (“Der dunkelgrüne Koffer”).
April 23, 1964:
Première of Wartezimmer zum Jenseits at
June 15, 1964
Shooting begins for the German film production Verdammt zur Sünde / Die Festung,
Late summer 1964:
First works on her book Der geschenkte Gaul (“The Gift Horse”); however, she stops with “Liebeserklärung an einen Großvater” (“Declaration of Love for a Grandfather”), later to become it’s first chapter; the manuscript remains untouched for 4 years.
German magazine “twen” publishes an article written
by Hildegard Knef, Er ist
mein großer Freund(He
is a great friend of mine), in which she remembers how she met
September 25, 1964:
German première of Gibraltar.
Her second album is released, simply called Hildegard Knef .
• Her first American album is released, Germany’s Hildegard Neff.
February 2, 1965:
In Munich, opening night for the German theatre tour of William Hanley’s play Mrs. Dally, also starring Günter Pfitzmann and Volker Lechtenbrink, directed by David Cameron Palastanga; the tour is a critical and commercial success and runs till summer; it is released on record and aired on TV.
Release of her LP Hildegard Knef spricht und singt Tucholsky.
Hildegard Knef writes her first song lyrics, Werden Wolken alt? , released on record in February, 1966.
The first LP with all song lyrics written by herself is released, Ich seh die Welt durch deine Augen; the record is a huge success and spends 16 weeks in the German Top 10, peaking at number 3.
February 27, 1966:
In Wolfsburg, begin of her first concert tour, Hildegard Knef singt Lieder + Chansons, directed by her husband, David Cameron Palastanga, and accompanied by the Günter Noris quintet; she does more than 40 shows and on March 28 performs at Berlin’s Philharmonie, thus becoming the first non-classical act to do so (on account of her good relationship to the hall’s master, conductor Herbert von Karajan); even US magazine “Newsweek” reviews the tour, and a TV production about one day on the tour, Um 8 fängt unser Leben an, directed by her husband, too, is aired on November 11, 1966 on the German ZDF channel.
An accompanying LP, Die neue Knef – Tournee LIVE, is released and spends 44 weeks on the charts, with 20 weeks on the Top Ten, peaking at number 2 on July 15, 1966.
Extensive vacation in
Her album Halt mich fest is released, a result of her first collaboration with Viennese composer Hans Hammerschmid; the record reaches the Top Five on the German LP chart.
Shooting for the British film production The Lost Continent; whilst in
In London, Hildegard Knef suffers from a skin rash that apparently cannot be cured by conventional medicine; she consults a spiritual healer, Gordon Turner, who is able to help her and furthermore tells her that she is pregnant; her marriage is in crisis and her husband David is not enthused by her pregnancy; later, Knef admits it wasn’t a planned child for her, either.
Release of her album träume heißen du, featuring songs by Cole Porter only (German translation by Mischa Mleinek).
May 16, 1968:
In Munich, Hildegard Knef gives birth to her daughter Christina Antonia (“Tinta”); Knef’s life is temporarily in danger (she is 42 years old at the time); she suffers from hepatitis due to blood transfusions; the child is seven weeks early, it is delivered by Caesarean section and suffers from oxygen deficiency that causes cerebral palsy; it takes 4 weeks before Knef can see her daughter for the first time, 6 weeks until she can hold her in her arms.
Christina is baptised by an evangelical priest at her parents’ home; astrologer Carroll Righter is one of her godfathers and correctly prophesises that she will never become an actress like her mother.
October 27, 1968:
Start of a concert tour with the Kurt Edelhagen orchestra (38 shows, in Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Bonn, Nuremberg, Frankfurt amongst others); shortly afterwards release of a concert double-LP, knef concert, that spends 8 weeks on the national Top Ten; the album was recorded on October 22nd and 24 in a Cologne studio, with added applause.
November 13, 1968:
November 26, 1968:
The original version of what was to become one of her most famous songs, Für mich soll's rote Rosen regnen, is released on record; three different versions will be released in 1979, 1992 (with the rock band Extrabreit) and 1999.
The tour ends in Göttingen; at the farewell party for cast and crew, her friend Will Tremper – one of the editors of the magazine “Jasmin” – suggests to continue work on her memoirs and to publish excerpts in his periodical (where they are published in a series starting in the March 30, 1970, edition).
While visiting Carroll Righter in
March 1, 1969:
Continuation of her work on Der geschenkte Gaul; after resuming her writing at “Villa Berkenhof”, Kempfenhausen, she moves to “Villa Belvair” in St Moritz, Switzerland; at years’ end she moves again – because of hypersensitivity to foehn winds – to “Chesa Bodmer” in Samedan, not far away; Knef receives letters threatening her life and she is therefore permitted to carry a pistol; she and her daughter are given two bodyguards that she keeps for several years.
She presents her manuscript to Austrian publisher Fritz Molden who is exalted and assures her the book’s publication.
December 10, 1969: