Josef Kainz

Definition

Theater

  • (1858 - 1910) Austrian actor, whose noble bearing and resonantvoice made him the most popular German-language performer of hisday. After training with the Meininger company, Kainz actedwith the Munich Court Theatre (1880 - 83), the Deutsches Theaterin Berlin (1883 - 99), and the Vienna Burgtheater (1899 - 1910).

    While performing in 1881 in Munich as Didier in Victor Hugo'sMarion de Lorme, Kainz was seen by 'mad' King Ludwig II ofBavaria. The monarch subsequently wrote letters of admiration to theactor, showered jewels upon him, and brought him to his Schloss Linderhofto recite in his blue Grotto. They became close friends, but Ludwigwent too far during their visit to Switzerland when he forced Kainzto read a scene from William Tell on a mountainside in themiddle of the night. The actor walked out and made a fortune by sellingthe king's personal letters to him.

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