• 17 November 1911
  •  Vienna, Austria-Hungary

Vilma Degischer


Vilma Degischer was, first of all, a famous and a very good theatre actress. She was born in Vienna on November, the 17th 1911. After attending school, she wanted to be a dancer and was taught ballet by Grete Gross, Gertrude Bodenwieser and Ellinor Tordis. However, after some time, she found the acting talent in herself. She decided to attend the Wiener Reinhardt Seminar where she learned how to be a good actress. After graduating from the seminar, she played in various Austrian and German theatres, especially in Berlin, Vienna and Salzburg. Here, it is important to mention her debut in Berlin in 1930s where she played Hermia in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. It was directed by Max Reinhardt. The first turning point in her theatre career was the year 1939 when she started to actively work in the Viennese theatre "Theater in der Josefstadt." She stayed there for long and up till now her name is well remembered there. Vilma became a "salondame" and got a number of main roles in plays. Above all, it is necessary to mention such roles as Helen in "Der Schwierige", Generalin in "Der Walzer der Toreros", unforgettable Königin in "Die Jüdin von Toledo", Marie in "Das Konzert" or Mother Carmen in "Maria Pineda". Later, in the 1940s Vilma Degischer broadened her repertoire and started to play in musicals, films, and even some mini series. Most people probably remember her portrayal of the cruel archduchess Sophie in Ernst Marischka's three parts of "Sissi" (1955, 1956, 1957) with Romy Schneider and Karlheinz Böhm. Besides, there were other roles in movies: as Livia Argan in Ernst Marischka's beautiful movie interpretation of Franz Werfel's "Der veruntreute Himmel" (1958) with Annie Rosar and Hans Holt; as sister Wilhelmina in Otto Preminger's "The Cardinal" (1963) with Romy Schneider; as Mrs. Shelby in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1965) and many other roles. At the end of her life, one could admire her in a minor role in the mini series "The Strauss Dynasty" (1991) by Marvin J. Chomsky with Anthony Higgins and Stephen McGann. Vilma Degischer died on May, the 3rd 1992 at the age of 80. She was married once to the actor Hermann Thimig with whom she had two daughters. In her long career, she was awarded with the "Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst erster Klasse", "Kainz Medaille" and was given a title "Kamerschauspielerin". People who remember her know how much she appreciated elegance, perfection of acting, good manners, and culture. She will always be remembered by people who share her values. A great actress from a great country!