Mauritz Stiller

Moshe “Mauritz” Stiller, born July 17, 1883, in Helsinki, Finland, was a director, writer and actor. He began his artistic activity in the theatre, as an actor at 16. Mauritz Stiller portrayed 87 roles from 1899-1916 and directed 16 productions 1911-28. Together with Viktor Sjöström ( director, actor, writer) he was recruited in 1912 as director/actor to the Swedish film industry by Charles Magnusson at AB Svenska Biografteatern. Mauritz Stiller’s films was instantly successful. During his first year he directed six feature films. “Herr Arnes pengar” (1919), “Erotikon” (1920) and “Gösta Berlings saga” (1923) are three cornerstones of Swedish film production. In “Gösta Berlings saga” Greta Garbo, 18 years old, made her first major role. Greta Garbo and Mauritz Stiller came to be best friends and allies forever. Stiller introduced Garbo to the German audience in 1925, before the two sailed of to the USA to make “The Temptress” for Paramount/Irving Thalberg in 1926. Mauritz Stiller directed 51 feature films and appeared as an actor in seven productions from 1912-1927. At 1:05 am Nov 8, 1928, Mauritz Stiller died in Stockholm, after undergoing numerous surgeries, an abscess of a lung ended a great artist’s life.

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