Richard Heymann was born on the 14th February 1896 in Koenigsberg.
He came to Berlin in 1912 and initially wrote serious music. In
1918 his "Rhapsodic
Simphony" received its première
with the Vienna Philharmonic under the Musical Direction of Felix
Weingartner. From 1918 - 1919 Heymann, together with Friedrich Hollaender,
is Musical Director of Max Reinhardt's cabaret, "Schall und
Rauch", for which Heymann and Hollaender engage Mischa Spoliansky
as third pianist and composer. Heymann writes for Rosa Valetti and
her cabarets, "Cabaret Groessenwahn" and "Die Rampe",
and between 1921 and 1923 he is Musical Director of Trude
Hesterberg's cabaret, "Die
Wilde Buehne", setting to music texts by, in particular,
Mehring ("Die kleine Stadt", "Die Kaelte", "An
den Kanaelen"), Klabund ("In Algier sind die Maedchen
schwarz"), Tucholksky ( "Das
Leibregiment", "Die Dorfschoene") and Heller
("Berliner Moritat", "Aus Pennen und Kaschemmen")
as well as, amongst others, Fritz Gruenbaum, Marcellus Schiffer
and Gustav von Wangenheim. His work is performed principally by
Kuehl ( "Der
Glockenturm"), Kurt Gerron and Annemarie Hase.
while also composing music for the stage, including the world première
of Ernst Toller's "Die
Wandlung" turns in 1923 for the first time to film. Having
in 1925 been the assistant to the musical supremo of UFA, Ernoe
Rapée, he becomes his successor in 1926, and writes scores
for silent movies including Murnau's "Faust" and Fritz
Lang's "Spione". In 1929 he composes the music for UFA's
first talking picture, "Melodie des Herzens". He subsequently
establishes a new genre - Film Operetta - and by 1933 has composed
the music for 15 UFA films, with numerous hit songs, whose lyrics
as a rule are penned by Robert
who was born into a Jewish family, emigrates from Nazi Germany.
In Paris he writes operettas
1er Prince de Monaco"). In 1934 he is for a while in Hollywood,
then once again in Paris, he makes the film "The Beloved Vagabond"
with Maurice Chevalier in London, then in 1936 he finally
moves to Hollywood. There he creates the music for the Lubitsch
films "Bluebeard's Eighth Wife" (together with Hollaender),
with Greta Garbo, "The Shop Around The Corner", "That
Uncertain Feeling" and "To
Be Or Not To Be". For the latter two, as well as for "One
Million Years B.C." (directed by Hal Roach, Jr.) and "Knickerbocker
Holiday" (directed by Harry Joe Brown), he receives Oscar nominations.
In the USA between 1937 and 1950 he writes the scores for around
In 1951 Heymann comes back to Germany. He weds the actress Elisabeth Millberg: his fourth marriage. In 1952 their daughter Elisabeth-Charlotte Heymann is born. The family live in Salzburg and Munich, where Heymann meets up with old friends, including Trude Hesterberg, Robert Gilbert and Friedrich Hollaender. Alongside other songs and film music ( "Heidelberger Romanze" with Liselotte Pulver and O.W. Fischer, "Alraune" with Hildegard Knef , and remakes of "Der Kongress tanzt" and "Die Drei von der Tankstelle"), Heymann writes the songs for the stage play "Professor Unrat" (after Heinrich Mann), and the musical comedy "Kiki vom Montmartre". On the 30th May, 1961, Werner Richard Heymann dies in Munich.