Eva-Maria Hagen, the 'Bardot of the East,' dies at 87
The actor and singer Eva-Maria Hagen, one of communist East Germany's biggest stars, has passed away.
The actor and singer Eva-Maria Hagen, one of communist East Germany's biggest stars before being banned from her profession, has passed away. She leaves behind some renowned descendants.
Eva-Maria Hagen, who was described as "the Brigitte Bardot" of East Germany (GDR) because of her striking blonde hair and sex appeal, died on Tuesday, aged 87, a family representative said on Friday.
The actor and singer was the mother of well-known punk singer Nina Hagen and the grandmother of Cosma Shiva Hagen, a popular German actor in her own right.
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"Eva-Maria Hagen left the earthly plane and has preceded us in going to the eternal home," the management of Nina Hagen said in a statement sent to the AFP news agency. "We are mourning, full of longing, love and gratitude."
Meteoric career in the East
Hagen, born in 1934 in what is now Poland, was a major movie star in East Germany before she came into conflict with the regime over her support for her erstwhile lover Wolf Biermann, a songwriter and GDR dissident who was forced into exile in 1976.
Banned from practicing her profession, she left for West Germany in 1977 with her daughter, Nina.
There she continued her success as an actor, even after Germany was reunified in 1990, and also gave chanson performances, sometimes with her daughter and granddaughter.
While still in East Germany, she had roles in some 50 television movies alongside stage work, making her one of the country's most famous faces.
Her rise to stardom came in the 1957 romantic comedy "Vergesst mir meine Traudel nicht" (Don't Forget My Little Traudel) by the state-run production company DEFA. The film is about a war orphan who falls for a policeman.
At the start of her theater career, she worked under the direction of the famous playwright Berthold Brecht in the prestigious Berliner Ensemble.