Sunday, February 10, 2013

Remembering Johanna Sibelius

Born Sibylle Freybe on February 10, 1913 in Berlin, Germany. She was the sister of writer Heidi Huberta Freybe [1910-1981] and actress Jutta Freybe [1917-1971]

Sibylle Freybe as a 16-year-old girl was a sculptor teaching at the Berlin Academy of Art under Professor Otto Hitzberger and began writing novels at 18. Beginning in 1938 as Johanna Sibelius she started writin independent screenplays. In 1939, she wrote the screenplay for the movie “Congo-Express”, based on one of her novels. This was followed by 43 more film scripts.

In 1931 she married the head of the Roman division of the Ullstein Verlag, Max Krell. They were divorced after two years. Her second marriage in 1937 was with the movie screenwriter and playwright Horst von der Heyde, she had two children: journalist Nils von der Heyde [1938- ] and Jorg von der Heyde [1941- ]. On 9 August 1941 in Berlin she married the actor and screenwriter Eberhard Keindorff [1902-1974]. Her first screenplay after the war was for the first postwar German film: “The Murderers Among Us” (1946) with director Wolfgang Staudte. From 1949 on she worked regularly with Keindorff. The couple lived in Berlin, Hamburg, Rottach-Egern Dießen Ammersee and delivered two decades of good value entertainment films, usually somewhat broad romantic comedies or even literary adaptations. Johanna co-wrote the screenplays for two Euro-westerns: “Frontier Hellcat” (1964) and “Flaming Frontier” (1965).

Johanna Sibelius died on March 8, 1970 in Starnberg, Oberbayern, Germany. Today we remember Johanna Sibelius on what would have been her 100th birthday.

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