Wortmann was born the eleventh child of 16. Her parents owned a tavern in Gelsenkirchen. After completing school, she studied theatre and chose as her pseudoynm Claire Waldoff. In 1903, she got her first theatre jobs in Bad Pyrmont and in Kattowitz. In 1907, she went to Berlin, where she performed at the Figaro-Theater on Kurfürstendamm. In 1907, she also began a working as a cabaret singer. Rudolf Nelson gave her a job at the theatre Roland von Berlin on Potsdamer Straße. She had great success during the next several years in German cabaret. She sang at Chat Noir on Friedrichstraße and at the Linden-Cabaret on Unter den Linden. Waldoff was known for singing her songs in distinctive Berliner slang. Waldoff's success reached its peak in the 1920s. She performed at the two great Berlin varietés, Scala and Wintergarten, sang together with Marlene Dietrich, and had her songs played on the radio. Her repertoire included around 300 original songs.
Claire Waldoff was a German singer. She was a famous cabaret singer and entertainer. Waldoff lived together with Olga von Roeder. They lived happily in Berlin during the 1920s. Together they met often other lesbian friends in the club, Damenklub Pyramide. After the German Nazis won the elections 1933 and Hitler came to power, Waldoff's success ended. In 1939, she and Olga von Roder left Berlin together, and they lived in Bayerisch Gmain. Claire and Olga are buried together, on the same lot.
Claire Waldoff & Olga von Roeder are buried together at the Pragfriedhof cemetery in Stuttgart.
After World War II, Waldoff lost her money in German Monetary reform in 1948. In 1953, she wrote her autobiography. In 1954, she got a little monetary support by senate of city Berlin. Waldoff was buried on the cemetery Pragfriedhof in Stuttgart following her death. Waldoff has a star in Walk of Fame of Cabaret.
She was also a keen gardener and had a garden plot (allotment) in the Kissingen colony in the city. In a long strings of pearls, her luxuriant hair wreathed with paper flowers, or in a cheeky cap and suit, Claire Waldoff would sing in a Berlin slang as rich and gravelly as the city’s soil:
“Was braucht der Berliner, um gluecklich zu sein?”
” ‘ne Laube, n’Zaun und n’Beet!”
What does it take to make a Berliner happy?
An arbour, a fence and a flowerbed!
Joanna Robertson -BBC
There is now a path named after her in the colony she gardened.
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=e
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=e
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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