Gabriel, Monika


Monika Gabriel was born in Eichenbrück on October 15, 1943. In 1957, she began professional ballet training. Five years later, she was hired as a dancer at the Berlin Metropol Theater. There she eventually landed leading roles in musicals such as Cole Porter’s Küß mich, Kätchen! (Kiss Me Kate).


Gabriel began acting for film and television in 1961 with a supporting role in Konrad Petzold’s Das Kleid, DEFA’s adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Emperor’s New Clothes. Unfortunately, the film was banned until 1990, as its planned release coincided with the building of the Berlin Wall, and officials saw it as too critical of the state. Audiences first encountered the actress in 1963 with her appearance in the satirical Stacheltier series (Porcupine series).


Gabriel’s first major role was in Gerhard Klein and Wolfgang Kohlhaase’s Berlin um die Ecke, the fourth film in their Berlin Film series. The film was not completed past the rough cut, however, as it was banned in 1966 alongside eleven other films after the SED Party’s 11th Plenum. Audiences would not see this performance until the film was screened in a 1987 retrospective curated by the East German State Film Archive in Berlin.


Gabriel had several other leading roles in subsequent years. In 1967, she played the female lead in Ingrid Reschke’s Wir lassen uns scheiden, about the impact of divorce on children. In Günter Reisch’s 1968 feature film adaptation of Heinrich von Kleist’s Der zerbrochene Krug, Gabriel playe the female lead of Eve counter to Adam in the film Jungfer, sie gefällt mir. The Adam and Eve theme was one she had already played in Horst Seemann’s 1963 modern rendition of the theme in his short film Liebe braucht keine PS. In 1968, Gabriel also played a supporting role in Frank Vogel’s Das siebente Jahr, a film about marriage, parenting, careers, and divorce. During the filming, she met her husband, fellow actor Wolfgang Kieling. When Kieling, who had immigrated to East Germany shortly before their acquaintance, decided to return to West Germany in 1971, Gabriel went with him. After her divorce from Kieling in 1975, she was married to the actors Armin Mueller-Stahl and then Stefan Lisewski.


In West Germany, Gabriel played mainly in television, but she also worked in various roles for film synchronization and audio books.


 Monika Gabriel died in Berlin-Spandau on March 7, 2007.


1985 Wer einmal lügt… (He Who Lies Once…, TV)
1985 Berliner Weiße mit Schuß. II. (Beer with a Shot of Syrup, TV series)
1983 So ein Theater (So Much Fuss, TV)
1982 Kreisbrandmeister Felix Martin (Fire Chief Felix Martin, TV series)
1981 Der König und sein Narr (The King and his Fool, TV)
1979 Gedankenketten (Chain of Thoughts, TV)
1975 Die Rakete (The Rocket, TV)
1972 Vier Schüsse auf den Mörder (Four Shots at the Murderer, TV)
1968 Das siebente Jahr (The Seventh Year)
1968 Jungfer, sie gefällt mir (Maiden, You Please Me)
1967 Ein Lord am Alexanderplatz (Lord of Alexander Square)
1967 Wir lassen uns scheiden (We’re Getting a Divorce)
1966/90 Berlin um die Ecke (Berlin around the Corner
1964 Stacheltier: Liebe braucht keine PS (Porcupine: Love Doesn’t Require HP, short) 
1963 Stacheltier: Engel, Sünden und Verkehr (Porcupine: Angels, Sins and Traffic, short)
1961/90 Das Kleid (The Robe)


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