Carmen Cartellieri was born Franziska Ottilia Cartellieri in Prossnitz, Austria-Hungary, which is today Prostejov, Czech Republic, but spent her childhood in Innsbruck, Austria. In 1907, at age sixteen, she married the aristocratic artist-turned-director, Emanuel Ziffer Edler von Teschenbruck. Her husband and Cornelius Hintner, a cameraman from South Tyrol who had worked for Pathé in Paris and then as a director in Hungary, helped make her one of the most fashionable stars in German-language film of the 1920s. Using the stage name of Carmen Teschen, she appeared in several Hungarian silent films between 1918 and 1919 and made her Austrian film debut in Hintner’s Die Liebe vom Zigeunerstamme/The Gypsy Girl (1919), which she reportedly cowrote. Political changes in postwar Hungary made her relocate to Vienna where she returned to her exotic surname, suggesting to the press that she was born in Italy, and founded the Cartellieri-Film company in 1920 with her husband and Hintner.
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