She was once “Miss Austria” and in her younger years was considered one of the sexiest women in European cinema: the actress Nadja Tiller became a movie star in the 1950s and 1960s. Her voice sounded slightly smoky, her eyes were considered seductive and for the rather prudish post-war period, Tiller showed quite a lot of legs and décolleté. She is still known to many today, especially for her role as Rosemarie Nitribitt in Rolf Thiele’s film “Das Mädchen Rosemarie” (1958). As a noble prostitute, she exposed the double standards of the economic miracle. Her role was a scandal in the 1950s. But the film attracted millions of viewers to the cinemas, screened at the Venice Film Festival and won a Golden Globe in the USA.
International breakthrough with “The Girl Rosemarie”
Platinum blonde and high heels, sophisticated and wicked, vamp and seductress – that’s how she portrayed the Frankfurt luxury call girl who had been murdered a year earlier. “Nadja Tiller, the best that was available in Germany at the time in the vamp and sex sector, rightly plays with her slender legs, her mockingly full lips, but otherwise, in the middle of the fifties, is hardly allowed to get started. She is cold, even synthetic”, wrote the news magazine “Der Spiegel” decades later.
As a result, Tiller received many offers from popular European directors. Among them were the role of Anita Ekberg with the world-famous scene in the Trevi Fountain in “La Dolce Vita” and other films with Marcello Mastroianni or Alain Delon. But Tiller refused. Shortly before her 90th birthday, she declared: “Unfortunately I wasn’t smart enough and too stupid and then I didn’t accept three very famous films.”
Nadja Tiller and Walter Giller: the film’s dream couple
Nadja Tiller met her husband and temporary film partner Walter Gillter while shooting the music film “Schlagerparade” (1953). Giller and Tiller remained inseparable until the comedian’s death in December 2011, even though they lived in separate apartments in a luxurious senior citizens’ residence on the banks of the Elbe in Hamburg – but of course they were next to each other. They gave a pair in the film “Schloss Gripsholm” (1963). For Leander Haußmann’s “Dinosaurs – You look old against us!” (2009) Tiller and Giller stood in front of the camera together for the last time. The couple was married for 55 years.
Tiller began her career in theater
Before she wowed in the cinema as a cool beauty and seductive creature of luxury, the theater was her home. Mother Erika Körner was an operetta singer, father Anton Tiller court actor – the
The way to the stage was obvious. She received her first engagement in 1949 at the Vienna Theater in der Josefstadt. Her two-time freestyle for “Miss Austria” (1949, 1951) at that time was little conducive to her career at the staid house. This is how the young beauty earned an extra income as a demonstration lady in a hat salon.
At the same time, she tinkered with her film career and was not discouraged by a false start: her small part in the Beethoven biography “Eroika” from 1949 was cut out again because the work was too long. However, entertainment films such as “Der Traum vom Glück” (1949) alongside OW Fischer gave her film experience, and more demanding roles soon followed. In the romantic comedy “Sie” (1954) she convincingly found the role of the femme fatale and met the later director of “Rosemarie”.
Tiller alongside famous actors
Tiller inspired in films such as “Labyrinth of Passions” (1959), “The Buddenbrooks” (1959) and “Lulu” (1962). The swarmed filmed with Jean Gabin (“In the cloak of the night” she called her favorite film in 2019), Curd Jürgens, Yul Brynner, Mario Adorf and Jean-Paul Belmondo.
When important cinema offers failed to materialize later, she reluctantly switched to television at the end of the 1960s and became a guest of many series. In the end, she was seen in more than 120 films and series.
Still productive in old age
She was also seen on the theater stage in her old age, most recently in 2015. At that time she had a small role in “My Fair Lady” in Braunschweig, of which she said: “It was actually a nice ending.” Despite surviving several illnesses, Tiller remained a contented person. “I am very grateful for everything that happened to me.” Now the actress died in Hamburg at the age of 93.