German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin. no. K. 1605. Photo: Nicola Perscheid, Berlin.
German actress Lu Synd (1886-1978) was mainly a stage actress but in the late 1910s she also acted in several German silent films of which she produced many herself.
Born in Konstanz as Pauline Müller, Lu Synd was the daughter of a factory owner who had a trainer as dancer and performed in London. In 1914 she moved to Berlin where she was discovered by film director Richard Eichberg. He gave her her first role in Leben um das Leben (1916), an Eichberg production starring Ellen Richter and directed by the same Eichberg. Lu Synd then launched her own production company film Synd film, with which she made three films in a row. The first was Nächte des Grauens (Nights of Terror, 1916), directed by Arthur Robison. Besides Synd it co-starred Werner Krauss, Emil Jannings, Hans Mierendorff and Lupu Pick, who all would become well-known actors and directors in the 1920s. Subsequent films by Synd Film starring Synd were Die Frau mit den zwei Seelen (The Woman with the Two Souls, 1916), directed by Heinrich von Korff and scripted by Robison; and Das nächste Weib/Der Teufel (The Next Wife/The Devil, 1916) by Robison.
To her well-known movies of the 1910's belong Unsichtbare Hände (Invisible Hands, William Kahn 1917), Europa postlagernd (Poste Restante Europe, E.A. Dupont 1918), Ferdinand Lassalle (Rudolf Meinert 1918) and Verlorene Töchter (Lost Daughters, William Kahn 1918). Other titles were BZ-Maxe & Co. (Otto Rippert 1916), Die vertauschte Braut (The Changed Bride, 1916), Das Spiel vom Tode (The Play with Death, Alwin Neuss 1917), Der Weg der Erlösung (The Road to Salvation, Joseph Stein 1918), Die Abenteuer des Kapitän Hansen (The Adventures of Captain Hansen, Harry Piel 1918), Siegerin Weib (Woman Victorious, Aruth Wartan 1918), Vom Rande des Sumpfes (On the Edge of the Marsh, Aruth Wartan 1918), Die schöne Jolan (Beautiful Jolan, Rudolf Meinert 1918). In 1919 Aruth Wartan and Lu Synd founded a new film company which produced films in which they starred together: Sündenlust (Desire for Sin, 1919), directed by Joseph Delmont and Uwe Jens Krafft; and three films by Delmont: Die Rache des Bastards (The Bastard’s Revenge, 1919), Margot de Plaisance (1919) and Der Bastard (The Bastard, 1919). Until 1919 Synd was also married to Wartan. Lu Synd’s last films were Friedrich Feher’s Die letzte Stunde (The Last Hour, 1920), and Rennbahnschieber (The Horse Track Slide, 1921), directed by Krafft and starring Synd and Wartan together again.
Between 1919 and 1921 Synd was active in Milan, Italy. She was supposed to act in one Milanese production, La città di vetro (The City of Glass, 1921-23), directed by Eduard Micheroux de Dillon, but that didn’t happen. Afterwards Lu’s film career stopped and she concentrated on the stage. Only in the war years she had two bit parts in Menschen im Sturm (People in Tempest, Fritz Peter Buch 1941), staring Gustav Diessl and Olga Tschechowa, and the Marika Rökk film Hab’mich lieb (Love Me, Harald Braun 1942). Lu Synd died in Berlin in 1978, at the age of 92.