La Jana (La Jana)

La Jana

Dancer. A pretty brunette trained as a classical ballerina, she is remembered for her many appearances in German films and stage revues. Born Henriette Margarethe (“Henny”) Hiebel, she was raised in Frankfurt from a young age, and studied at the Frankfurt Opera Ballet where she made her initial professional stage appearances at around age eight. Henny began the main phase of her career when she was ‘discovered’ at a Cabaret in, depending on which version of the tale carries the most truth, either Dresden, Paris, or Frankfurt, at some point taking the name ‘La Jana’ (“like a flower”) for reasons unknown. She made her silver screen bow in the 1926 silent “Ways to Strength and Beauty”, by coincidence the initial film appearance of blonde bombshell and later legendary director Leni Rifenstahl (1902-2003), and went on to numerous cinematic roles in German and Swedish features both silent and sound. Henny became a regular stage and Cabaret dancer in Berlin, Vienna, Stockholm, London, and elsewhere, her part in the 1928 Berlin Revue “Casanova” causing a stir as she was presented naked on a silver platter. Her private life was colorful as, while she was married to, or at least living with, distinguished baritone Michael Bohnen, she had a string of sexual conquests including Charlie Chaplin, Dr. Joseph Goebbels, and Crown Prince Wilhelm, and even frequently served as arm candy for Adolf Hitler. Henny has a hit as a Spanish dancer in the 1934-1935 revue “Streamline” which opened in Berlin, moved to London, then had an extensive tour thru Scotland, and was finally acknowledged as a major star after her performance in the 1936 feature “Truxa”; during the winter of 1940 she became ill with pneumonia while on tour entertaining the troops and died. Some video clips of her dance routines have been preserved. (bio by: Bob Hufford)  Family links:  Spouse:  Michael Bohnen (1886 – 1965)

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  • February, 24, 1905
  • Austria


  • March, 13, 1940
  • Germany

Cause of Death

  • bilateral pneumonia


  • Waldfriedhof Dahlem am Hüttenweg
  • Berlin
  • Germany

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