Actress/singer/dancer. Born as Karoline Wilhelmine Blamauer,
1898 in Vienna
Studies classical dance
(1914) but travels
to Berlin to chase a career as a dancer.
In 1922 she is introduced to Kurt Weill during an audition
of his Zaubernacht.
In 1924 George Kaiser re-introduces her to Weill and two
years later they marry. Although untrained she is chosen
by both Berthold Brecht and Weill to sing the role of
Jessie in Mahagonny Songspiel, amidst professional opera singers.
She finally reaches fame status when playing the role
of Jenny in the Threepenny Opera, and becomes a much
asked stage/recording artist.
Although getting estranged (and evt. divorced) from each other,
Weill creates a role for her in 'Die 7 TodSunden' (The Seven Deadly Sins).
In 1935 they remarry, leave Europe and arrive in America.
Lotte Lenya has a role in Weill's 'Eternal Road', and
sings in several songs (composed by Weill) to support
America's war effort.
After Weill's death in 1950, she actively starts promoting Weill's
music. In 1955 she receives the Tony award for her role
in Blitzstein's English translation of The Threepenny Opera.
Besides promoting Weill's music, she also picks up her
carreer as actress, most notably in the role of Rosa Kleb
in From Russia with Love.
She dies of cancer in 1981, after embracing Theresa
Stratas as her successor.
Source: Kurt Weill Foundation, www.kwf.org