Else Højgaard

Infobox actor
name = Else Højgaard


imagesize =
caption = Else Højgaard performs in Stravinsky's "Firebird"
at the Royal Danish Theatre in 1928.
birthdate = birth date|1906|04|18
location = Bornholm, Denmark
height =
deathdate = death date and age|df=yes|1979|07|11|1906|04|18
deathplace =Bornholm, Denmark
yearsactive = 1928–1972
birthname = Else Andreasen
othername =
homepage =
academyawards =

Else Højgaard (1906–1979) was a Danish prima ballerina and an actress of stage and screen. Noted for a fiery temperament and edgy intensity, [Kistrup, Jens [http://www.kvinfo.dk/side/597/bio/452/origin/170/ "Else Højgaard"] , Dansk Kvindebiografisk Leksikon, 2003] [Piils, Morten [http://dnfx.dfi.dk/pls/dnf/pwt.page_setup?p_pagename=dnfnavn&p_parmlist=navneid=3372 "Else Højgaard"] Den Danske Filmskuespillere, Gyldendal, (2003)] Højgaard premiered as a solo ballerina for George Balanchine in 1931 and was the primary dancer for Harald Lander until 1942. Højgaard later went on to a long career as a dramatic actress, performing and teaching at the Royal Danish Theatre. She performed in radio and television, and played supporting roles in several films including the dark drama Café Paradis (1950). Højgaard was awarded a knighthood in the Order of the Dannebrog in 1961 and again in 1971. [Harv|Kistrup|2003]

Biography

Else Højgaard (nee Andreasen) was born on April 18, 1906 on Bornholm, Denmark, the daughter of a civil attorney. At the age of 12, Højgaard became a student at the Royal Danish Theatre ballet school in Copenhagen and graduated in 1929. She debuted in the role of Amelie in the 1928 production of "Drømmebilleder" and was chosen to perform the solo of Terpsichore in George Balanchine's 1931 staging of "Apollon Musagete". Following that performance, Højgaard became the Prima Ballerina for the Royal Danish Ballet until her retirement from ballet performance in 1942. She was the primary dancer for Harald Lander's revival of the August Bournonville ballets. Known for a fiery temperament, she was noted for her highly dramatic and lyrical performances, lending a modern, anti-romantic presentation to her roles. [Harv|Kistrup|2003]

While employed as a ballerina, Højgaard also attended the Royal Danish Theatre's drama school from 1932 to 1934 and made her stage debut in Anker Larsen's "Son of Zeus" (1935). She later performed as the dancer Arabella in the 1938 film musical "Champagnegaloppen". However, it wasn't until she left the ballet in 1942 that Højgaard dedicated herself to acting and demonstrated a dramatic stage presence that was "independent", "indestructible", and "almost defiant." [Harv|Kistrup|2003] Noted performances included the Karen Blixen-like character of Julia in T.S. Elliot's "The Cocktail Party" and the emotional sister Irene in "Søskende" (1952). Højgaard performed in both radio and television, and she was an instructor for 16 years at the Royal Danish Theatre until 1967. In 1971, at the age of 65, Højgaard returned to ballet to perform the role of Old Woman in "Dødens triumf" ("The Triumph of Death"). In 1961, Højgaard was awarded knighthood in the Order of the Dannebrog and in 1972, she was promoted to Knight of the First Degree. [Harv|Kistrup|2003]

During a career that spanned four decades, Højgaard performed supporting roles in several films. According to cinema historian Morten Piils, the edgy nervousness and intensity of Højgaard's appearance prevented her from being offered lead roles in films. [Harv|Piils|2003] However, her few roles were often memorable performances, such as that of the judgemental Agnes in the darkly dramatic Danish masterpiece "Café Paradis". Her final performance was in the 1972 children's film "Mig og Charley". Højgaard died on July 11, 1979 at the age of 73 during a fire at her summer house on Bornholm. [DFDB, [http://www.danskefilm.dk/skuespiller/257.html "Else Højgaard"] Den Danske Film Database, retrieved on 2008-09-27.]

Personal life

Højgaard married the businessman Anders Christian Emil Højgaard on December 14, 1926, however they divorced less than two years later. She was married a second time in 1936 with shoe manufacturer Willy Johanens Madsen. Later, she was married to the violinist and choir director Henrik Reinholdt Sachsenskjold, but that marriage also ended in divorce. Højgaard was the half-sister to Danish stage director Søren Melson and sister-in-law of Gull-Maj Norin. [Harv|DFDB|2008]

Filmography

References

External links

*imdb name|id=0406057|name=Else Højgaard
* [http://dnfx.dfi.dk/pls/dnf/pwt.page_setup?p_pagename=dnfnavn&p_parmlist=navneid=3372 Else Højgaard] at Det Danske Filminstitut (in Danish)

Persondata
NAME= Højgaard, Else
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Andreasen, Else
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Actor
DATE OF BIRTH=Bornholm, Denmark
PLACE OF BIRTH= Bornholm, Denmark
DATE OF DEATH= death date and age|df=yes|1979|07|11|1906|04|18
PLACE OF DEATH=


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