Striking German actress Karin Dor was born Katherose Derr in Wiesbaden, Germany on February 22, 1938 (some sources cite 1936 as her year of birth). As a child she studied ballet and acting. Dor started her film career in the early 1950s while a young teen. She met and married Austrian director Harald Reinl, who was 30 years her senior, in 1954, when Dor was just 16 years old. The couple welcomed a son, Andreas Reinl, in late 1955. Reinl helped make his young wife a star, casting her in many of his films including Die Zwillinge vom Zillertal (1957), The Terrible People (1960), and The Forger of London (1961; with Hellmut Lange). By the early 1960s, she was known for her turns in Egdar Wallace-penned crime dramas, mostly shot in her native Germany. However, today Dor is best known for a pair of big-budget films that we not directed by Reinl: You Only Live Twice (1967; with Sean Connery, Donald Pleasence, and Lois Maxwell) and Alfred Hitchcock's Topaz (1969; with Frederick Stafford).

Karin DorKarin DorKarin Dor

Mid to late 1960s shots of Karin Dor

For her performance as deadly Spectre operative Helga Brandt, Dor earned great notices for her work in You Only Live Twice. The film became a blockbuster soon after its release in June 1967, earning more than $111 million worldwide. However, her next high-profile film, Topaz, proved to be a critical and box office disappointment. Aside from these two films, for which she is best known, Dor also acted in a surprising number of horror films, including The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism (1967; with Lex Barker and Christopher Lee), Assignment Terror (1970; with Michael Rennie, Craig Hill, and Paul Naschy), and Dark Echoes (1977; with Joel Fabiani and Alex Davion). The latter title was written and directed by Dor's future husband, George Robotham.

the films of karin dor

The Green Archer (1961)

Karin Dor

As Valerie Howett in the Edgar Wallace penned crime drama The Green Archer

The Treasure of the Silver Lake (1962)

Karin Dor and Lex Barker

With frequent costar Lex Barker in the western The Treasure of the Silver Lake. This was the first film adaptation of Karl May's western book series

The Invisible Dr. Mabuse (1962)

Karin Dor and Lex Barker

From the German horror/crime drama The Invisible Dr. Mabuse with Lex Barker

The Face of Fu Manchu (1965)

Karin Dor

From the thriller The Face of Fu Manchu. Watch the theatrical trailer for this film

Die Nibelungen, Teil 2: Kriemhilds Rache (1967)

Samson Burke and Karin Dor

With Samson Burke in the German adventure Die Nibelungen, Teil 2: Kriemhilds Rache

You Only Live Twice (1967)

Karin Dor, Mie Hama, Sean Connery, Akiko Wakabayashi, and Lois MaxwellKarin Dor, Donald Pleasence, and Mie Hama

From the fifth Bond film You Only Live Twice. LEFT: With Mie Hama, Sean Connery, Akiko Wakabayashi, and Lois Maxwell. RIGHT: With Donald Pleasence and Mie Hama

The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism (1967)

Karin DorKarin DorLex Barker and Karin Dor

LEFT and CENTER: Dor stars as Baroness Lilian von Brabant in the German horror flick The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism. RIGHT: With Lex Barker. This film is a reworking of Edgar Allan Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum

Topaz (1969)

Karin Dor and Frederick StaffordKarin Dor, Alfred Hitchcock, and John Vernon

LEFT: From the Hitchcock thriller Topaz with Frederick Stafford. RIGHT: With director Alfred Hitchcock and John Vernon

later years

At the height of her career, Karin Dor divorced Reinl in 1968 and moved on to a brief marriage to Gunther Schmucker in 1972. Some of Dor's 1970's films include the crime drama Only the Wind Knows the Answer (1974; with Marthe Keller and Anton Diffring), the drama Women in Hospital (1977; with Stephen Boyd, Horst Buchholz, and Barbara Valentin), and the actioner Warhead (1977; with David Janssen, Christopher Stone, and Joan Freeman). In the early 1980s, Dor began working more and more in stage productions and only rarely in film and television. In 988, she married actor and stuntman George Robotham, and they divided their time between Germany and southern California until Robotham's death on February 1, 2007 at age 86. She came out of retirement for one last film, Die abhandene Welt. Seeminging healthy, a 2016 fall saw her health spiral downward, and she passed away in a nursing home on November 6, 2017, at age 79. She was survived by a son, actor Andreas Renell, from her first marriage.

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karin dor trailers

Watch the trailers for The Sinister Monk and The Face of Fu Manchu.


Die abhandene Welt (2015) with Katja Riemann and Barbara Sukowa
I Am the Other Woman (2006) with Katja Riemann
My Friend, the Lipizzaner (1994) with Robert Hoffmann
Johann Strauss: The King Without a Crown (1987) with Oliver Tobias, Audrey Landers, Mary Crosby, and Zsa Zsa Gabor
Gipfeltreffen (1985) with Claus Biederstaedt
Der Lord und das Kätzchen (1983)
Dark Echoes (1977) with Joel Fabiani and Alexander Davion
Four Against the Desert (1977) with Jon Pertwee
Women in Hospital (1977) with Horst Buchholz, Stephen Boyd, and Barbara Valentin
Warhead (1977) with David Janssen and Joan Freeman
Only the Wind Knows the Answer (1974) with Marthe Keller and Anton Diffring
Hochzeitsnacht im Paradies (1974)
Haie an Bord (1971) with Werner Pochath
Assignment Terror (1970) with Michael Rennie, Craig Hill, Patty Shepard, and Paul Naschy
Topaz (1969) with Frederick Stafford, Dany Robin, and John Vernon
The Valley of Death (1968) with Lex Barker, Pierre Brice, and Rik Battaglia
Dear Caroline (1968) with Vittorio De Sica, Gert Fröbe, and Isa Miranda
The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism (1967) with Lex Barker and Christopher Lee
You Only Live Twice (1967) with Sean Connery, Donald Pleasence, Bernard Lee, Lois Maxwell, Desmond Llewelyn, and Charles Gray
Die Nibelungen, Teil 2 - Kriemhilds Rache (1967) with Herbert Lom, Terence Hill, and Samson Burke
Die Nibelungen, Teil 1 - Siegfried (1966) with Terence Hill
Target for Killing (1966) with Stewart Granger, Curd Jürgens, Adolfo Celi, Scilla Gabel, Klaus Kinski, and Molly Peters
Killer's Carnival (1966) with Stewart Granger, Lex Barker, Pierre Brice, Margaret Lee, and Klaus Kinski
The Spy with Ten Faces (1966) with Paul Hubschmid and Rosalba Neri
The Sinister Monk (1965) with Harald Leipnitz
I Knew Her Well (1965) with Nino Manfredi, Ugo Tognazzi, Robert Hoffmann, and Franco Nero
The Face of Fu Manchu (1965) with Christopher Lee and Nigel Green
The Last Tomahawk (1965)
Hotel der toten Gäste (1965) with Frank Latimore and Elke Sommer
Winnetou: The Red Gentleman (1964) with Lex Barker, Pierre Brice, Anthony Steel, Klaus Kinski, and Terence Hill
Room 13 (1964)
Das Geheimnis der schwarzen Witwe (1963) with Klaus Kinski
The Strangler of Blackmoor Castle (1963)
Die weiße Spinne (1963) with Horst Frank
The Treasure of the Silver Lake (1962) with Lex Barker and Herbert Lom
Ohne Krimi geht die Mimi nie ins Bett (1962)
The Carpet of Horror (1962)
The Invisible Dr. Mabuse (1962) with Lex Barker
The Bellboy and the Playgirls (1962) with June Wilkinson
Im schwarzen Rößl (1961)
Am Sonntag will mein Süsser mit mir segeln gehn (1961) with Vivi Bach, Claus Biederstaedt, and Corny Collins
The Forger of London (1961)
Pichler's Books Are Not in Order (1961) with Theo Lingen
Der grüne Bogenschütze (1961) with Gert Fröbe
The White Horse Inn (1960)
The Terrible People (1960)
That's No Way to Land a Man (1959)
A Summer You Will Never Forget (1959) with Claus Biederstaedt
The Blue Sea and You (1959)
Skandal um Dodo (1959)
13 kleine Esel und der Sonnenhof (1958)
False Shame (1958)
Sin Began with Eve (1958)
Almenrausch und Edelweiß (1957)
Die Zwillinge vom Zillertal (1957)
Little Man on Top (1957)
Santa Lucia (1956)
As Long as You Live (1955)
Ihre große Prüfung (1954)
Der schweigende Engel (1954)
Rosen-Resli (1954)
Rosen aus dem Süden (1954)

Rosamunde Pilcher, 1993-2019 TV Series. Dor portrayed various characters from 1998 to 2011
Die große Freiheit, 1992-1993 TV Series. Dor portrayed Jutta van Straaten in four episodes

Das Traumschiff, episode Panama, originally aired December 26, 2010
Das Traumschiff, episode Indian Summer, originally aired January 1, 2010
Inga Lindström, episode Sehnsucht nach Marielund, originally aired January 25, 2004
SOKO 5113, episode Ludwig der Letzte, originally aired September 19, 2001
Achtung Zoll!, episode Vanloo und der Gast aus Frankreich, originally aired December 15, 1980
The F.B.I., episode The Target, originally aired December 6, 1970
Ironside, episode Check, Mate, and Murder: Parts 1 and 2, originally aired October 29 and November 5, 1970
It Takes a Thief, episode The Three Virgins of Rome, originally aired November 6, 1969

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Watch Karin Dor's 1970 horror film Dracula vs. Frankenstein
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