Wilhelm Willinger (1879–1943)

Willinger lived in Budapest until 1900, from 1902 or 1909 to 1918 he ran a photo agency in Berlin, but from 1920 to 1934 under the name of his wife Margarete Willinger. In Berlin he was registered in W 30 at Schwäbische Strasse 8. During the First World War he was a Honvéd officer. He then ran his own agency in Vienna, which was taken over by the Hitler photographer Heinrich Hoffmann in 1938. During this time he founded the organization of the Vienna Press in 1924. 

Willinger emigrated to Shanghai, where he ran his studio Willinger & Co Shanghai at 88 Nankin Road from 1940.

His son László Willinger (1909–1989) also became a portrait photographer.

Maurus Wilhelm Willinger (April 9, 1879 in Budapest, Austria-Hungary – January 29, 1943 in Shanghai, China) was an Austro-Hungarian photographer best known for his portraits of actors from the early silent film era in Berlin.



Snow-covered St. Stephen’s Square, Vienna, 1930s

Austrian actor Felix Steinböck (1897–1974), in 1936


Russian actress Vera Kálmán

Austrian soprano Irene Husslik 

Laszlo Willinger (1909–1989)

Atelier Willinger,Marlene Dietrich

László Josef Willinger (16 April 1909 – 8 August 1989) was a Jewish-German photographer based in the United States, most noted for his portrait photography of film stars and celebrities starting in 1937.

Willinger was born on 16 April 1909 in Berlin, Germany, or Budapest, Hungary, to Margaret Willinger, also a photographer.

Willinger established photographic studios in Paris and Berlin in 1929 and 1931 respectively, and at the same time submitted his photographs to various newspapers as a freelance contributor. He left Berlin in 1933 when Adolf Hitler became chancellor, settling and working in Vienna, where he began to photograph such celebrities as Marlene Dietrich, Hedy Lamarr, Pietro Mascagni, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Max Reinhardt.

By the mid-1930s, Willinger was travelling through Africa and Asia before being invited by studio photographer Eugene Robert Richee to move to the United States.

After establishing a studio in Hollywood, California, Willinger became a frequent contributor to magazines and periodicals, providing magazine cover portraits of some of the most popular stars. Willinger was one of the first Hollywood photographers to experiment in the use of color.


Phot. Willinger, Primaballerina of the Metropolitan Opera, New York

Untitled nude study

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