Lien Deyers Poster

Trivia (15)

At the early age of five her potential was noted by Amsterdam theatre owner and film producer David Sluizer, but she did not enter the film business. She lived her childhood years in Amsterdam and later The Hague until her stepfather, owner of a big hotel in The Hague, married the Austrian actress Lotte Erol. Lien then traveled between The Hague, Vienna (where the family mostly lived) and Lausanne, where she went to a private school and became fluent in French.

Sie acted together with stars like Gustav Fröhlich, Heinz Rühmann, Hans Albers, Hans Moser and Theo Lingen and bewitched the audience with her appearances in the movies of that time.

The time of her death is not ascertainable, last she was in the Clark County Jail in Las Vegas in September 1964 but it seems that she died in 1965.

Deyers, who by the time had a reputation of being 'mentally extremely unstable', couldn't find work in Hollywood. The place was crawling with exiled German actors all focusing on the few roles that required a foreign accent.

In august 1926 the Austrian weekly Mein Film staged a competition for new young screen talent and Lien submitted her photograph. Together with twenty other contendants she was chosen for a screen-test by director Hans Otto, which she won. Subsequently, during an autograph session in the Mein Film offices in 1927, she was introduced to the well-known Austrian director Fritz Lang, who happened to be in need of a young blonde for a role in his new movie Spione, written by his wife, the playwright Thea von Harbou.

Also in her early sound movies she had great success.

When the National Socialists came into power they went to England first, later to the USA.

Fritz Lang had her sign a six year contract and assigned her to the huge UFA studios in Berlin.The contract soon turned out to be mere slavery and Deyers sought a court decision to end it. In November 1928 the court ruled in her favor, a verdict welcomed by hundreds of Berlin-based actors with similar contracts. In turn Lang appealed and was granted a 10.000 Reichs-mark pay-off, to be fulfilled in monthly payments. No love lost since between Deyers and Lang, who had already gotten to dislike each-other during the shooting of Spione.

She wasn't able to gain a foothold in the film business again and conducted a business for novelties.

The Dutch actor/comedian Wim Sonneveld met with her in 1957 during the shooting of Silk Stockings with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse, in which he played a supporting role. He was reportedly shocked by her faded beauty.

Deyers got into conflict with the new politics of Nazi-Germany: she had to take on German citizenship to remain assured of roles. Besides, she was typecast for typical aryan characters like the exemplary girlish blonde in Die verliebte Firma (1932) and Gold (1934). Most importantly, she feared the Nazis would discover she was half-Jewish (father Spanier was Jewish).

After 1957 there are two more signs of life: incarceration (loitering, disorderly conduct) in 1964 in Las Vegas, and a greeting card congratulating German actor and former co-star Heinz Rühmann on his eightieth birthday in 1982. The postcard was signed L. Dyers-Wallburg, suggesting she had gotten married for a fifth time.

Lien Deyers was born in Amsterdam as Nicolina Spanier, daughter of Nathan Spanier, piano teacher (1857-1916), and Johanna Liefjes, seamstress (1888-1918). She had a half-brother, Andries Liefjes (1906-1960), a child from a previous relationship of Liefjes. After Spanier's death mrs. Liefjes married the hotel-owner Egbert Dijjers (1874-1948) and the family moved to The Hague. In 1931 Lien would officially change her name into Dijjers Spanier but would occasionally also use the name Dijjers Liefjes. At several times she stated her year of birth being 1910 or 1911. In interviews she'd never mention Spanier or Liefjes.

Lien Deyers was married with the Jewish director and producer Alfred Zeisler.

Her private life was marked with some setbacks. After several failed marriages the alcohol became a determinant factor and she came into conflict with the law as a result of riot.