* Paula Wessely; Austrian Actress Was in Nazi Films

Paula Wessely, 93, postwar Austria's foremost leading lady who was one of the most respected actresses in the German-speaking world. Born in Vienna, Wessely was known for her sense of pathos and gentle comedy and appearances in musical romances. She also was accused of being a voluntary tool of the Nazis after appearing in Nazi propaganda films throughout World War II. She made her stage debut at Vienna's Volkstheater in 1924. She became a household name, called "The Wessely" by her fans. Her career thrived under Nazi rule when she starred in many projects produced under the aegis of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and his aides. The role she was most resented for was the lead in the 1941 movie "Heimkehr" ("Homecoming"). After the war, in 1951, she joined the troupe of the Burgtheater, starring in comic character roles, such as Lady Bracknell in "The Importance of Being Earnest." She also won kudos for her performance in Tennessee Williams' "Glass Menagerie," Friedrich Schiller's "Mary Stuart" and Arthur Schnitzler's "Anatol." On Thursday in a Vienna hospital.

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