BARNAY, LUDWIG (1842–1924), German actor. Son of the secretary of the Hebrew congregation in Budapest, Barnay had a remarkable career as a leading German actor, first in Bohemian Trautenau, then in Budapest, Graz, Leipzig, Vienna, and Frankfurt/Main. In 1874 he became member of the famous ensemble of Meiningen Hoftheater, with which he toured Europe and the U.S. several times. He distinguished himself in heroic roles in Schiller and Shakespeare, winning particular acclaim as William Tell and Mark Antony. Together with Adolph L'Arronge he founded the Deutsche Theater in Berlin in 1883. Despite his famous quarrels with the actor Joseph Kainz, he remained an influential and important figure in German theater life. In competition to L'Arronge, he was founding director of the Berliner Theater from 1887 to 1894 and later he acted in Wiesbaden as director at the Koenigliche Schauspielhaus Berlin and eventually at the Koenigliche Hoftheater in Hannover. His main achievement of lasting effect was the foundation for the union of professional actors ("Genossenschaft deutscher Buehnenangehoeriger") in 1871, which considerably improved the position of actors in German society. Barnay published his memoirs, Erinnerungen (2 vols), in 1903.
Ebert, Schauspieler werden in Berlin (1987), index; Brauneck, Theaterlexikon (1992), index.
[Marcus Pyka (2nd ed.)]