Creator / Lotte Lenya

Lotte Lenya (formerly Lenja), born Karoline Blamauer, was an Austrian singer and actress. She was married to Kurt Weill (twice) and appeared in many of Bertolt Brecht's plays.

To modern audiences, she's probably most famous for her role as Bond villainess Rosa Klebb in From Russia with Love. She originated the parts of Jenny in The Threepenny Opera, Anna in The Seven Deadly Sins, and Fräulein Schneider in Cabaret. She did not originate the part of Jenny in The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, though one song had to be specially recomposed for her. She also acted alongside Peter Lorre in Frühlings Erwachen.

In the 1930s, she was forced to escape from Germany and moved to the United States, where she resolved to speak and write English almost exclusively from that point on. She was famously name-checked by Louis Armstrong during his recording of "Mack the Knife", when he saw her standing near him in the studio. She is also a star on the constellation map on the back cover of Frank Zappa's One Size Fits All (1975).

Her signature song is "The Pirate Jenny", and her performance of the song ended up strongly influencing Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, Amanda Palmer, Lars von Trier and Alan Moore.

Lenja's correspondence with Kurt Weill was published in book form, titled Speak Low (When You Speak Love). A play based on the collected letters, Lovemusik, opened on Broadway in 2007.