Frieda Ulricke "Henny" Porten was a German actress and film producer of the silent era. She appeared in more than 170 films between 1906 and 1955.
She was one of the few German actress of the era to enter film without having stage experiences. Many of her earlier films were directed by her husband Curt A. Stark, who died during World War I in Transsylvania on the Eastern Front in 1916. Her father, Franz Porten, was also an actor and film director.
In 1921, she remarried, to Wilhelm von Kaufmann. When the Nazis took power and she refused to divorce her Jewish husband, she found that her career, while doing twelve films a year, dissolved immediately. When she resolved on emigration, she was denied an exit visa to prevent a negative impression. She made ten films during the Nazi era. Her placid and reassuring persona helped calm audiences confronted with Allied bombardment. In 1944, after an aerial mine destroyed her home, she and her husband were out on the streets, as it was forbidden to shelter a full Jew.
She starred in the 1924 film Gräfin Donelli, which was directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst.