Paul Wegener interrupted his law studies to join Max Reinhardt's acting troupe in 1906. Unlike so many other actors of his generation, he openly welcomed the challenge of the new entertainment medium known as motion pictures, making his screen debut in a 1913 adaptation of The Student of Prague. Often directing as well as acting, he exhibited a fondness for fantasy and mysticism, as witness his three film adaptations of The Golem. One of his few appearances outside the German film industry was in Rex Ingram's The Magician (1927), a gothic melodrama based on the career of "black arts" practitioner Aleister Crowley. He married five times, frequently appearing opposite his actress wives onscreen. A fervent supporter of the Third Reich, Wegener was appointed Actor of the State by German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels in 1941. The septuagenarian Paul Wegener made only a handful of postwar film appearances before his death in 1948.