Thea Gabriele von Harbou (December 27, 1888 – July 1, 1954) was a German actress, author and film director of Prussian aristocratic origin. She was born in Tauperlitz in the Kingdom of Bavaria. Thea von Harbou was born to a Prussian family of minor nobility and government officials, thus granting her a level of sophisticated comfort. Her childhood education took place in a convent by private tutors who taught her several languages and how to play piano and violin, in many ways von Harbou was a classic child prodigy. Her first works, a short story published in a magazine and a volume of poems privately published, were focused on perceptions of art, which were recognized as abnormal for a young girl of thirteen. Despite her privileged childhood, von Harbou had the desire to earn a living on her own, thus driving her to become an actress, regardless of disapproval from her father. After her debut in 1906, von Harbou met Rudolf Klein-Rogge, and later married him during World War I.