Adlon was the grandson of Lorenz Adlon, founder of the famous Adlon Hotel in Berlin, where he spent much of his childhood. Adlon was the son of Louis Adlon, Sr., who had five children with his first wife Tilly. After almost 15 years of marriage, he met a hotel guest, the German-American Hedwig Leythen (1889–1967), called Hedda, at a New Year's Eve party in the Hotel Adlon, left his wife and children, and in 1922 he married her. It was one of the biggest scandals of Berlin in the 1920s. Tilly moved with her daughter Elisabeth, then two, to the south of Germany, while the other children Susanne (mother of Percy Adlon), Lorenz and the twins Carl and Louis (junior) were sent to boarding school and later all four emigrated to America.
Adlon was a supporting actor and bit player in Hollywood from the late 1930s.
He married Rose Douras Davies aka Rosemary Davies, sister of actress Marion Davies.
Adlon became a war correspondent for International News Service in May 1945, sent by his wife's sister's lover, William Randolph Hearst to a ruined Berlin, sees only a ruin of his parents' house, and a burnt Hotel Adlon. His first article is about personal loss, the destroyed city of his youth and the death of his father.
Louis Adlon died of a heart attack following a trip to Mexico. Originally interred in the Douras Family Mausoleum at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, he was removed and buried in front of the mausoleum in March 1951.
Although his Hollywood screen roles were minuscule at best, Adlon later gained fame as the main character of the 1997 semi-documentary In The Glamorous World of the Adlon Hotel, written and directed by his nephew, German cult director Percy Adlon.
Louis Adlon, Sr. and second wife, Hedwig Leythen
Lorenz Adlon (1849–1921), German hotelier, grandfather of Louis
Hotel Adlon, Berlin, Germany – built by Lorenz Adlon
Percy Adlon (born 1935, Munich), German film producer, cousin of Louis
Pamela Adlon (born 1966), American actress, daughter-in-law of Percy
Hotel Adlon, German film, from book by Louis's father's second wife
1. "Hollywood Filmograph." Feb. 17, 1934 ... Ciro's (formerly the Club New Yorker) threw its doors open Wednesday night to the public. It was one of the swellest turn-outs we have seen in some time. Harold Lloyd dropped in with his wife, Mildred, and ... Mrs. Buckley's party. Mario Alverez's orchestra furnished the music. The place is being operated by Erich Alexander, George Sorel and Louis Adlon, Jr.
2. Adlon, Hedda (30 December 1994). "Hotel Adlon." Heyne – via Google Books.
3. "Adlon, Hedda [WorldCat Identities]." webcache.googleusercontent.com.
4. "Katalog der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek." portal.dnb.de.
5. "Hotel Adlon Kempinski." www.tscheiar.ch.
6. "Familien-Saga Adlon: Was ist wahr und was ist Erfindung im großen TV-Epos? - TV - Bild.de." 10 January 2013.
7. Stöcker, Martina. "Berliner Hotel: Die wahre Geschichte des Adlon." RP ONLINE.
8. Louis Adlon on IMDb
9. "In der glanzvollen Welt des Hotel Adlon - Leben im Grand Hotel - de - ARTE." 16 January 2013.