08 July, 2012

Arthur Wontner



Arthur Wontner was a British actor best known for playing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's master detective Sherlock Holmes in five films from 1931 to 1937.

These films are:
The Sleeping Cardinal (1931) (US title: Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour) based on Doyle's two stories, "The
Adventure of the Empty House" and "The Final Problem"
The Missing Rembrandt (1932) (still considered lost) based on "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton"
The Sign of Four: Sherlock Holmes' Greatest Case (1932)
The Triumph of Sherlock Holmes (1935) based on The Valley of Fear
Silver Blaze (1937) (US title:Murder at the Baskervilles, release 1941) based on "Silver Blaze"

Reportedly, Wontner landed the role of Sherlock Holmes thanks to his performance of Holmes imitation Sexton Blake in a 1930 stage production.

Silver Blaze was renamed Murder at the Baskervilles on its US release in order to make the most of the publicity which had been generated by Basil Rathbone's version of The Hound of the Baskervilles. In many respects Wontner's film can be seen as a sequel as it is set twenty years after the events of the more famous story.

Walter Slezak


Walter Slezak was a portly Austrian character actor who appeared in numerous Hollywood films. Slezak often portrayed villains or thugs, most notably the German U-boat captain in Alfred Hitchcock's film Lifeboat (1944), but occasionally he got to play lighter roles, as in The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962). He also played a cheerfully corrupt and philosophical private detective in the film noir Born to Kill (1947) and appeared as Squire Trelawney in Treasure Island (1972).

Adrian Hoven


Adrian Hoven was an Austrian actor, producer and film director. He appeared in 100 films between 1947 and 1981.

Albrecht Schoenhals


Albrecht Moritz James Karl Schoenhals was a German film actor.

Born Moritz James Karl, Albrecht Schoenhals was the son of the German General upper physician Gustav Schoenhals (1855-1930) and an English mother. He grew up in Freiburg/Breisgau and then studied medicine in Berlin. Subsequently, he worked for a Berlin charity as a doctor and then volunteered as an army doctor for the field artillery regimen to Metz on the western front during World War I. In the last year of the war, he suffered a serious wound to his arm and was invalided out of service in 1918. While recovering, he wrote his doctoral thesis and joined a volunteer corps of the Army School Döberitz.

Schoenhals had originally hoped to become a surgeon, but he was unable to pursue this path due to his arm injury. Instead, he took acting classes under Eduard von Winterstein in Freiburg. He received his first stage engagement in 1920 at the City Theater Freiburg (Stadttheater Freiburg), where he played Orest in Goethe's Iphigenie auf Tauris. He worked in Halberstadt, in Freiburg (1921-1924), in Baden-Baden, Frankfurt, Dortmund, and at the Hamburger Kammerspiele (1928-1934), where he was an ensemble member.

In 1934, while working in Hamburg, a casting director from the UFA discovered Schoenhals and selected him as a double for Arthur Robison's romance Prince Woronzeff. Schoenhals subsequently had a successful film career, starring in German romantic melodramas of the 1930s and 40's, where he was adept at playing the role of aristocrats, senior officers, and professional men of considerable stature, such as surgeons, concert violinists, and so forth. He was known for his considerable charm and elegant appearance. However, under the seemingly impeccable veneer his charisma-like charm, Schoenhals exhibited the capacity to play the villain, such as in the Willi Forst crime film Mazurka. In this film, he portrays a rapist who is shot many years later by his victim, played by Pola Negri. In the romance Intermezzo, Schoenhals starred as a mysterious player who exploited the plight of an opera diva, forcing her to purchase the rights to her own voice. In Veit Harlan's Tolstoy film Die Kreutzersonate, he seduced a married woman. In a number of other films, he portrayed very reliable and upstanding characters, including the film Roman eines Arztes, where he portrays a man who goes to jail in his wife's stead, after she is convicted of murder.

Albrecht Schoenhals starred alongside the Divas of UFA, Pola Negri, Camilla Horn and Sybille Schmitz, as well as the "Darlings" of the Nazi leadership, Lil Dagover, Olga Chekhova and Lída Baarová. His career ended abruptly in 1940 when he fell out of favor with the Nazi regime for refusing to play the title role in Jud Süß, an antisemitic propaganda film. From then on, he was cast in only a few films, and was forced in 1941 to participate in a Nazi propaganda film for children entitled Kopf hoch, Johannes! (Cheer Up, Johannes!). In this film, a teenage boy is spoiled hopelessly by his mother while his father is not around. Schoenhals plays a landowner who is bothered by the boy, and he is taught a sense of camaraderie. Following the film, Schoenhals withdrew from the theater to his estate in Baden-Baden, "Annenhof."

After the end of World War II, he worked as a doctor at the city hospital of Baden-Baden. In the late 1940s, he and his wife returned to the theater. He continued to star alongside leading actresses and play men of high rank. He began to be cast more as a supporting actor and eventually faded into the background. From 1956 to 1968, Schoenhals was involved in many television productions. From the early 1960s onward, he also devoted himself increasingly to his personal interests, such as French literature, a field in which he was an active translator and editor. He was occasionally a stage director and focused on translation of original French plays into German. In 1965, Schoenhals received the German Film Award for "long-standing and outstanding achievements in German film." In 1967, he received the Federal Cross of Merit. He returned to film in 1969 for a supporting role in Luchino Visconti's film The Damned. He died at age 90 and was buried at a cemetery in Baden-Baden.

Nigel Barrie


Nigel Barrie was an Indian-born British actor.

Joachim Fuchsberger


Joachim Fuchsberger is a German actor, television host, lyricist and businessman best known to a wide German-speaking audience as one of the recurring actors in various Edgar Wallace movies. In the English-speaking world, he is sometimes credited as Akim Berg or Berger.

Turhan Bey



Turhan Bey is an American actor of Turkish and Czech descent. Bey was active in Hollywood from 1941 to 1953. He was dubbed "The Turkish Delight" by his fans for his exotic handsome looks. After his return to Europe, he pursued careers as a photographer and stage director.

Returning briefly to Hollywood to receive an award, he made several guest appearances in 1990s television series and in a number of films.

Since retiring he has appeared in a number of documentaries, including a German-language documentary on his life.

Carl Möhner


Carl Möhner was an Austrian film actor. He appeared in over 40 films between 1949 and 1976. He was born in Vienna, Austria, and died in McAllen, Texas from Parkinson's disease.




Charles Puffy


Charles Puffy born Károly Hochstadt in Budapest, was a Hungarian film actor. He appeared in 134 films between 1914 and 1938. He was the earliest slapstick star in Hungary's silent film era, appearing under the name "Pufi". His other stage names were "Károly Huszár" or "Pufi Huszár". Besides his work on films, he frequently appeared on stage, mostly in comical roles.

Later, he worked in films in both Germany and the United States, including such classics as Fritz Lang's Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler) (1922) and Josef von Sternberg's Der blaue Engel (The Blue Angel) (1930). He used the names "Karl Huszar", "Karl Huszar-Puffy" or "Charles Puffy". In the sound era, he returned to his native Hungary, where he was featured in smaller roles in a number of films.