Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Felix Bressart, 1892-1949

Felix Bressart and James Stewart in The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

Today marks the birth anniversary of character actor Felix Bressart, who was born March 2, 1892. Bressart was born in the East Prussian exclave of Germany, and started his movie career in the Weimar Repbulic, before emigrating to the US in the late 1930s. In the decade between coming to Hollywood and his untimely death, Bressart made appearances in some 30 films, in which he played a variety of ethnic parts. The photo above is from The Shop Around the Corner, in which he plays a Hungarian. In one of his first Hollywood movies, Ninotchka, Bressart plays one of the three Soviet envoys to Paris whom Greta Garbo comes looking for. There were German speakers in movies like Escape and Above Suspicion; a Pole in To Be Or Not to Be; and even an Icelander when he played Sonja Henie's father in Iceland.

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