David Hurst: German actor (1926 - 2019) | Biography, Filmography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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David Hurst
German actor

David Hurst

David Hurst
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro German actor
Was Actor Stage actor Film actor Television actor
From Germany
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 8 May 1926, Berlin, Margraviate of Brandenburg
Death 15 September 2019 (aged 93 years)
Star sign Taurus
The details (from wikipedia)


David Hurst (born Heinrich Theodor Hirsch; 8 May 1926 – 15 September 2019) was a German actor, best known for his role in the film Hello, Dolly as Rudolph the headwaiter.


Early life and career

Hurst grew up in a family of actors. As a Jewish child living in 1930s Germany, he faced persecution from the Nazi regime. After the pogroms of Kristallnacht, the British government allowed for the rescue of Jewish children from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland and the Free City of Danzig. He was one of the nearly 10,000 children in 1938–1939 moved with the Kindertransport to the United Kingdom. When he was separated from his mother he was 12 years old. He never saw her again.

Housed in a manor in Northern Ireland, he lived with other young emigrants in the care of the family of an estate manager. His first stage experience was Belfast at a repertory theatre, where he also changed his name from Heinrich Hirsch to David Hurst. During the Second World War he joined the British army, but because of his German background he was assigned to Entertainments National Service Association, where he performed as an actor and a comedian.

His first film role was as Wolfgang Winkel in The Perfect Woman (1949), a role Hurst had previously played in the West End to critical praise. He went on to appear in many British films of the 1950s.

United States

In 1957, Hurst moved to the United States. He spent most of his time in California, but often performed on Broadway. He created the role of Merlin in the original Broadway production of Camelot opposite Richard Burton .

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s he played in film, television and theatre. In 1959 he received the Clarence Derwent Award and in 1964, he was awarded the Obie Award from The Village Voice for his off-Broadway performance in A Month in the Country.

He performed in the film version of Hello, Dolly (1969) as Rudolph the headwaiter alongside Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau. This was his most notable role in America. He also had roles in the films Kelly's Heroes (1970) and The Boys From Brazil (1978). Hurst also appeared in numerous TV series including Mission: Impossible, Serpico and Star Trek.

Throughout his career he worked as a visiting professor at Yale, Boston University and Carnegie Mellon.

Return to Germany

In the 1980s he appeared in several German-American co-productions, and visited his half-brother Wolfgang Heinz in East Berlin. Hurst decided to remain in Germany, and worked in Vienna and Berlin with a fellow erstwhile emigrant (and Actors Studio colleague), theatre director George Tabori. From 1991 Hurst worked at the Burgtheater, Vienna, eventually returning to live in Berlin in 2000, when he retired from acting. He died there on 15 September 2019 after suffering a stroke and pneumonia.



Play Role Theatre Dates
A Midsummer Night's Dream Ensemble Broadway 21 September – 17 October 1954
Look After Lulu! The Policeman Broadway 3 March – 4 April 1959
Under The Sycamore Tree The Scientist Cricket Theatre 7 March – 10 April 1960
41 performances
Camelot Merlin Broadway 3 December 1960 – 5 January 1963
The Lunatic View Young Man Lucille Lortel Theatre November 1962
A Month in the Country Ignaty Ilyitch Shpigelsky Maidman Playhouse 1963 – 1964
48 performances
Electra Paedagogus Delacorte Theater 5 – 29 August 1964
22 performances
(New York Shakespeare Festival)
Henry IV Dr. Dionysius Genoni Broadway 28 April – 28 May 1973
Dracula Abraham Van Helsing Broadway 20 October 1977 – 6 January 1980
The Faithful Brethren of Pitt Street Joseph Knaitsch Orpheum Theatre 5 – 20 November 1988
20 performances


Year Title Role Notes
1949 The Perfect Woman Wolfgang Winkel
1950 Tony Draws a Horse Ivan
Soho Conspiracy Franco
1951 Smart Alec Poppi
1952 So Little Time Blumel / Baumann
Old Mother Riley Meets the Vampire Mugsy
Venetian Bird Minelli
Top Secret Professor Deutsch
1953 Rough Shoot Lex
Always a Bride Beckstein
1954 River Beat Paddy McClure
Mad About Men Signor Mantalini
1955 One Good Turn Professor Dofee
As Long as They're Happy Dr. Hermann Schneider
All for Mary M. Victor
1956 The Intimate Stranger Dave Pearson Uncredited
1957 After the Ball Perelli
1964 The Confession Gustave
1968 How to Steal the World Dr. Jan Vanovech (archive footage)
1969 The Maltese Bippy Dr. Charles Strauss
Hello, Dolly! Rudolph Reizenweber
1970 Kelly's Heroes Col. Dankhopf
1973 Orville and Wilbur Chanute
1978 The Boys from Brazil Strasser


Year Title Role Notes
1956 The Adventures of Aggie Lazareff Episode: "Snap Judgment"
1957 Armstrong Circle Theatre Government official Episode: "The Shepherd of Paris"
1958 DuPont Show of the Month Mr. Stryver Episode: "A Tale of Two Cities"
Kraft Television Theatre 2 Episodes: "Riddle of a Lady" and "Next Door to Death"
1960 Play of the Week 2 Episodes: "Tiger at the Gates" and "The Emperor's Clothes"
Dow Hour of Great Mysteries Baron Episode: "The Dachet Diamonds"
1962 Car 54, Where Are You? Robin Stuart, playwright Episode: "That's Show Business"
1964 The Defenders Dr. Schaeffer Episode: "Drink Like a Lady"
1965 Look Up and Live 2 Episodes: "The Initiation" and "The Judgment"
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Dr. Leland Mayes Elmont Episode: "The Brain-Killer Affair"
The Patty Duke Show Dennis Latouche Episode: "It Takes a Heap of Livin'"
1966 Hawk Louis Anselmi Episode: "The Longleat Chronicles"
The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. Matthew Brecker Episode: "The Mata Hari Affair"
1967 Hallmark Hall of Fame Petrovini Episode: "Anastasia"
Mission: Impossible Victor Grigov Episode: "The Astrologer"
Mannix Vladek Episode: "The Many Deaths of Saint Christopher"
1968 To Die in Paris Pirot TV movie
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Dr. Jan Vanovech Episode: "The Seven Wonders of the World Affair"
It Takes a Thief Captain Kovich Episode: "When Boy Meets Girl"
The Monkees The Baron Episode: "Monkees Race Again"
The Flying Nun Gus Mendoza – Sister Sixto's Uncle Episode: "A Fish Story"
Run for Your Life Heinrich Kleist Episode: "The Exchange"
1969 Star Trek Hodin Episode: "The Mark of Gideon"
Mission: Impossible Dr. Oswald Beck Episode: "The Test Case"
The Flying Nun Benito Gomez Episode: "The Lottery"
1970 The Mod Squad Consulate General Fohgib Episode: "The Exile"
The F.B.I. Alex Keeler Episode: "The Traitor"
1971 Dark Shadows Justin Collins 3 episodes
NET Playhouse Chanute Episode: "The Wright Brothers"
1976 Serpico Ducek Episode: "The Indian"
1977 Nero Wolfe Fritz TV film broadcast 1979
McCloud Colonel Andrei Krasnavian Episode: "The Moscow Connection"
Insight Episode: "Arnstein's Miracle"
1978 Child of Glass Jacques Dumaine TV film
Eight Is Enough Episode : "The Hipbone's Connected to the Thighbone"
Quincy, M.E. Dr. Fred Webber Episode: "Dead and Alive"
1979 Ryan's Hope Dr. Nelson Uncredited, 1 episode
1980 Charlie's Angels Stovich Episode: "Angel in Hiding"
1981 Skokie Sol Goldstein TV film, (final film role)
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 11 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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