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Howard Vernon

Howard Vernon

Swiss actor
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Swiss actor
Countries Switzerland
Occupations Actor Stage actor Film actor
A.K.A. Mario Lippert
Gender male
Birth July 15, 1914 (Baden)
Death July 25, 1996 (Issy-les-Moulineaux)
The details

Howard Vernon (15 July 1914 – 25 July 1996) was a Swiss actor. In the 1960s, he became a favourite actor of Spanish horror director Jesús Franco and began starring in many low-budget horror films produced in Spain or France, often portraying a mad doctor named "Dr. Orloff".

Life and career

Vernon was born Mario Lippert in Baden, Switzerland, to a Swiss father and an American mother, and was fluent in German, English and French. Originally a stage and radio actor, he worked primarily in France and became a well-known supporting actor after 1945 by playing villainous Nazi officers in French films. Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Silence de la mer, in which he played a gentle anti-Nazi German officer, made him somewhat famous, but, in part due to his looks and Swiss accent, he was subsequently relegated to playing gangsters and heavies.

In the 1960s, he became a favorite actor of Spanish horror director Jesús Franco and began starring in many low-budget horror movies produced in Spain or in France, often portraying a mad doctor named "Dr. Orloff". He continued to make increasingly small appearances in high-profile films while often getting top billing in many Grade-Z horror films. Horror fans consider his three greatest horror film roles to be The Awful Dr. Orloff (1961) which introduced Franco's famed mad doctor character, Dracula vs Frankenstein (1971) in which he played Count Dracula and The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein (1972) in which he played the insanely evil Count Cagliostro.


He remained active until his death from natural causes in 1996. He died in Paris, France, 10 days after his 82nd birthday.

Selected filmography

  • Night Warning (1946)
  • Jericho (1946)
  • Devil and the Angel (1946)
  • The Royalists (1947)
  • Les jeux sont faits / The Die Is Cast (1947) (aka "The Chips Are Down")
  • Le Diable boiteux / The Lame Devil (1948, director: Sacha Guitry)
  • Le Silence de la mer / The Silence of the Sea (1949, director: Jean-Pierre Melville)
  • Black Jack (1950)
  • Adventures of Captain Fabian (1951)
  • Manina, the Girl in the Bikini (1952)
  • The Girl with the Whip (1952)
  • The Secret of the Mountain Lake (1952)
  • Monsieur Scrupule, Gangster (1953)
  • Little Jacques (1953)
  • Bob le Flambeur (1956)
  • Doctor Crippen Lives (1958)
  • Interpol Against X (1960)
  • Brandenburg Division (1960)
  • Die Tausend Augen des Dr. Mabuse / The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960, director: Fritz Lang)
  • The Awful Dr. Orloff / Screams in the Night/ Gritos en la Noche/ L'Horrible Docteur Orloff (1961, director: Jesús Franco)
  • First Criminal Brigade (1962)
  • The Train (1964, director: John Frankenheimer)
  • On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts (1964)
  • Alphaville (aka "Une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution") (1965, director: Jean-Luc Godard)
  • The Diabolical Dr. Z / Miss Muerte/ Miss Death (1965, director: Jesús Franco)
  • Train d'enfer (1965, director: Gilles Grangier)
  • What's New Pussycat? (1965, director: Clive Donner)
  • Triple Cross (1966)
  • The Unknown Man of Shandigor (1967)
  • Necronomicon: Dreamt Sin / Succubus (1967, director: Jesús Franco)
  • Marquis de Sade's Justine / Deadly Sanctuary (1968, director: Jesús Franco)
  • The Bloody Judge / Throne of Fire/ The Witch Killer of Blackmoor (1969, director: Jesús Franco)
  • The Blood Rose / Le Rose Eschorchée / The Flayed Rose (1970, director: Claude Mulot)
  • She Killed in Ecstasy / Mrs. Hyde (1971, director: Jesús Franco)
  • The Devil Came from Akasava (1971, director: Jesús Franco)
  • X312 - Flug zur Hölle [lb] (1971, director: Jesus Franco)
  • Orloff and the Invisible Man (1971, director: Pierre Chevalier)
  • A Virgin Among the Living Dead / Christina, Princess of Eroticism (1971, director: Jesús Franco)
  • The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein / The Curse of Frankenstein / La Maldicion de Frankenstein (1971, director: Jesús Franco)
  • Daughter of Dracula (1972, director: Jesús Franco)
  • Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein / Dracula vs Frankenstein (1972, director: Jesús Franco)
  • Les Demons / The Demons (1972, director: Jesús Franco)
  • Lovers of Devil's Island (1974, director: Jesús Franco)
  • Lorna the Exorcist (1974, director: Jesús Franco)
  • The Perverse Countess / La Comtesse Perverse (1974, director: Jesús Franco)
  • Love and Death (1975, director: Woody Allen)
  • The Musician Killer (1976)
  • Docteur Jekyll et les femmes (1981)
  • Zombie Lake / Le Lac des Morts Vivants / Lake of the Living Dead (1981, director: Jean Rollin)
  • Revenge in the House of Usher / Neurosis (1982, director: Jesús Franco)
  • The Sinister Dr. Orloff (1984, director: Jesús Franco)
  • All Mixed Up (1985)
  • Howl of the Devil (1987, director: Paul Naschy)
  • The Death of Empedocles (1987)
  • Faceless / Predators of the Night (1988, director: Jesús Franco)
  • Black Sin (1989)
  • Delicatessen (1991, director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet) .... Frog Man
  • Le Rocher d'Acapulco (1995) .... Le vieil homme
  • Le complexe de Toulon (1996) .... Charles Toulon
  • Banqueroute (2000) .... Georges
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