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Paul Henreid

Paul Henreid Austrian-American actor and film director

Austrian-American actor and film director
Paul Henreid
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Austrian-American actor and film director
A.K.A. Paul Georg Julius Freiherr von Hernried Ritter von Wassel-Waldingau
Was Film director Actor Stage actor Film actor Television actor Screenwriter Film producer
From United States of America Austria-Hungary
Gender male
Birth 10 January 1908, Trieste, Kingdom of Italy
Death 29 March 1992, Santa Monica, USA (aged 84 years)
Star sign CapricornCapricorn
The details


Paul Henreid (10 January 1908 – 29 March 1992) was an Austrian-British-American actor, director, producer, and writer. He is best remembered for two film roles: Victor Laszlo in Casablanca and Jerry Durrance in Now, Voyager, both released in 1942.

Early life

Born Paul Georg Julius Hernried in the city of Trieste, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Italy), Henreid was the son of Maria-Luise (Lendecke) and Karl Alphons Hernried, a Viennese banker, born as Carl Hirsch, who converted in 1904 from Judaism to Roman Catholicism, due to anti-semitism. Henreid's father died in April 1916, and the family fortune had dwindled by the time he graduated from the exclusive Maria Theresianische Akademie.

Stage and film careers

Henreid trained for the theatre in Vienna, over his family's objections, and debuted there on the stage under the direction of Max Reinhardt. He began his film career acting in German and Austrian films in the 1930s. During that period, he was strongly anti-Nazi, so much so that he was later designated an "official enemy of the Third Reich".


In 1937 Henreid played Prince Albert in the stage production Victoria Regina in 1937. With the outbreak of World War II, Henreid risked deportation or internment as an enemy alien, but Conrad Veidt (his co-star as Major Heinrich Strasser in Casablanca) spoke for him, and he was allowed to remain and work in England's film industry. Veidt himself was an avowed anti-Nazi, with a Jewish wife. Thanks to such support, Henreid was able to continue his work in British films. In 1939 he had a notable supporting role as Staefel in Goodbye, Mr. Chips and the next year third billing as a German espionage agent in the thriller Night Train to Munich. In 1940 he also performed in a minor role in the British musical comedy spy film Under Your Hat.

RKO, Warner Bros., and MGM

After relocating to the United States and having a successful run on Broadway in Flight to the West, Henreid was put under contract by RKO in 1941. The studio changed his name from von Hernried to the simpler and less overtly Germanic Henreid. That year, Henreid became a citizen of the United States. His first film for the studio was Joan of Paris, released in 1942, that became a big hit.

Moving to Warner Bros. in 1942, Henreid was cast in Now, Voyager, playing the romantic lead opposite Bette Davis. His next role was as Victor Laszlo, a heroic anti-German resistance leader on the run, in Casablanca (1942) with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Warners then tried to consolidate Henreid's new status by co-starring him with Ida Lupino in a romantic drama, In Our Time (1944) then putting him in Between Two Worlds (1944), a remake of Outward Bound. The Conspirators (1944) was an attempt to repeat the success of Casablanca with Henreid fighting Nazis in an ostensible neutral city with a supporting cast that included Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre. Henreid turned down the male lead in Watch on the Rhine and Mrs Skeffington.

Henreid returned briefly to RKO to play a pirate swashbuckler in the studio's 1945 release The Spanish Main. Returning to Warner Bros., he was cast the following year in Devotion, a biopic of the Brontë family in which Henreid portrays Arthur Bell Nicholls. He was next cast opposite Eleanor Parker in an adaptation of Of Human Bondage (1946). Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer then borrowed Henreid from Warners play Robert Schumann in Song of Love (1947) opposite Katharine Hepburn. Henreid wrote in his memoirs that he bought out his Warner Bros contract for $75,000 and was offered a long term contract at MGM for $150,000 a year but turned it down.

Blacklisting and brief return to European films

In his 1984 autobiography Ladies Man Henreid recounts that he was one of a group of Hollywood stars who went to Washington to protest the excesses of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, following which he was semi-blacklisted. He says he was blacklisted from the major studios for five years - apart from Rope of Sand which was directed by a friend - before the blacklist was lifted and never understood why.

After leaving Warner Bros., Henreid decided to turn producer, making the film noir Hollow Triumph (1948) in which he also appeared. He was a villain in a Burt Lancaster adventure film Rope of Sand (1949). In 1950 he made a low-budget film for Edward and Harry Danziger, So Young, So Bad, which was followed by an offer from Sam Katzman to play pirate Jean Lafitte in Last of the Buccaneers (1950). He then went to France for Pardon My French (1951) before returning to Katzman for Thief of Damascus (1951). He directed and played the lead role in For Men Only (1952). Later, in England, he made film noirs Stolen Face (1952) and Mantrap (1953), then went back to Katzman for Siren of Bagdad (1953). In 1954, once again working for MGM, Henreid performed in a minor role in Deep in My Heart, his first "A" film in a several years. He moved next to Columbia Pictures, where he appeared in Pirates of Tripoli for Katzman; and then, yet again, to MGM for a part in Meet Me in Las Vegas. He also appeared at this time on Broadway in Festival.

Directing and final performances

In the early 1950s, Henreid began directing both film and television productions. His "small-screen" directorial credits include episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Maverick, Bonanza, The Virginian, and The Big Valley. He also directed on the "big screen" A Woman's Devotion (1956) in which he played a supporting role, Girls on the Loose (1958), and Live Fast, Die Young (1958). In 1964, he directed Dead Ringer, which stars Bette Davis and features in a minor role Henreid's daughter Monika.

While working as a director, Henreid continued to accept some small parts as well in Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957), Holiday for Lovers (1959), Never So Few (1959), and Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962). Additional film appearances include Operation Crossbow (1965), The Madwoman of Chaillot (1969), and The Failing of Raymond (1971). In 1973, prior to his last screen appearance in Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), Henreid returned to Broadway to perform in Don Juan in Hell.

Personal life and legacy

Henreid's grave at Woodlawn Cemetery in Santa Monica

Henreid married Elizabeth Camilla Julia "Lisl" Glück (1908–1993) in 1936; the couple adopted two daughters. In 1992, at age 84, Henreid died of pneumonia in Santa Monica, California after suffering a stroke. He was buried in nearby Woodlawn Cemetery.

In Los Angeles, California in 1960, to honor Henreid's significant contributions to the entertainment industry as both an actor and director, two stars were dedicated to him and installed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. One of those stars, which recognizes his career in film, is located at 6366 Hollywood Boulevard; the other, for television, is at 1720 Vine Street.

Complete filmography

As actor

  • Morgenrot (1933)
  • Baroud (1933) as Bit Part (uncredited)
  • Love in Morocco (1933) as bit part (uncredited)
  • Hohe Schule, aka The Secret of Cavelli (1934) as Franz von Ketterer
  • Eva, the Factory Girl (1935) as Fritz
  • ...nur ein Komödiant (1935) as Velthen
  • Victoria the Great (1937) as uncredited minor role
  • Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) as Staefel
  • Mad Men of Europe (1940) as Victor Brandt
  • Night Train to Munich (1940) as Capt. Karl Marsen
  • Under Your Hat (1940) as bit part
  • Joan of Paris (1942) as Paul Lavallier
  • Now, Voyager (1942) as Jerry Durrance
  • Casablanca (1942) as Victor Laszlo
  • In Our Time (1944) as Count Stefan Orwid
  • Between Two Worlds (1944) as Henry Bergner
  • The Conspirators (1944) as Vincent Van Der Lyn
  • The Spanish Main (1945) as Capt. Laurent Van Horn
  • Devotion (1946) as Rev. Arthur Nicholls
  • Of Human Bondage (1946) as Philip Carey
  • Deception (1946) as Karel Novak
  • Song of Love (1947) as Robert Schumann
  • Hollow Triumph, aka The Scar (1948) as John Muller / Dr. Bartok
  • Rope of Sand (1949) as Commandant Paul Vogel
  • So Young So Bad (1950) as Dr. John H. Jason
  • Last of the Buccaneers (1950) as Jean Lafitte
  • Pardon My French (1951) - Paul Rencourt
  • For Men Only (1952) as Dr. Stephen Brice
  • Thief of Damascus (1952) as General Abu Amdar
  • Stolen Face (1952) as Dr. Philip Ritter
  • Dans la vie tout s'arrange (1952) as Paul Rencourt
  • Mantrap, aka Woman in Hiding (1953) as Hugo Bishop
  • Siren of Bagdad (1953) as Kazah the Great
  • Dieses Lied bleibt bei dir [de] (1954) as Konrad Hegner
  • Deep in My Heart (1954) as Florenz Ziegfeld
  • Pirates of Tripoli (1955) as Edri al-Gadrian
  • Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956) as Pierre
  • A Woman's Devotion (1956) as Capt. Henrique Monteros
  • Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957) as Anton
  • Holiday for Lovers (1959) as Eduardo Barroso
  • Never So Few (1959) as Nikko Regas
  • Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962) as Etienne Laurier
  • Operation Crossbow (1965) as Gen. Ziemann
  • The Madwoman of Chaillot (1969) as The General
  • The Failing of Raymond (1971, TV Movie) as Dr. Abel
  • Death Among Friends (1975, TV Movie) as Otto Schiller
  • Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) as The Cardinal (final film role)

As himself or narrator

  • Hollywood Canteen (1944) - himself
  • Peking Remembered (1967 documentary) - narrator

As producer

  • Hollow Triumph (1948)
  • For Men Only (1952)

As director


  • For Men Only (1952)
  • A Woman's Devotion (1956)
  • Live Fast, Die Young (1958)
  • Girls on the Loose (1958)
  • Dead Ringer (1964)
  • Ballad in Blue (1964)


  • Maverick "Passage to Fort Doom" (1959)
  • The Californians (1957-1959), various episodes
  • "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" TV series episode "Cell 227" (1960)
  • The June Allyson Show (1960) episode 'The Lie'
  • The Virginian "Long Ride to Wind River" (1966)

As writer

  • Ballad in Blue (1964) (story)


  • Deception (1946) (Hollenius' Cello Concerto, Cello Concerto in D major, uncredited and dubbed by Eleanor Slatkin)
  • Stolen Face (1952) (song "Rolling Home")

Radio appearances

Year Program Episode/source
5/10/43 Lux Radio Theatre "Now, Voyager" w/ Ida Lupino
9/10/45 Lux Radio Theatre "Experiment Perilous" w/ Virginia Bruce
10/1/45 Lux Radio Theatre "Mrs. Skeffington" w/ Bette Davis
1/3/46 Suspense "Angel of Death"
3/14/46 Suspense "No More Alice"
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 08 Jun 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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