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Paul Henreid

Paul Henreid

Austrian-American actor and film director
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Austrian-American actor and film director
Countries United States of America
Occupations Actor Film director
A.K.A. Paul Georg Julius Freiherr von Hernried Ritter von Wassel-Waldingau
Gender male
Birth January 10, 1908 (Trieste)
Death March 29, 1992 (Santa Monica)
Paul Henreid
The details

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

Early life

Born Paul George Julius von Hernreid—or Paul George Julius Hernreid von Wasel Waldingau—in the city of Triest, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Trieste, Italy), Henreid was the son of Maria-Luise (Lendecke) and Baron Carl Alphons, a Viennese banker who had served as financial advisor to Emperor Franz Josef. However, Henreid's father died during World War I, and the family fortune had dwindled by the time he graduated from the exclusive Maria Theresianische Academie.

Early acting career

He 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 films in the 1930s.

He was strongly anti-Nazi, so much so that he was designated an "official enemy of the Third Reich".


He played Prince Albert in the play Victoria Regina in 1937. With the outbreak of World War II, Henreid risked deportation or internment as an enemy alien, but was allowed to remain and work in England's film industry. He had a supporting role in Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) and third billing as a Nazi espionage agent in the thriller Night Train to Munich (1940).


After a successful New York theater run 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, which came out in 1942. Shortly after his arrival, Henreid appeared in two key films in his career. In Now, Voyager he played the romantic lead opposite Bette Davis, and shared with her one of cinema's best-known scenes, in which he lights two cigarettes at the same time and hands one to her. Henreid's next role was as Victor Laszlo, a heroic anti-Nazi resistance leader on the run, in Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

He made regular film appearances throughout the 1940s, but was blacklisted after protesting against the actions of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. His film credits include Between Two Worlds (1944), The Spanish Main (1945), Of Human Bondage (1946), Deception (1946), Song of Love (1947), Thief of Damascus (1952), Siren of Bagdad (1953), and Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1961).

In the early 1950s, he began directing for both film and television. His television directorial credits include Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Maverick, Bonanza and The Big Valley. In 1964, Henreid directed Dead Ringer, which starred Bette Davis and featured, in a minor role, the director's daughter, Monika.

Personal life and legacy

Paul Henreid's grave at Woodlawn Cemetery in Santa Monica

Henreid married Elizabeth "Lisl" Gluck (1908–1993) in 1936; the couple had two daughters.

Henreid died on 29 March 1992 at the age of 84 of pneumonia in Santa Monica after suffering a stroke. He was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.

He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one (for film) at 6366 Hollywood Boulevard and the other (for television) at 1720 Vine Street.


As actor

  • Morgenrot (1933)
  • Love in Morocco (1933) - Bit Part (uncredited)
  • The Secret of Cavelli (1934) - Franz von Ketterer
  • Eva, the Factory Girl (1935) - Fritz
  • Only a Comedian (1935) - Velthen
  • Victoria the Great (1937) - Minor Role (uncredited)
  • Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) - Staefel
  • Mad Men of Europe (1940) - Victor Brandt
  • Night Train to Munich (1940) - Karl Marsen
  • Under Your Hat (1940) - Bit Part
  • Joan of Paris (1942) - Paul Lavallier
  • Now, Voyager (1942) - Jerry Durrance
  • Casablanca (1942) - Victor Laszlo
  • In Our Time (1944) - Count Stefan Orwid
  • Between Two Worlds (1944) - Henry Bergner
  • The Conspirators (1944) - Vincent Van Der Lyn
  • Hollywood Canteen (1944) - Paul Henreid
  • The Spanish Main (1945) - Capt. Laurent Van Horn
  • Devotion (1946) - Rev. Arthur Nicholls
  • Of Human Bondage (1946) - Philip Carey
  • Deception (1946) - Karel Novak
  • Song of Love (1947) - Robert Schumann
  • Hollow Triumph a.k.a. The Scar (UK) (1948) - John Muller / Dr. Bartok
  • Rope of Sand (1949) - Commandant Paul Vogel
  • So Young So Bad (1950) - Dr. John H. Jason
  • Last of the Buccaneers (1950) - Jean Lafitte
  • Pardon My French (1951) - Paul Rencourt
  • For Men Only (1952) - Dr. Stephen Brice
  • Thief of Damascus (1952) - General Abu Amdar
  • Stolen Face (1952) - Dr. Philip Ritter
  • Dans la vie tout s'arrange (1952) - Paul Rencourt
  • Mantrap (a.k.a. Woman in Hiding) (1953) - Hugo Bishop
  • Siren of Bagdad (1953) - Kazah the Great
  • This Song Is for You (1954) - Konrad Hegner
  • Deep in My Heart (1954) - Florenz Ziegfeld
  • Pirates of Tripoli (1955) - Edri al-Gadrian
  • Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956) - Pierre - Maria's Manager
  • A Woman's Devotion a.k.a. Battle Shock (Mexico) (1956) - Capt. Henrique Monteros
  • Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957) - Anton
  • Holiday for Lovers (1959) - Eduardo Barroso
  • Never So Few (1959) - Nikko Regas
  • Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962) - Etienne Laurier
  • Operation Crossbow (1965) - Gen. Ziemann
  • Peking Remembered (1967) - documentary, narrator
  • The Madwoman of Chaillot (1969) - The General
  • Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) - The Cardinal (final film role)

As producer

  • Hollow Triumph (1948)

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)

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