|Was||Actor Stage actor Film actor|
|From||United States of America Austria|
|Type||Film, TV, Stage & Radio|
|Birth||27 April 1862, Constantinople, Byzantine Empire|
|Death||15 July 1930, Los Angeles, USA (aged 68 years)|
Rudolph Schildkraut (27 April 1862 – 15 July 1930) was an Austrian film and theatre actor.
Life and career
Schildkraut was born in Constantinople, in the Ottoman Empire, to a Jewish family. His parents ran a hotel. He grew up in Brăila, Romania. In Vienna, he received acting lessons from Friedrich Mitterwurzer. He debuted in the early 1880s in Sopron; his first solid role came in 1885 in Krems.
In 1893, he moved to Vienna to an engagement at the newly opened Raimund Theater. In 1898 he moved to the Carl Theatre. Among other things, he played the character Wurm in Love and Intrigue. In 1900 he came to the German Theatre in Hamburg, 1905 to the German Theatre in Berlin. There he became one of the most important actors in the theatre company of Max Reinhardt. His Shylock, which he played in 1905 and 1913, in Reinhardt's productions of The Merchant of Venice, was praised by Fritz Kortner as a "monument to the art of acting." Other major roles were the title role in King Lear (1908), Mephisto in Faust I (1909), Muley Hassan in Friedrich Schiller's Fiesco (1909), the grave-digger in Hamlet (1909), and Peter Bast in Knut Hamsun's From the Devil Fetched (1914). Schildkraut performed for the first time in the United States in 1910–1911.
Schildkraut was known as a film actor in the German Empire in the early silent era. He starred in several film dramas. His last European-made film was a biography of the German Zionism founder Theodor Herzl, in which he played Herb Schildt "The Struggling Israel." In 1920 he moved permanently to the United States and made his debut the same year in New York in the play Silent Forces. From 1922 he also played in the English language. In 1925 he founded his own Jewish theatre in the Bronx.
In his last five years, he appeared in several Hollywood productions. His most notable film, which raised his profile in America, was The King of Kings by Cecil B. DeMille (1927), in which he played the High Priest Caiaphas.
He was married to Erna (Weinstein), with whom he had a son, Joseph Schildkraut (1896–1964), who was also known as an actor.
Schildkraut died at the age of 67 years of a heart attack while working at a film studio in Los Angeles. He is interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California. His son also died at the same age, also of a heart attack.