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Paul Henreid

Paul Henreid
Paul Henreid - publicity.jpg
circa 1940s
Born Paul Georg Julius Hernreid von Wasel Waldingau
(1908-01-10)10 January 1908
Trieste, Austria-Hungary
(now Italy)
Died 29 March 1992(1992-03-29) (aged 84)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Cause of death pneumonia
Occupation Actor, director
Years active 1933-1977
Spouse(s) Elizabeth "Lisl" Camilla Julia Gluck (1936-1992)
(his death) 2 children
Children Monika Henreid
Mimi Duncan

Paul Henreid (10 January 1908 – 29 March 1992)[1] 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 Georg Julius Freiherr von Hernreid Ritter von Wasel-Waldingau—or Paul George Julius Hernreid von Wasel Waldingau[2]—in the city of Trieste, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (now 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.[2] 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.[3][2]

Early acting career

He trained for the theatre in Vienna, over his family's objections,[3] 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".[2]


He played Prince Albert in the play Victoria Regina in 1937.[3] With the outbreak of World War II, Henreid risked deportation or internment as an enemy alien,[citation needed] but was allowed to remain and work in England's film industry. He had a good supporting role in Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) and third billing as a German espionage agent in the thriller Night Train to Munich (1940). He also had a minor role in Under Your Hat (1940).

He then travelled to the USA.


Henreid had a successful New York theater run in Flight to the West,[4] He was put under contract by RKO in 1941. The studio changed his name from von Hernreid to the simpler and less overtly Germanic Henreid. That year, Henreid became a citizen of the United States.[3]

His first film for the studio was Joan of Paris, which came out in 1942 and was a big hit.

Warner Bros

Henreid went over to Warner Bros where he was in Now, Voyager (1942), playing the romantic lead opposite Bette Davis. Henreid 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-German resistance leader on the run, in Casablanca (1942) with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Both films were huge successes.

Warners 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 and a support cast that included Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre.

None of these films were particularly successful. However, a pirate swashbuckler Henreid made at RKO, The Spanish Main (1945), was a huge hit. Back at Warners Henreid was the male lead in Devotion (1946) a biopic of the Bronte sisters in which Henreid played Arthur Bell Nicholls. He and Eleanor Parker were in an unsuccessful adaptation of Of Human Bondage (1946).

MGM borrowed Henreid to play Robert Schumann in Song of Love (1947) opposite Katherine Hepburn; the film lost money.


After leaving Warners, Henreid decided to turn producer, making the film noir Hollow Triumph (1948) which he also appeared in. He was a villain in a Burt Lancaster adventure film Rope of Sand (1949).

Henreid was semi-blacklisted after protesting against the actions of the House Committee on Un-American Activities.[3]

He made a low budget film for The Danzingers, So Young, So Bad (1950). He received an offer from Sam Katzman to play pirate Jean Lafitte in Last of the Buccaneers (1950).[5]

He went to France for Pardon My French (1951) then returned to Katzman for Thief of Damascus (1951). He turned director for For Men Only (1952) which he also starred in.

In England he made some noirs, Stolen Face (1952) and Mantrap (1953) then went back to Katzman for Siren of Bagdad (1953).

Henreid had a small role in Deep in My Heart (1954) at MGM, his first "A" movie for a number of years. He did Pirates of Tripoli (1955) for Katzman, and Meet Me in Las Vegas (1955) for MGM. He appeared on Broadway in a play called Festival which had a short run.


In the early 1950s, Henreid began directing for both film and television. His television directorial credits include Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Maverick, Bonanza and The Big Valley.

He directed A Woman's Devotion (1956) in which he played a support role, Girls on the Loose (1958) and Live Fast, Die Young (1958).

He had small parts in Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957), Holiday for Lovers (1959), Never So Few (1959), and Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962).

In 1964, Henreid directed Dead Ringer, which starred Bette Davis and featured, in a minor role, the director's daughter, Monika.

Later film appearances included Operation Crossbow (1965), The Madwoman of Chaillot (1969), and The Failing of Raymond (1971). He was in Don Juan in Hell on Broadway in 1973,

His last screen appearance was in Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977).

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.[3] 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.[1][6]

Complete filmography

As actor

As himself or narrator

As producer

As director

*The Californians (1957-1959) various episodes

As writer



Radio appearances

Year Program Episode/source
1946 Suspense "Angel of Death"[7]
1946 Suspense "No More Alice"[8]


  1. ^ Also the French version Dans la vie tout s'arrange (1952).


8) The Californians

External links

  1. ^ a b Paul Henreid - Hollywood Star Walk
  2. ^ a b c d Burt A. Folkart (3 April 1992). "Paul Henreid, Who Gained Fame in 'Casablanca,' Dies". Los Angeles Times. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Glenn Collins (3 April 1992). "Paul Henreid, Actor, Dies at 84; Resistance Hero in 'Casablanca'". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ "Flight to the West". Internet Broadway Database.  as "Paul Hernried" (cast not verified)
  5. ^ Drama: Paul Henreid to Star as Pirate; Bel Geddes, Ball Both Stagebound Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 23 Feb 1950: A11.
  6. ^ Paul Henreid - Hollywood Walk of Fame
  7. ^ [] open access publication – free to read
  8. ^ [] open access publication – free to read