Biography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Felix Bressart (March 2, 1892 – March 17, 1949) was a German-American actor of stage and screen.

Felix Bressart (pronounced "BRESS-ert") was born in East Prussia, Germany (now part of Russia) and was already a very experienced stage actor when he had his film debut in 1928. He started off as a supporting actor, e.g. as the Bailiff in the box-office hit Die Drei von der Tankstelle (1930), but had soon established himself in leading roles of minor movies. After the Nazis seized power in 1933, Jewish-born Bressart had to leave Germany and continued his career in German-speaking movies in Austria, where Jewish artists were still relatively safe. After no fewer than 30 films in eight years, he emigrated to the United States.

One of Bressart's former European colleagues was Joe Pasternak, now a successful Hollywood producer. Bressart's first American film was Three Smart Girls Grow Up (1939), a vehicle for Universal Pictures' top attraction, Deanna Durbin. Pasternak also selected the reliable Bressart to perform in a screen test opposite Pasternak's newest discovery, Gloria Jean. The influential German community in Hollywood helped to establish Bressart in America, as his earliest American movies were directed by Ernst Lubitsch, Henry Koster, and Wilhelm Thiele (director of Die Drei von der Tankstelle).

Bressart scored a great success in Lubitsch's Ninotchka, produced at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. MGM signed Bressart to a studio contract in 1939. Most of his MGM work consisted of featured roles in major films like Edison, the Man.

He combined his mildly inflected East European accent with a soft-spoken delivery to create kindly, friendly characters, as in Lubitsch's To Be or Not to Be, in which he sensitively recites Shylock's famous "Hath not a Jew eyes?" speech from The Merchant of Venice. Lubitsch also directed Bressart to similar effect in The Shop Around the Corner.

Bressart soon became a popular character actor in films like Blossoms in the Dust (1941), The Seventh Cross (1944), and Without Love (1945). Perhaps his largest role was in RKO Radio Pictures' "B" musical comedy Ding Dong Williams, filmed in 1945. Bressart, billed third, played the bemused supervisor of a movie studio's music department, and appeared in formal wear to conduct Chopin's "Fantasie Impromptu."

After almost 40 Hollywood pictures, Felix Bressart suddenly died of leukemia at the age of 57. His last film was My Friend Irma (1949), the movie version of a popular radio show. Bressart died during production, forcing the producers to finish the film with Hans Conried. In the final film, Conried speaks throughout, but Bressart is still seen in the long shots.

Description above from the Wikipedia article Felix Bressart, licensed under CC-BY-SA,full list of contributors on Wikipedia.    

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Felix Bressart (March 2, 1892 – March 17, 1949) was a German-American actor of stage and screen.

Felix Bressart (pronounced "BRESS-ert") was born in East Prussia, Germany (now part of Russia) and was already a very experienced stage actor when he had his film debut in 1928. He started off as a supporting actor, e.g. as the Bailiff in the box-office hit Die Drei von der Tankstelle (1930), but had soon established himself in leading roles of minor movies. After the Nazis seized power in 1933, Jewish-born Bressart had to leave Germany and continued his career in German-speaking movies in Austria, where Jewish artists were still relatively safe. After no fewer than 30 films in eight years, he emigrated to the United States.

One of Bressart's former European colleagues was Joe Pasternak, now a successful Hollywood producer. Bressart's first American film was Three Smart Girls Grow Up (1939), a vehicle for Universal Pictures' top attraction, Deanna Durbin. Pasternak also selected the reliable Bressart to perform in a screen test opposite Pasternak's newest discovery, Gloria Jean. The influential German community in Hollywood helped to establish Bressart in America, as his earliest American movies were directed by Ernst Lubitsch, Henry Koster, and Wilhelm Thiele (director of Die Drei von der Tankstelle).

Bressart scored a great success in Lubitsch's Ninotchka, produced at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. MGM signed Bressart to a studio contract in 1939. Most of his MGM work consisted of featured roles in major films like Edison, the Man.

He combined his mildly inflected East European accent with a soft-spoken delivery to create kindly, friendly characters, as in Lubitsch's To Be or Not to Be, in which he sensitively recites Shylock's famous "Hath not a Jew eyes?" speech from The Merchant of Venice. Lubitsch also directed Bressart to similar effect in The Shop Around the Corner.

Bressart soon became a popular character actor in films like Blossoms in the Dust (1941), The Seventh Cross (1944), and Without Love (1945). Perhaps his largest role was in RKO Radio Pictures' "B" musical comedy Ding Dong Williams, filmed in 1945. Bressart, billed third, played the bemused supervisor of a movie studio's music department, and appeared in formal wear to conduct Chopin's "Fantasie Impromptu."

After almost 40 Hollywood pictures, Felix Bressart suddenly died of leukemia at the age of 57. His last film was My Friend Irma (1949), the movie version of a popular radio show. Bressart died during production, forcing the producers to finish the film with Hans Conried. In the final film, Conried speaks throughout, but Bressart is still seen in the long shots.

Description above from the Wikipedia article Felix Bressart, licensed under CC-BY-SA,full list of contributors on Wikipedia.    

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 54

Birthday 1892-03-02

Day of Death 1949-03-17

Place of Birth Eydtkuhnen, East Prussia, Germany [now Chernyshevskoe, Russia]

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Acting TV ShowsMovies

1949 Take One False Step as Professor Morris Avrum
1948 A Song Is Born as Professor Gerkikoff
1946 I've Always Loved You as Frederick Hassman
1946 Her Sister's Secret as Pepe
1946 The Thrill of Brazil as Ludwig Kriegspiel
1946 Ding Dong Williams as Hugo Meyerheld
1945 Dangerous Partners as Professor Budlow
1945 Without Love as Prof. Ginza
1944 Blonde Fever as Johnny
1944 Greenwich Village as Hofer
1944 The Seventh Cross as Poldi Schlamm
1944 Song of Russia as Petrov
1943 Don't Be a Sucker! as Nazi Supporter
1943 Three Hearts For Julia as Anton Ottoway
1943 Above Suspicion as Mr. A. Werner
1942 Iceland as Papa Jonsdottir
1942 Crossroads as Dr. Andre Tessier
1942 To Be or Not to Be as Greenberg
1941 Kathleen as Mr. Schoner
1941 Married Bachelor as Professor Milic
1941 Blossoms in the Dust as Dr. Max Breslar
1941 Ziegfeld Girl as Mischa
1940 Comrade X as Igor Yahupitz / Vanya
1940 Bitter Sweet as Max
1940 Escape as Fritz Keller
1940 Third Finger, Left Hand as August "Gussie" Winkel
1940 Edison, the Man as Michael Simon
1940 It All Came True as The Great Boldini
1940 The Shop Around the Corner as Pirovitch
1939 Swanee River as Henry Kleber
1939 Ninotchka as Comrade Buljanoff
1939 Bridal Suite as Maxl
1939 Three Smart Girls Grow Up as Music Teacher
1936 Heut' ist der schönste Tag in meinem Leben as Max Kaspar
1935 Alles für die Firma as Philipp Sonndorfer
1934 Peter as Grandfather
1934 Salto in die Seligkeit as Kriegel
1933 ...und wer küßt mich? as Direktor Ritter
1932 Goldblondes Mädchen, ich schenk Dir mein Herz as Gottfried Jonathan Bankbeamter
1931 Der Herr Bürovorsteher as Joachim Reißnagel
1931 Excursion into Life as Hirsekorn - Schauspieler und Chauffeur
1931 Trara um Liebe as Major Fröschen
1931 No More Love as Jean
1931 Der Schrecken der Garnison as Musketier Kulicke
1931 True Jacob as Böcklein
1931 Die Privatsekretärin as Bankdiener Hasel
1930 Eine Freundin so goldig wie Du as Richard
1930 Drei Tage Mittelarrest as Nowotni
1930 Das alte Lied as Jacques
1930 The Three from the Filling Station as Gerichtsvollzieher
1930 Die zärtlichen Verwandten as Onkel Emil
1930 The Son of the White Mountain as Jailer
1930 Es gibt eine Frau, die dich niemals vergißt
1928 Liebe im Kuhstall as Der Gerichtsvollzieher

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