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Reinhold Schünzel became a highly versatile actor and director in Germany, making an imprint on both the German and American film industries. His journey through Nazi Germany’s turbulent pre-war years and his eventual move to Hollywood highlight the intricacy of his life and profession.
Reinhold Schünzel was born in St. Pauli, Hamburg, on November 7, 1888. Reinhold Schünzel commenced his career in the world of cinema in 1915 with a role in Werner Krafft. His directorial debut came in 1918 with Mary Magdalene, and in 1920, he directed notable films such as The Girl from Acker Street and Catherine the Great. As one of Germany’s prominent silent film stars post-World War I, Schünzel showcased his versatility by portraying characters ranging from villains to powerful and corrupt figures.
Influenced by filmmakers like Richard Oswald and Ernst Lubitsch, Schünzel’s work gained popularity in Germany. Despite being of Jewish ancestry, the Nazis accorded him the title of “Ehrenarier” or Honorary Aryan, allowing him to continue directing and acting.
But Schünzel was forced to flee Germany in 1937 due to government meddling in his film endeavors, under the administrations of Adolf Hitler and Kaiser Wilhelm II. He characterized both leaders as well-known authorities with the worst theatrical taste imaginable.
After coming to the States, Schünzel entered the Hollywood industry, frequently playing scientists and Nazis. Among these was the role he played in the 1944 film The Hitler Gang as General Erich Ludendorff. The film portrayed Hitler’s ascent in a manner akin to a crime drama, showcasing Schünzel’s versatility in a variety of characters.
Films such as Rich Man, Poor Girl (1938), Ice Follies (1939), Balalaika (1939), and New Wine (1941) were directed by Schünzel in Hollywood. He made many film appearances concurrently, including Dragonwyck (1946), The Vicious Circle (1948), and a key part in Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious (1946) as Nazi conspirator Dr. Anderson.
Schünzel’s versatility continued beyond the silver screen when, in 1945, he made his Broadway debut. He took part in shows such as Montserrat (1949) and Temper the Wind (1946). The Federal West German Film Prize for the best-supporting part in My Father’s Horses was one of his many honors.
Reinhold Schünzel Parents
Reinhold Schünzel was born to a German father and a Jewish mother.
Reinhold Schünzel Age, Height, Weight, Birthdate
|56 years old (as at his time of death)
|November 7, 1888
Reinhold Schünzel Wife/Girlfriend
There is no available information about the wife of Reinhold Schünzel.
Reinhold Schünzel Children
No known information about his children.
Reinhold Schünzel Net Worth
There was no information about Reinhold Schünzel’s net worth at the time of his death.