Erich von Stroheim

Stableman (New York National Guard), Tourist guide, Director
Costumed in tailored military uniforms accessorized with gleaming medals, Austrian migr Erich von Stroheim became known to American filmgoers during the silent era for his icy portrayals of pre-World War II German ... Read more »
Born: 09/22/1885 in Austria

Filmography

Actor (24)

Napoleon 1955 (Movie)

Beethoven (Actor)

Sunset Boulevard 1950 (Movie)

Max Von Mayerling (Actor)

The Lady and the Monster 1944 (Movie)

(Actor)

Five Graves to Cairo 1942 (Movie)

Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (Actor)

So Ends Our Night 1940 (Movie)

Brenner (Actor)

Grand Illusion 1938 (Movie)

Captain Von Rauffenstein (Actor)

As You Desire Me 1931 (Movie)

Carl Salter (Actor)

The Wedding March 1927 (Movie)

Prince Nikki Wildeliebe-Rauffenberg (Actor)

Souls For Sale 1922 (Movie)

Himself - Celebrity Director (Actor)

Foolish Wives 1921 (Movie)

Their Cousin - Count Sergius Karamzin - Capt. 3rd Hussars Imper. Russian Army (Actor)

Intolerance 1916 (Movie)

(Actor)

Blind Husbands (Movie)

Lieutenant von Steuben (Actor)

Crimson Romance (Movie)

Wolters (Actor)

Fugitive Road (Movie)

Hauptmann Oswald Von Traunsee (Actor)

I Was an Adventuress (Movie)

Andre Desormeaux (Actor)

The Alibi (Movie)

Prof. Winckler (Actor)

The Crime of Dr. Crespi (Movie)

Dr. Crespi (Actor)

The Great Flamarion (Movie)

The Great Flamarion (Actor)

The Great Gabbo (Movie)

Great Gabbo (Actor)

The Lost Squadron (Movie)

Arthur von Furst (Actor)

The Mask of Diijon (Movie)

Diijon (Actor)

The North Star (Movie)

Dr. Otto Von Harden (Actor)

The Social Secretary (Movie)

The Buzzard (Actor)

Three Faces East (Movie)

Valdar (Actor)
Writer (8)

The Devil-Doll 1935 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Wedding March 1927 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Wedding March 1927 (Movie)

(From Story)

Greed 1924 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Foolish Wives 1921 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Foolish Wives 1921 (Movie)

(From Story)

Blind Husbands (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

The Devil's Passkey (Movie)

(Screenwriter)
Director (6)

The Real McTeague: A Synthesis of Forms 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Director

The Wedding March 1927 (Movie)

(Director)

Greed 1924 (Movie)

(Director)

Foolish Wives 1921 (Movie)

(Director)

Blind Husbands (Movie)

(Director)

The Devil's Passkey (Movie)

(Director)
Editor (2)

Greed 1924 (Movie)

(Editor)

The Devil's Passkey (Movie)

(Editor)
Art Department (2)

Blind Husbands (Movie)

(Art Director)

The Devil's Passkey (Movie)

(Art Director)
Production Management (1)

The Wedding March 1927 (Movie)

(Continuity)
Music (1)

The Wedding March 1927 (Movie)

(Music Supervisor)
Visual Effects & Animation (1)

The Man You Loved to Hate 1978 (Movie)

title art (Titles)
Other (2)

The Man You Loved to Hate 1978 (Movie)

film extracts("Blind Husbands" (1919) "Foolish Wives" (1921) "Merry-Go-Round" (1923) "Greed" (1923) "The Merry Widow" (1925) "The Wedding March" (1928) "The Great Gabbo" (1929) "Walking Down Broadway" (1932)) (Other)

The Wedding March 1927 (Movie)

print restoration (Other)

Biography

Costumed in tailored military uniforms accessorized with gleaming medals, Austrian émigré Erich von Stroheim became known to American filmgoers during the silent era for his icy portrayals of pre-World War II German soldiers. Arriving in Hollywood in 1914 with a fabricated autobiography of nobility and military honor, von Stroheim gained entry into the film industry as a technical advisor and horseman. Later an assistant for D. W. Griffith, von Stroheim brokered a deal, agreeing to work for free for the chance to direct his first film. "Blind Husbands" (1919) was a hit despite von Stroheim's insistence on expensive location photography. His spendthrift habits would ultimately cost him control of his films, with his nine-hour "Greed" (1924) reduced to two and "The Wedding March" (1928) shut down after nine months. Fired by star Gloria Swanson during the shooting of "Queen Kelly" (1929), von Stroheim was considered unemployable as a director and returned to the life of a jobbing actor. Using his sinister mien to good effect in such quickies as "The Crime of Dr. Crespi" (1935) and "The Great Flamarion" (1945), von Stroheim contributed vivid supporting performances to Billy Wilder's "Five Graves to Cairo" (1943) and "Sunset Blvd." (1950), the latter reuniting him with Swanson for an acidic meditation of the dark side of the silver screen. Despite an Academy Award nomination, von Stroheim's greater glory was already behind him. Cancer took his life in May 1957, robbing moviegoers of one of its most unique visionaries and an unforgettable film presence.

Relationships

Erich von Stroheim Jr

Son
born on August 25, 1916 died on October 26, 1968 mother, Mae Jones

Johanna Bondy

Mother
Jewish

Valerie Germonprez

Wife
Appeared together in "Heart of Humanity" Burned during a 1933 beauty salon explosion Separated 1936 but never divorced Died at age 91 Oct. 22, 1988

Mae Jones

Wife
married in 1916

Margaret Knox

Wife
American socialite; born c. 1879

Benno Stroheim

Father
Jewish from Gleiwitz in Prussian Silesia settled in Vienna

Josef Stroheim

Son
born on September 18, 1922 mother, Valerie Germonprez

Bruno Stroheim

Brother
younger

Denise Vernac

Companion
together from late 1930s until Stroheim's death

Denise Vernac Actor

Partner

Milestones

1940

Made only stage play appearance in "Arsenic and Old Lace"

1936

Quit MGM

1935

Hired as contract writer at MGM

1934

Attempted suicide (Christmas)

1932

Sound film co-directing debut with "Walking Down Broadway" (co-screenwriter; re-directed by Alfred Werker, re-edited and re-titled "Hello, Sister;" no directorial credit; original prints no longer exist)

1929

Fired from "Queen Kelly" by Joseph Kennedy

1923

Fired from "Greed" by Irving Thalberg, the production head of newly-formed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer who then hired Rex Ingram to recut the film

1922

Fired from "Merry-Go-Round" by Irving Thalberg

1919

First film as director, star, and screenwriter in "Blind Husbands/The Pinnacle")

1919

Signed contract with Universal

1919

Starred as villain in "The Heart of Humanity"

1916

Debut as assistant director, "Intolerance"; also acted

1915

First screen credit in "Farewell to Thee"

1914

Initial film work as an extra in "Captain McLean" and

1912

Wrote first play, "In the Morning"

1909

Arrived in America; worked as salesman, clerk, short story writer, railroad worker and travel agent

Moved to and worked as actor in France; briefly returned to USA to appear in "Sunset Boulevard" (1950)

Served briefly in the Austrian cavalry at 17; managed father's straw hat manufacturing factory

Hired by Goldwyn Company early 1920s

Bonus Trivia

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Given the Legion of Honor by French government for his services to film art in 1957.

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