Jean Hersholt

Actor
Though the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences created an honorary award in his name, Jean Hersholt's legacy did not endure apace with that of co-stars Rudolph Valentino, Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, and James ... Read more »
Born: 07/12/1886 in Denmark

Filmography

Actor (53)

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

Actor

Run For Cover 1955 (Movie)

Mr Swenson (Actor)

It's a Big Country 1952 (Movie)

(Actor)

Melody For Three 1940 (Movie)

Dr. Paul Christian (Actor)

Alexander's Ragtime Band 1937 (Movie)

(Actor)

Heidi 1937 (Movie)

Adolph Kramer (Actor)

One in a Million 1935 (Movie)

(Actor)

Break of Hearts 1934 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Painted Veil 1933 (Movie)

(Actor)

Dinner at Eight 1932 (Movie)

Joe Stengel (Actor)

Grand Hotel 1932 (Movie)

Senf (Actor)

Susan Lenox, Her Fall and Rise 1930 (Movie)

(Actor)

Transatlantic 1930 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Case of Sergeant Grischa 1929 (Movie)

Posnanski (Actor)

13 Washington Square 1927 (Movie)

(Actor)

Greed 1924 (Movie)

Marcus (Actor)

Her Night of Romance 1923 (Movie)

(Actor)

Hell's Hinges 1915 (Movie)

(Actor)

Alias the Deacon (Movie)

The Deacon (Actor)

Are You Listening? (Movie)

George Wagner (Actor)

Christopher Bean (Movie)

Rosen (Actor)

Don Q, Son of Zorro (Movie)

Don Fabrique (Actor)

Dr. Christian Meets the Women (Movie)

Dr. Paul Christian (Actor)

East Is West (Movie)

Man (Actor)

Five of a Kind (Movie)

Dr. Dafoe (Actor)

Flames (Movie)

(Actor)

Happy Landing (Movie)

Lars Ericksen (Actor)

His Brother's Wife (Movie)

Professor Fahrenheim (Actor)

Madame Spy (Movie)

Count Von Ornstorff (Actor)

Man of the Forest (Movie)

Lem Beasley (Actor)

Mark of the Vampire (Movie)

Baron Otto von Zinden (Actor)

Mr. Moto in Danger Island (Movie)

Sutter (Actor)

Murder in the Fleet (Movie)

Victor Hanson (Actor)

Private Lives (Movie)

Oscar (Actor)

Remedy for Riches (Movie)

Dr. Paul Christian (Actor)

Sinners in Silk (Movie)

Dr. Eustace (Actor)

Skyscraper Souls (Movie)

Jake (Actor)

Song of the Eagle (Movie)

Otto Hoffman (Actor)

Tess of the Storm Country (Movie)

Ben Letts (Actor)

The Answer (Movie)

Shepard (Actor)

The Aryan (Movie)

(Actor)

The Beast of the City (Movie)

Sam Belmonte (Actor)

The Cat Creeps (Movie)

Dr. Patterson (Actor)

The Country Doctor (Movie)

Dr. John Luke (Actor)

The Disciple (Movie)

Extra (Actor)

The Mask of Fu Manchu (Movie)

Prof. Van Berg (Actor)

The Secret Hour (Movie)

Tony (Actor)

The Sin of Madelon Claudet (Movie)

Dr. Dulac (Actor)

The Younger Generation (Movie)

Julius Goldfish (Actor)

They Meet Again (Movie)

Dr. Paul Christian (Actor)

Unashamed (Movie)

Mr. Schmidt (Actor)

Biography

Though the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences created an honorary award in his name, Jean Hersholt's legacy did not endure apace with that of co-stars Rudolph Valentino, Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, and James Cagney. Emigrating from Denmark before World War I, Hersholt's continental air made him a natural to play aristocrats and professional men in silent films and his career was given a boost when Erich von Stroheim cast him as the heavy in "Greed" (1924). The advent of sound and Hersholt's Danish accent knocked the actor down the Hollywood cast list but he excelled in character parts at MGM and worked his way back up on the marquee, starring with Shirley Temple in the family favorite "Heidi" (1937) and playing a dedicated small-town doctor in "Meet Dr. Christian" (1939) and its five sequels. His philanthropic work inspired the Academy to create the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1940 while he spent the WWII sending morale-boosting radio broadcasts to Nazi-occupied Denmark. Seen less often in films after accepting the presidency of the Academy in 1945, Hersholt devoted considerable time to translating into English the folk tales of countryman Hans Christian Anderson. Diagnosed with inoperable cancer, he rallied to bring "Dr. Christian" to television before his death in June 1956. Though he remained obscure to all but the most ardent classic film fans, Jean Hersholt's legacy of philanthropy immortalized him in cinema history as the man who gave Hollywood its conscience.

Relationships

Alan Hersholt

Son

Jean Hersholt

Wife
died in 1983

Milestones

1915

Film debut in "The Disciple"

Founder and president, Motion Picture Relief Fund

President, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

SIMILAR ARTICLES