In a career spanning over 50 years, prolific German actor Walter Rilla weathered the storm of rising Nazism, fleeing his native land and finding work in British and French productions before finally returning home, where he also directed and wrote for television. Rilla started an art journal that included works by writers such as Bertolt Brecht, before becoming an assistant director in theater in the early 1920s. He next turned to acting, first appearing on the big screen in 1922, playing a steady stream of intelligent young men, including a turn in the F.W. Murnau comedy "Finances of the Grand Duke." Along with his Jewish wife, he immigrated to England in the mid '30s, landing in popular costume dramas such as "The Scarlet Pimpernel" and "Victoria the Great." As a result of World War II, many of Rilla's roles were as evil foreigners, a typecasting that mellowed into distinguished elderly gentlemen over time. Returning to West Germany in the late '50s, he found further work in a range of national and international pictures, including several "Dr. Mabuse" films and the spaghetti Western "Day of Anger." Through the '60s, he expanded his creative endeavors to include writing and directing TV movies.