Nationality: American. Born: Paul George Julius von Hernreid in Trieste, Austria (now Italy), 10 January 1908; became U.S. citizen, 1946. Education: Attended Maria Theresianische Akademie, Vienna; Graphische Akademie, Vienna. Family: Married Elizabeth Camilla Julia Gluck, daughter: Monica. Career: 1929—joined book publishers A. G. Strobl, and attended the New Vienna Conservatory Dramatic Academy at night; 1932—film debut in Baroud ; 1933—given contract by Max Reinhardt, and made stage debut in Faust ; 1938—left Vienna after Nazi takeover of Austria; 1939—first British film, Goodbye, Mr. Chips ; 1940—emigrated to America; played in Victoria and Albert in New York; 1941—joined the cast of radio serial Joyce Jordan, Girl Interne ; contract with RKO; 1950s—much work as TV actor and director (he estimated he had directed 300 TV segments or plays); 1962—directed the play Everyman ; 1972—appeared in Don Juan in Hell on stage. Died: Of pneumonia, in Santa Monica, California, 29 March 1992.
Baroud ( Love in Morocco ) (Ingram)
Hohe Schule ( Das Geheimnis des Carlo Cavelli ) (Engels)
Eva (Riemann); . . . nur ein Komödiant (Engel)
Victoria the Great (Wilcox) (bit role)
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (Wood) (as Max Staefel); An Englishman's Home ( Madmen of Europe ) (de Courville) (as Victor Brandt)
Night Train to Munich ( Night Train ) (Reed) (as Karl Marsen); Under Your Hat (Elvey)
Joan of Paris (Stevenson) (as Paul Lavallier); Now, Voyager (Rapper) (as Jerry Durrance); Casablanca (Curtiz) (as Victor Laszlo)
In Our Time (Sherman) (as Count Stephen Orvid); Between Two Worlds (Blatt) (as Henry); The Conspirators (Negulesco) (as Vincent); Hollywood Canteen (Daves) (as guest)
The Spanish Main (Borzage) (as Laurent Van Horn)
Devotion (Bernhardt) (as Nichols); Of Human Bondage (Goulding) (as Philip Carey)
Deception (Rapper) (as Karel Novak); Song of Love (Brown) (as Robert Schumann)
Hollow Triumph ( The Scar ) (Sekely) (as John Muller/Dr. Bartok, + pr)
Rope of Sand (Dieterle) (as Commandant Paul Vogel)
So Young, So Bad (Vorhaus) (as Dr. Jason); Last of the Buccaneers (Landers) (as Jean Lafitte); Dans la vie tout s'arrange (Cravenne); Pardon My French ( The Lady from Boston ) (Vorhaus—English version of Dans la vie tout s'arrange ) (as Paul Rencourt)
Thief of Damascus (Jason) (as Abu Andar); Stolen Face (Fisher) (as Dr. Philip Ritter); There Is No Escape (Fisher)
Mantrap ( Man in Hiding ; Woman in Hiding ) (Fisher) (as Hugo Bishop); Siren of Bagdad (Quine) (as Kazah)
Kabarett ( Dieses Leid bliebt bei dir ) (Forst); Deep in My Heart (Donen) (as Florenz Ziegfeld); Pirates of Tripoli (Feist) (as Edri-Al-Gadrian)
Meet Me in Las Vegas ( Viva Las Vegas! ) (Rowland) (as Maria's manager)
Ten Thousand Bedrooms (Thorpe) (as Anton)
Holiday for Lovers (Levin) (as Eduardo Barroso); Never So Few (John Sturges) (as Nikko Regas)
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Minnelli) (as Etienne Laurier)
Operation Crossbow (Anderson) (as General Zeimann)
Peking Remembered (Butler) (as narrator)
The Madwoman of Chaillot (Forbes) (as the General)
The Failing of Raymond (Sagal—for TV)
Death among Friends ( Mrs. R.—Death among Friends ) (Wendkos—for TV)
Exorcist II: The Heretic (Boorman) (as the Cardinal)
Hollow Triumph (Sekely—for TV)
For Men Only ( The Tall Lie ) (+ pr, ro as Dr. Stephen Brice)
A Woman's Devotion ( War Shock ; Battleshock ) (+ ro as Capt. Henrique Monteros)
Girls on the Loose ; Live Fast, Die Young
Dead Ringer ( Dead Image ); Ballad in Blue ( Blues for Lovers ) (+ co-story)
Ladies Man: An Autobiography , with Julius Fast, New York, 1984.
Current Biography 1943 , New York, 1943.
Classic Images (Indiana, Pennsylvania), March and April 1983.
Obituary, in New York Times , 3 April 1992.
Obituary, in Variety (New York), 6 April 1992.
Obituary, in Classic Images (Muscatine), May 1992.
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Paul Henreid knew how to play the continental gentleman, a debonair character who could display bravery and patriotism with quiet
A few months later Casablanca was released. In it he plays Victor Laszlo, archetypal freedom-fighting Resistance leader/political refugee whose brave efforts against Nazi tyranny, and the subsequent tortures he suffered during a year in a German concentration camp, have left him just a couple steps below sainthood. His finest moment, in a film made up of memorable moments, is the scene at Rick's Place in which he leads French citizens, demoralized under Nazi occupation, in a stirring rendition of the Marseillaise, drowning out the voices of German soldiers raised in a Nazi war song.
While Henreid's characters never flirted or gave a heavy come-on toward female co-stars, the actor exuded an air of romance which most women—on-screen and in the audience—could not resist. Even when he vied for the woman he loved with actors who had more zip and flash (Bogart in Casablanca , Claude Rains in Deception ), his reserved elegance won out. As the powers at Warner Brothers came to recognize the appeal of their continental gentleman, they took a giant step in imaginative casting by starring him in the swashbuckler adventure The Spanish Main , in which he plays a bold pirate who rescues Maureen O'Hara from the villainous Walter Slezak. In the Technicolor entertainment Last of the Buccaneers , he plays dashing Jean Lafitte most effectively, and he went on to star in a string of swashbucklers in the 1950s.
Henreid's career dates to 1933, when he was discovered in Vienna by Otto Preminger. Shortly after that, he was given prominent stage roles in Max Reinhardt's Viennese theater. In addition to honing his acting craft, he learned enough about directing from Reinhardt and later from an array of Warner Brothers's filmmakers to begin directing in the 1950s. He pursued directing motion pictures, television shows (mainly for Alfred Hitchcock), and subsequently, television films until his death in 1992. Henreid's autobiography Ladies Man appeared in 1984. In it he discussed aspects of his life practically unknown to many, including his prestigious acting career in Europe, his own real-life flight from the Nazis, his liberal politics, and the infamous blacklisting period in Hollywood which he claimed had a detrimental effect on his movie career.
—James D. Wilson, updated by Audrey E. Kupferberg