Oskar Homolka Poster


Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (4)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (18)

Overview (2)

Born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary [now Austria]
Died in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, UK  (pneumonia)

Mini Bio (1)

Because of his heavy generically "European" accent and Slavic-sounding surname (not an uncommon one among Czechs or Slovaks), many people assumed Oscar Homolka was Eastern European or Russian. In fact, he was born in Vienna (then Austria-Hungary), the multicultural capital of a large multi-ethnic empire at the time. It was there he began his successful stage career, which eventually led him to Hollywood. Homolka was one of the many Austrian and specifically Viennese actors (many of them Jewish) who fled Europe for the U.S. with the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party. Although often typecast in villainous roles - Communist spies, Soviet-bloc military officers or scientists and the like - he was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Uncle Chris in I Remember Mama (1948).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: frankfob2@yahoo.com

Spouse (4)

Joan Tetzel (May 1949 - 31 October 1977) (her death)
Florence Meyer Homolka (21 August 1939 - 1948) (divorced) (2 children)
Baroness Vally Hatvany (2 December 1937 - 5 April 1938) (her death)
Grete Mosheim (28 June 1928 - 1933) (divorced)

Trade Mark (1)

Expressive face and thick European accent.

Trivia (18)

As a result of his expressive face he was predestined to play scoundrels, pimps and bad guys.
He died of pneumonia in Tunbridge Wells Kent, England, on January 27, 1978, just three months after the death of his fourth wife, actress Joan Tetzel.
After serving in the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I, Oscar Homolka learned his trade at the academy of music and performing arts between 1915 and 1917. After that he made his debut at the Komödienhaus Vienna. Success there led to work in the much more prestigious German theatrical community in Munich where in 1924 he played Mortimer in the premiere of Brecht's play The Life of Edward II of England at the Munich Kammerspiele, and since 1925 in Berlin where he worked under Max Reinhardt.
In 1967 Homolka was awarded the Filmband in Gold of the Deutscher Filmpreis for outstanding contributions to German cinema.
After the arrival of National Socialism in Germany, Homolka - although not Jewish - moved to Britain where he starred in the films Rhodes (1936) with Walter Huston, and Everything Is Thunder (1936) with Constance Bennett, both in 1936.
His first wife was Grete Mosheim, a German actress of Jewish ancestry on her father's side. They married in Berlin on June 28, 1928, but divorced in 1937. She later married Howard Gould. His second wife, Baroness Vally Hatvany (died 1938), was a Hungarian actress. They married in December 1937, but she died four months later.
Other stage plays in which Homolka performed: The first German performance of Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones, 1924.
In 1939, Homolka married socialite and photographer Florence Meyer (1911-1962), a daughter of The Washington Post owner, Eugene Meyer.
His career in television included appearances in several episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955) in 1957 and 1960.
Oskar Homolka made his home in England after 1966.
According to Homolka's own account, he made at least thirty silent films in Germany and starred in the first talking picture ever made there.
Homolka fled in 1933 to Paris, then London where his career soon resumed on the stage and in film. Soon thereafter he was invited to the United States where he spent most of the next 14 years as a character actor, generally playing a cruel or bumbling European whose thick accent and thicker eyebrows were the key defining attributes.
In 1935 Homolka emigrated to England and wrote his first name with "c" from now on.
In 1951 he returned to Austria to play the village judge Adam in the play: 'The Broken Jug' by Kleist during the Salzburg Festival. His partner -as wife Marthe Rull- was Therese Giehse, the performance was subsequently shown at the Vienna Burgtheater.
In spite of a performance he did complete drunken in Munich in 1924 - he staggered more over the stage than the spotlights and the famous critic Ihering wrote about this: It was the most impertinent entrance I have ever seen" - he became an engagement in Berlin.
He returned to England in the mid-1960s, to play the Soviet KGB Colonel Stok in Funeral in Berlin (1966) and Billion Dollar Brain (1967), opposite Michael Caine. His last film was the Blake Edwards romantic drama The Tamarind Seed (1974).
He played Adolf Verloc in two adaptations of the 1907 novel "The Secret Agent" by Joseph Conrad: Sabotage (1936), in which the character was named Karl Anton Verloc, and Startime: The Secret Agent (1959).

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