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Howard Berk

Howard Berk

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Also Known As: Died: March 27, 2016
Born: January 1, 1925 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession:

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A fey, wistful, international stage and screen star, Elisabeth Bergner rose to prominence in 1924 playing the title role in Max Reinhardt's Berlin production of George Bernard Shaw's "Saint Joan." Considered one of the finest actresses of her generation, this blonde performer entered films in Germany in 1923 but her career was cut short by the rise to power of the Nazis. In 1933, Bergner and her husband, the Czech director Paul Czinner, fled to Britain where she continued to alternate between stage and screen.In the United Kingdom, Bergner landed her first English-language production, the title role in the biopic "Catherine the Great" (1934), although it was banned in Nazi Germany for featuring "emigre Jews," cutting into its box office potential. She did earn a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of an unwed mother who marries a ne'er-do-well composer in "Escape Me Never" (1935) and offered a memorable Rosalind opposite Laurence Olivier in "As You Like It" (1936). Relocating to the USA, Bergner enjoyed greater success on stage but only made one Hollywood film, "Paris Calling" (1942), an exciting story of the French Resistance movement.After touring Australia, the actress returned...

A fey, wistful, international stage and screen star, Elisabeth Bergner rose to prominence in 1924 playing the title role in Max Reinhardt's Berlin production of George Bernard Shaw's "Saint Joan." Considered one of the finest actresses of her generation, this blonde performer entered films in Germany in 1923 but her career was cut short by the rise to power of the Nazis. In 1933, Bergner and her husband, the Czech director Paul Czinner, fled to Britain where she continued to alternate between stage and screen.

In the United Kingdom, Bergner landed her first English-language production, the title role in the biopic "Catherine the Great" (1934), although it was banned in Nazi Germany for featuring "emigre Jews," cutting into its box office potential. She did earn a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of an unwed mother who marries a ne'er-do-well composer in "Escape Me Never" (1935) and offered a memorable Rosalind opposite Laurence Olivier in "As You Like It" (1936). Relocating to the USA, Bergner enjoyed greater success on stage but only made one Hollywood film, "Paris Calling" (1942), an exciting story of the French Resistance movement.

After touring Australia, the actress returned to Europe where she found it difficult to find decent screen roles. Indeed, it was over 20 years before she was again before the cameras, ironically in Germany, in "Die Gluckliche Jahre der Thorwalds" (1962). She was already past 70 when she played a witch summoning Satan to avenge Vincent Price in the British-made "Cry of the Banshee" (1970) and her last big screen appearance was in the 1982 German-language "Feine Gesellschaft."

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