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|Also Known As:||Cornelius Louis Wilde||Died:||October 16, 1989|
|Born:||October 13, 1915||Cause of Death:||leukemia|
|Birth Place:||New York City, New York, USA||Profession:||Cast ... actor director producer commercial artist fencing instructor salesman|
Handsome leading men were hardly in short supply in Hollywood during the 1940s, but Cornel Wilde was a unique specimen. Fluent in several languages and good with accents, he was also highly athletic and often emphasized physicality in his performances. As a former member of the U.S. fencing team, he was able to utilize skills that made him a desirable lead for period swashbucklers, a la Errol Flynn. It also did not hurt that he was an effective dramatic performer and proved it when he earned a Best Actor Oscar nomination for "A Song to Remember" (1945) early on in his career. He also did laudable work in successful productions like "Leave Her to Heaven" (1945), "Forever Amber" (1947), and "Road House" (1948) during his tenure at 20th Century Fox. Unlike a lot of his peers, Wilde was ambitious and carved out a successful second career behind the camera as a producer, director and sometime screenwriter. His later credits in this vein included such graphic, groundbreaking films as the jungle adventure "The Naked Prey" (1966), the Vietnam drama "Beach Red" (1967), and the post-apocalyptic thriller "No Blade of Grass" (1970). An intelligent and able performer, Wilde was a solid actor and also an unfairly overlooked directorial talent of that era.
albatros1 ( 2008-02-01 )
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Wilde was born in Prievidza, Hungary, in an area which later became Czechoslovakia and even later Slovakia, to Hungarian Jewish parents Béla Weisz and Renée Vojtech. He immigrated to the United States with his family in 1920. A talented linguist, and astute mimic, he had an ear for languages. He qualified for the United States fencing team prior to the 1936 Summer Olympic Games, but quit the team just prior to the games saying that it was in order to take a role in the theater. As a Hungarian Jew, he may also have felt it risky to return to Nazi Germany. His role of Frédéric Chopin in 1945's A Song to Remember, earned him a Academy Award nomination. He also appeared in some significant films noir, opposite Gene Tierney in Leave Her to Heaven (1945), Road House (1948). The original script for The Naked Prey was largely based on a true historical incident about a trapper named John Colter being pursued by Blackfoot Indians in Wyoming. Wilde died of leukemia three days after his 74th birthday. Wilde is interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, California. For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Cornel Wilde has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1635 Vine Street.
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