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Mischa Auer

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Also Known As: Mischa Ounskowski, Misha Auer Died: March 5, 1967
Born: November 17, 1905 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: Russia Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

The tall Russian-born Mischa Auer is perhaps best remembered for his hilarious, scene-stealing performance as Alice Brady's gorilla-impersonating protege in the 1936 screwball classic "My Man Godfrey", which brought him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination.Born and raised in St Petersburg, Russia, Auer moved to the USA after his parents' deaths. He began his career on the stage, working with Eva LeGallienne's acting troupe and later touring the USA with other theatrical groups. While performing on stage in "Magda", he was hired for his first screen role in "Something Always Happens" (1927) and spent the better part of the next decade relegated to playing "foreign" exotics in features like "The Unholy Garden" (1931) and "Sinister Hands" (1932) or playing small, inconsequential roles in support of some of the period's biggest stars like the Barrymore siblings in "Rasputin and the Empress" and Greta Garbo in "Mata Hari" (both 1932).After his breakthrough turn in "My Man Godfrey", Auer continued to find plentiful work in Hollywood playing wildly humorous supporting roles, often as excitable middle-Europeans. He was genuinely funny in "You Can't Take It With You" (1938) and "Destry Rides Again" (1939)...

The tall Russian-born Mischa Auer is perhaps best remembered for his hilarious, scene-stealing performance as Alice Brady's gorilla-impersonating protege in the 1936 screwball classic "My Man Godfrey", which brought him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination.

Born and raised in St Petersburg, Russia, Auer moved to the USA after his parents' deaths. He began his career on the stage, working with Eva LeGallienne's acting troupe and later touring the USA with other theatrical groups. While performing on stage in "Magda", he was hired for his first screen role in "Something Always Happens" (1927) and spent the better part of the next decade relegated to playing "foreign" exotics in features like "The Unholy Garden" (1931) and "Sinister Hands" (1932) or playing small, inconsequential roles in support of some of the period's biggest stars like the Barrymore siblings in "Rasputin and the Empress" and Greta Garbo in "Mata Hari" (both 1932).

After his breakthrough turn in "My Man Godfrey", Auer continued to find plentiful work in Hollywood playing wildly humorous supporting roles, often as excitable middle-Europeans. He was genuinely funny in "You Can't Take It With You" (1938) and "Destry Rides Again" (1939) and enlivened "Hellzapoppin'" (1941) and the whodunit "And Then There Were None" (1945). By the late 1940s, however, Auer relocated to Europe where he continued to work until his 1967 fatal heart attack.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 The Christmas That Almost Wasn't (1966) Johnathan, the bookkeeper
2.
 Arrivederci, Baby! (1966) Romeo
3.
 Mr. Arkadin (1962) The Professor
4.
 We Joined the Navy (1962) Colonel; President
5.
 Nathalie Agent Secret (1960) Cyril Boran
6.
 The Monte Carlo Story (1957) Hector
7.
 Futures Vedettes (1955)
8.
 Frou-Frou (1955) Archduke
9.
 Sofia (1948) Ali Imagu
10.
 For You I Die (1948) Alec Shaw
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1920:
Brought to the USA by his grandfather, violinist Leopold Auer after his parents' deaths
:
Began theatrical acting career with Eva LeGallienne's company
1927:
Film acting debut, "Something Always Happens"
1932:
Acted with the Barrymore siblings in "Rasputin and the Empress"
1932:
Appeared with Greta Garbo in "Mata Hari"
1934:
Co-starred in "Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back"
1935:
Acted in "The Lives of a Bengal Lancer"
1936:
Breakthrough screen role as Carlo, the "protege" of Mrs. Bullock (Alice Brady), "My Man Godfrey"; received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination
1937:
Had leading role in "One Hundred Men and a Girl"
1938:
Co-starred in "You Can't Take It With You"
1939:
Featured in "Destry Rides Again"
1941:
Starred in "Hellzapoppin'"
:
Headlined the radio series "Mischa the Magnificent" in the 1940s
1945:
Starred in "And Then There Were None"
:
Moved to Europe and acted in several films shot in Italy
1955:
Co-starred in "Mister Arkadin", directed by Orson Wells
1966:
Final film, "Drop Dead, Darling"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Ethical Culture School: New York , New York -

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Norma Tillman. First wife; mother of Auer's two eldest children; married in 1931; divorced in 1940.
wife:
Joyce Hunter. Second wife; married from 1941 until 1950.
wife:
Susanne Kalisch. Third wife; mother of Auer's third child; divorced.
wife:
Elsie Souls Lee. Fourth wife; married in 1965 until his death.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

grandfather:
Leopold Auer. Violinist.
son:
Anthony Auer. Mother, Norma Tillman.
daughter:
Zoe Auer. Mother, Norma Tillman.

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