Family & Companions
Star of the Hungarian stage who appeared in a number of Max Reinhardt productions before arriving in the US in 1927 and establishing himself as one of Hollywood's favorite suave European types. For a time in the early 1930s the dapper, mustachioed Lukas was a romantic lead of films including "Strictly Dishonorable" (1931), "Little Women" (1933), "By Candlelight" (1933), and "The Fountain" (1934). He did, however, have more than a touch of the roue about him, which manifested itself in "Affairs of a Gentleman" (1934) and in his splendid supporting performance as one of the heroine's illicit romances in William Wyler's "Dodsworth" (1936).
Alfred Hitchcock's delightful suspenser "The Lady Vanishes" (1938) found Lukas playing an outright, though still sneaky, villain, and he played a number of unsympathetic roles in wartime films, memorably as Hedy Lamarr's dangerous husband in "Experiment Perilous" (1944). The most notably exception to Lukas's roles during this period was his fine Oscar-winning lead performance (recreating his stage role) as a heroic resistance fighter in the well-intentioned but stodgy "Watch on the Rhine" (1943). During his later years Lukas played a number of gentler roles, keeping busy in "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" (1954, as Prof. Aronnax) and "Tender Is the Night" (1962), but the gentlemanly if sometimes deceptive Continental suavity which was always his trademark never left him.
Cast (Feature Film)
Made stage debut in Budapest
Earliest features include "The Sphynx" in Hungary
Played Samson in a German film production, "Samson und Dalilah"
Brought to the US by Paramount Studios' Adolph Zukor
Played earliest Hollywood roles
Journeyed to England to make several films there, including "Dinner at the Ritz", "The Lady Vanishes" and "A Window in London/Lady in Distress"
Enjoyed a notable success on Broadway in Lillian Hellman's cautionary wartime drama, "Watch on the Rhine"
Among last feature films roles was his part in "Sol Madrid"