Walter Slezak


Actor
Walter Slezak

About

Birth Place
Austria
Born
May 03, 1902
Died
April 21, 1983
Cause of Death
Suicide By Shooting

Biography

Romantic lead and then (due to his increasing weight) character player, discovered by Michael Curtiz in Hungary in 1922. Slezak began appearing in German films that year and moved to the US, initially as a stage actor, in 1930. His screen roles were often as heavies, notably in "This Land is Mine" (1943) and "Lifeboat" (1944). Like his father, Leo Slezak (1873-1946), he was also a gifted...

Photos & Videos

Lifeboat - Movie Poster
Born to Kill - Lobby Card Set
Dr. Coppelius - Pressbook

Biography

Romantic lead and then (due to his increasing weight) character player, discovered by Michael Curtiz in Hungary in 1922. Slezak began appearing in German films that year and moved to the US, initially as a stage actor, in 1930. His screen roles were often as heavies, notably in "This Land is Mine" (1943) and "Lifeboat" (1944). Like his father, Leo Slezak (1873-1946), he was also a gifted opera singer. Daughter Erika Slezak has appeared on daytime soaps.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

The Mysterious House of Dr. "C" (1976)
Dr Coppelius
Treasure Island (1972)
Black Beauty (1971)
Dr. Coppelius (1968)
Dr. Coppelius
The Caper of the Golden Bulls (1967)
Antonio Gonzalez
24 Hours To Kill (1966)
Malouf
Swingers' Paradise (1965)
Lloyd Davis
A Very Special Favor (1965)
Etienne
Emil and the Detectives (1964)
The Baron
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962)
Stossel
Come September (1961)
Maurice Clavell
The Miracle (1959)
Flaco
Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957)
Papa Vittorio Martelli
The Steel Cage (1954)
Louis
Call Me Madam (1953)
August Tantinnin
Confidentially Connie (1953)
Emil Spangenberg
White Witch Doctor (1953)
Huysman
People Will Talk (1951)
Professor Lionel Barker
Bedtime For Bonzo (1951)
Professor Hans Neumann
Spy Hunt (1950)
Doctor Stahl
The Yellow Cab Man (1950)
Dr. Byron Dokstedder
Abbott & Costello in the Foreign Legion (1950)
Axmann
The Inspector General (1949)
Yakov
The Pirate (1948)
Don Pedro Vargas
Riffraff (1947)
[Eric] Molinar
Sinbad the Sailor (1947)
Melik [also known as Jamal]
Born to Kill (1947)
[Albert] Arnett
Cornered (1945)
Melchior Incza
The Spanish Main (1945)
Don Alvarado
Salome, Where She Danced (1945)
Colonel Ivan Dimitrioff
Till We Meet Again (1944)
Mayor Vitrey
Lifeboat (1944)
Willi, the German
The Princess and the Pirate (1944)
La Roche
Step Lively (1944)
Gribble
The Fallen Sparrow (1943)
Dr. Skaas
This Land Is Mine (1943)
Major Von Keller
Once Upon a Honeymoon (1942)
Baron Von Luber
Michael (1924)
Mikael

Cast (Special)

A Cry of Angels (1963)
George Handel
Slezak and Son (1960)
Count Von Slezak
The Slightly Fallen Angel (1959)
Finch
My Three Angels (1959)
Joseph
Pinocchio (1957)
Papa Geppetto
The Good Fairy (1956)
Max Sporum

Life Events

1922

Screen debut, "Sodom und Gomorrah"

1922

Worked as bank clerk when discovered by director Michael Kertesz (later Curtiz)

1930

Moved to US

1931

Broadway debut

1942

US film debut, "Once Upon a Honeymoon"

1959

US opera debut in "The Gypsy Baron" at the Metropolitan Opera

1974

Played daughter Erika Slezak's godfather on her daytime soap opera, "One Life to Live"

Photo Collections

Lifeboat - Movie Poster
Lifeboat - Movie Poster
Born to Kill - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from RKO's Born to Kill (1947), starring Claire Trevor and Lawrence Tierney. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Dr. Coppelius - Pressbook
Here is the original campaign book (pressbook) for The Mysterious House of Dr. "C" (1976). This pressbook is from the original version of the film, as Dr. Coppelius (1968). Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.
The Mysterious House of Dr. C - Pressbook
Here is the original campaign book (pressbook) for The Mysterious House of Dr. "C" (1976), a reworking of the feature Dr. Coppelius (1968). Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.
The Princess and the Pirate - Lobby Cards
Here are several Lobby Cards from The Princess and the Pirate (1944), starring Bob Hope and Virginia Mayo. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Confidentially Connie - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from Confidentially Connie (1953), starring Van Johnson and Janet Leigh. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.

Videos

Movie Clip

People Will Talk (1951) - Between Matter And Mankind Having thoroughly teased his professor friend Barker (Walter Slezak) at orchestra practice, Dr. Praetorius (Cary Grant) discusses the trouble he's made with university powers, and his ever-present aide Shunderson (Finlay Currie), in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's People Will Talk, 1951.
Come September (1961) - Analysis Would Help Him! Rich American Robert (Rock Hudson) hasn’t quite realized that butler Maurice (Walter Slezak) has turned his Italian villa into a hotel in his absence, and he’s still obfuscating when chaperone Brenda de Banzie and psych student Sandy (Sandra Dee) appear, in Come September, 1961.
Lifeboat (1944) - One Of Them Shell Shock Cases Early on, players gathering after the liner is sunk by the U-Boat, nurse Mary Anderson, sailor William Bendix, oiler John Hodiak, magnate Henry Hull, journalist Tallulah Bankhead, crewman Hume Cronyn, then mother Heather Angel and German Walter Slezak, in Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat, 1944.
Lifeboat (1944) - She Loves To Dance Injured William Bendix learns from bi-lingual Tallulah Bankhead that the captured German Walter Slezak is qualified to amputate his leg, elected skipper John Hodiak joining in the ensuing discourse, in Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat, 1944.
This Land Is Mine (1943) - The Sound Of The Mob Nazi occupiers, supervised by Major Von Keller (Walter Slezak), raiding the underground printing press, the mayor (Thurston Hall) in support, when heretofore easy-going local Paul (Kent Smith) throws a grenade, in Jean Renoir's This Land Is Mine, 1943.
Riffraff (1947) - I Don't Talk In Night Clubs In a Panama City nightspot, hired by an oil company to find a guy with a stolen map, not mentioning he’d already found him, Hammer (Pat O’Brien), after a scuffle, meets Maxine (Anne Jeffreys), with his pal Pops (Percy Kilbride), Molinar (Walter Slezak) interrupting, in Riffraff, 1947.
Confidentially Connie (1953) - Good Red Meat Introduced in the waiting room, Janet Leigh (title character) dreams of meat while visiting the obstetrician (Robert Burton) then, with pal Phyllis (Marilyn Erskine) decides that college professor's wives can afford to visit the butcher (Walter Slezak), early in Confidentially Connie, 1953.
Sinbad The Sailor (1947) - Spirit Of Evil Still regaling his pals, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (title character) introduces the Emir (Anthony Quinn), Shireen (Maureen O'Hara) and Melik (Walter Slezak), then pal Abbu (George Tobias) and some excellent tank-work, in Sinbad The Sailor, 1947.
Ten Thousand Bedrooms - Only Trust Your Heart Complex set-up, American hotelier Ray (Dean Martin) with Italian host Martelli (Walter Slezak) and daughter Maria (Eva Bartok), for Nicholas Brodzsky and Sammy Cahn's Only Trust Your Heart, in Ten Thousand Bedrooms, 1957.
Mysterious House Of Dr. C.. The - How Vulgar! Swanilda (Claudia Corday) and friends escape after invading the home of Dr. C. (Walter Slezak), who then enters his first animated reverie, Terry-Thomas voicing "The Bull," in The Mysterious House Of Dr. C., 1976.
Mysterious House Of Dr. C.. The - Finishing Touches Following the opening credits, narration about the quirky title character (Walter Slezak), in the Spanish-produced ballet-cartoon-musical The Mysterious House of Dr. C., as re-released in 1976, and previously known as Dr. Coppelius, 1968.
Cornered (1945) - Not More Than Three Husbands Incza (Walter Slezak) brings Gerard (Dick Powell), seeking his wife's killers, to the Buenos Aires society party hosted by Camargo (Steven Geray) and especially his wife (Nina Vale), in Edward Dmytryk's Cornered, 1945.

Trailer

Miracle, The (1959) - (Original Trailer) When a 19th century nun elopes, the Virgin Mary takes her place at the convent in The Miracle (1959) starring Carroll Baker and Roger Moore.
Princess and the Pirate, The - (Original Trailer) A cowardly knight (Bob Hope) rescues a disguised princess from pirates.
Pirate, The - (Original Trailer) An actor (Gene Kelly) poses as a notorious buccaneer to court a romantic Caribbean girl (Judy Garland) in The Pirate (1948).
Step Lively - (Original Trailer) Fly-by-night producers dodge bill collectors while trying for one big hit in Step Lively (1944) starring Frank Sinatra.
Inspector General, The - (Original Trailer) Danny Kaye is mistaken for a government official in a small Eastern European village in The Inspector General (1949).
Come September - (Original Trailer) A womanizing tycoon (Rock Hudson) ends up chaperoning a group of American girls who've rented his Italian villa in Come September (1961) with Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin.
Fallen Sparrow, The - (Original Trailer) Nazi spies pursue a Spanish Civil War veteran (John Garfield) in search of a priceless keepsake in The Fallen Sparrow (1943).
Cornered - (Original Trailer) Dick Powell stars as a World War II veteran who hunts down the Nazi collaborators who killed his wife in the film noir thriller Cornered (1945).
Yellow Cab Man, The - (Original Trailer) Red Skelton is a cab-driving inventor whose unbreakable glass attracts the attention of businessmen and gangsters in The Yellow Cab Man (1950).
People Will Talk - (Original Trailer) A controversial doctor (Cary Grant) gets mixed up with an unwed mother in People Will Talk (1951).
Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, The - (Teaser Trailer) Laurence Harvey stars in The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962), a film biography of the German storytellers.
Spanish Main, The -- (Original Trailer) Dutch rebels in the Caribbean turn pirate and kidnap the corrupt Spanish governor's bride-to-be in The Spanish Main (1945) starring Paul Henreid and Maureen O'Hara.

Family

Leo Slezak
Father
Opera singer, actor. Born 1873, died 1946.
Erika Slezak
Daughter
Actor. Born 1946.
Ingrid Slezak
Daughter
Attorney.
Leo Slezak
Son
Pilot. Worked in theater in Vienna as an assistant stage director.

Bibliography