Helmut Dantine


Actor
Helmut Dantine

About

Also Known As
Helmut Guttmann
Birth Place
Vienna, AT
Born
October 07, 1918
Died
May 02, 1982
Cause of Death
Heart Attack

Biography

Despite being forced to flee his native Austria after the Anschluss, Helmut Dantine forged a Hollywood career playing Germans during World War II. Released from the Rosserlaende concentration camp with the connivance of a sympathetic physician, 19 year-old Helmut Guttman -- as he was initially called -- lodged with a friend in Los Angeles and began acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. He wa...

Family & Companions

Gwen Anderson
Wife
Divorced.
Nicola Schenck
Wife
Actor.

Biography

Despite being forced to flee his native Austria after the Anschluss, Helmut Dantine forged a Hollywood career playing Germans during World War II. Released from the Rosserlaende concentration camp with the connivance of a sympathetic physician, 19 year-old Helmut Guttman -- as he was initially called -- lodged with a friend in Los Angeles and began acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. He was signed soon after by Warner Bros. and took uncredited parts in classics like "To Be or Not to Be" and "Casablanca" before cameoing as the wounded Luftwaffe pilot in the British home front drama "Mrs Miniver." He proved more sadistic as the commandant executing villagers aiding the Norwegian resistance in "Edge of Darkness," but he also played a Maquis patriot escaping from Devil's Island with Humphrey Bogart in "Passage to Marseille" and an anti-Nazi underground leader evading the Gestapo in "Hotel Berlin." His career stuttered after the war and between prestige supporting roles like Prince Hugo in the Ethel Merman musical "Call Me Madam" and the caddish Dolokhov in King Vidor's adaptation of "War and Peace," he settled for TV slots and B leads like the Greek partisan defending Athens from the Axis in "Guerilla Girl" and the alien warning Patricia Neal of dire portents in "Stranger From Venus." Married to the daughter of former MGM boss Nicholas Schenck, Dantine tried his hand at directing with "Thundering Jets" and later executive produced "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" and "The Killer Elite" for Sam Peckinpah.

Life Events

1941

Film acting debut

1955

First film as director "Thundering Jets"

1959

Made vice president Schenck Enterprises

1970

Promoted to president Schenck Enterprises

Videos

Movie Clip

Northern Pursuit (1943) - You Think This Is Cold? End of the opening narration (by Lou Marcelle (as in Casablanca, 1942), impressive simulated submarine, emergence of Nazi spy von Keller (Helmut Dantine), and seemingly unrelated Canadian skullduggery between Wills (Gene Lockhart) and Dagor (Bernard Nedell), from Raoul Walsh's Northern Pursuit, 1943, starring Errol Flynn.
War And Peace (1956) - I'll Do It For Nothing At the Moscow home of Dolokhov (Helmut Dantine), in a scene modified from Tolstoy, betting Anatol (Vittorio Gassman) he can complete the stunt, to be followed by Pierre (Henry Fonda), until Prince Andrei (Mel Ferrer) intervenes, in King Vidor’s Italian-made Paramount production, War And Peace, 1956.
Operation Crossbow (1965) - No Bigger Than A Midget Just as the Brits conclude the Nazis may be testing rockets near the Baltic, we join a test pilot (David Hadda) overseen by big German generals (Paul Henreid, Helmut Dantine), Barbara Rutting as the famous German flier Hanna Reitsch, Michael Anderson directing, in Operation Crossbow, 1965.
Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (1974) - What Do You Want To Hear? Director Sam Peckinpah introduces his leading man, Warren Oates as low-life pianist Bennie, somewhere in Mexico, as improbable American thugs Robert Webber and Gig Young arrive, hunting the title character on behalf of their local “jefe” boss, in Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia, 1974.
Mrs. Miniver (1942) - I Shoot! Her son with the RAF and husband with the civilian nautical force evacuating Dunkirk, Greer Garson (title character) at home in England finds a downed German flier (Viennese Helmut Dantine, in his first credited role) in the garden, a famous scene from the Best Picture winner Mrs. Miniver, 1942.
Northern Pursuit (1943) - Our Country, Isn't It? German-descended RCMP man Wagner (Errol Flynn), who wants to quit for personal reasons, must explain to his commanding officer (Tom Tully) why he wasn't quicker to turn over the Nazi pilot (Helmut Dantine) he captured, later with fiancee' (Julie Bishop), in Northern Pursuit, 1943.
Passage To Marseille (1944) - I Accuse Daladier At Devil's Island, "Grandpere" (Vladimir Sokoloff) sizing up Renault, Marius et al (Philip Dorn, Peter Lorre, George Tobias, Helmut Dantine), who tell back-story on their comrade Matrac (Humphrey Bogart), appearing with wife-to-be Paula (Michele Morgan), in Passage To Marseilles, 1944.
Passage To Marseille (1944) - We Have No Leader Aboard the French steamer in the Caribbean, the captain (Victor Francen) and suspicious French officer Duval (Sydney Greenstreet) lead the interrogation of rescued Renault (Philip Dorn), Matrac (Humphrey Bogart), Marius (Peter Lorre) et al, in Michael Curtiz's Passage To Marseille, 1944.

Companions

Gwen Anderson
Wife
Divorced.
Nicola Schenck
Wife
Actor.

Bibliography