Mischa Auer


Actor
Mischa Auer

About

Also Known As
Mischa Ounskowski, Misha Auer
Birth Place
Russia
Born
November 17, 1905
Died
March 05, 1967
Cause of Death
Heart Attack

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, work...

Family & Companions

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

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) 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.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Arrivederci, Baby! (1966)
Romeo
The Christmas That Almost Wasn't (1966)
Johnathan, the bookkeeper
We Joined the Navy (1962)
Nathalie Agent Secret (1960)
Cyril Boran
The Monte Carlo Story (1957)
Hector
Mr. Arkadin (1955)
The professor
Futures Vedettes (1955)
Frou-Frou (1955)
Archduke
For You I Die (1948)
Alec Shaw
Sofia (1948)
Ali Imagu
Sentimental Journey (1946)
Gregory Petrovich Rogozhin
She Wrote the Book (1946)
Joe, also known as Count Boris
And Then There Were None (1945)
Prince Nikita Starloff
A Royal Scandal (1945)
Capt. Sukov
Brewster's Millions (1945)
Michael Michaelovich
Lady in the Dark (1944)
Russell Paxton
Around the World (1944)
Mischa Auer
Up in Mabel's Room (1944)
Boris
Don't Get Personal (1942)
[Stanislaus Noodnick, also known as] Charlie
Twin Beds (1942)
Nicolai Cherupin
Hellzapoppin' (1941)
Pepi
Cracked Nuts (1941)
[Boris] Kabikoff
Sing Another Chorus (1941)
Stanislaus [Gregorovich Danniliewski]
Moonlight in Hawaii (1941)
Clipper [Conovan]
The Flame of New Orleans (1941)
Zolotov
Hold That Ghost (1941)
Gregory
Sandy Is a Lady (1940)
Felix Lobo Smith
Seven Sinners (1940)
Sasha
Trail of the Vigilantes (1940)
Bolo
Alias the Deacon (1940)
Andre
Elsa Maxwell's Public Deb No. 1 (1940)
Grisha
Spring Parade (1940)
The Peasant [Gustav]
Margie (1940)
[Rafael] Gomez
East Side of Heaven (1939)
Nicky
Destry Rides Again (1939)
Boris Callahan
Unexpected Father (1939)
Boris Bebenko
Sweethearts (1938)
Leo Kronk
You Can't Take It with You (1938)
[Boris] Kolenkhov
Little Tough Guys in Society (1938)
Dr. Trenkle
The Rage of Paris (1938)
Mike
Service De Luxe (1938)
Babenko
Top of the Town (1937)
Hamlet
One Hundred Men and a Girl (1937)
Michael
Merry-Go-Round of 1938 (1937)
Mischa
That Girl from Paris (1937)
Butch
It's All Yours (1937)
The Baron [René de Montigny]
Prescription for Romance (1937)
Sandor
We Have Our Moments (1937)
Captain Enrico Mussetti
Walter Wanger's Vogues of 1938 (1937)
Prince Muratov
Pick a Star (1937)
Rinaldo Lopez
Marry the Girl (1937)
Dimitri [Kyeff]
One Rainy Afternoon (1936)
Leading man
The House of a Thousand Candles (1936)
Victor Demetrius
Princess Comes Across (1936)
Morevitch
Winterset (1936)
Radical
My Man Godfrey (1936)
Carlo
Tough Guy (1936)
Chi
The Gay Desperado (1936)
Diego
Three Smart Girls (1936)
Count Arisztid
Here Comes Trouble (1936)
Sons O' Guns (1936)
German spy
We're Only Human (1935)
William "Lefty" Berger
I Dream Too Much (1935)
Pianist
Mystery Woman (1935)
Dmitri
Condemned to Live (1935)
Zan
Clive of India (1935)
Suraj Ud Dowlah
Murder in the Fleet (1935)
Oriental consul
The Crusades (1935)
Monk
The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935)
Afridi
Anna Karénina (1935)
Mahotin
Adventures of Rex and Rinty (1935)
Viva Villa (1934)
Military attache
Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back (1934)
Hassan
Beyond the Law (1934)
Tully
The Woman Condemned (1934)
Dr. Wagner
Wharf Angel (1934)
Sadik
Stamboul Quest (1934)
Ameel
Student Tour (1934)
Sikhi cop
The Crosby Case (1934)
DeCobra
Infernal Machine (1933)
Klein
Gabriel over the White House (1933)
Thieson
Girl Without a Room (1933)
Walksky
Storm at Daybreak (1933)
Assassin
Corruption (1933)
Voikov
Dangerously Yours (1933)
Kassim
The Flaming Signal (1933)
Manu
Tarzan the Fearless (1933)
High Priest
After Tonight (1933)
Adjutant Lehar
Cradle Song (1933)
Village priest
Clear All Wires (1933)
Arab leader
Sucker Money (1933)
Swami Yomurda
Rasputin and the Empress (1933)
Man pouring drinks at party
Arséne Lupin (1932)
Lourve tour guide
The Unwritten Law (1932)
Abu Zeyd
No Greater Love (1932)
Rabbi
Beauty Parlor (1932)
Herman Bauer
Drifting Souls (1932)
The Western Code (1932)
Chapman
The Intruder (1932)
Wild man
The Monster Walks (1932)
Hanns Krug
Murder at Dawn (1932)
Henry, caretaker
Sinister Hands (1932)
Call Her Savage (1932)
Man in restaurant
Scarlet Dawn (1932)
Serge
The Last of the Mohicans (1932)
The Unholy Garden (1931)
Prince Nicolai Poliakoff
The Spy (1931)
Man in cafe
Delicious (1931)
Mischa
Drums of Jeopardy (1931)
Peter
No Limit (1931)
Romeo
Command Performance (1931)
Duke Charles of Votrav
Women Love Once (1931)
Oscar
The Yellow Ticket (1931)
Melchoir
Mata Hari (1931)
Man executed
Working Girls (1931)
The Lady from Nowhere (1931)
Rigo
The Benson Murder Case (1930)
Albert
Just Imagine (1930)
B--36
Inside the Lines (1930)
Amahdi
Paramount on Parade (1930)
Marquis Preferred (1929)
Albert
Something Always Happens (1928)
Clark

Film Production - Main (Feature Film)

For You I Die (1948)
Assistant to the producers

Cast (Special)

Ninotchka (1960)
Buljanoff

Cast (Short)

My Grandfather's Clock (1934)

Life Events

1920

Brought to the USA by his grandfather, violinist Leopold Auer after his parents' deaths

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'"

1945

Starred in "And Then There Were None"

1955

Co-starred in "Mister Arkadin", directed by Orson Wells

1966

Final film, "Drop Dead, Darling"

Photo Collections

You Can't Take It with You - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from Frank Capra's You Can't Take It with You (1938). 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

Brewster's Millions (1945) - On Our Way To The Poorhouse Mickey (Mischa Auer) and Trixie (June Havoc, her first scene) arrive to tell Monty (Dennis O’Keefe, title character) the Philadelphia show, designed to burn money, had to close, fianceè Peggy (Helen Walker) and pals (Joe Sawyer, Herbert Rudley) helping, in Brewster’s Millions, 1945.
You Can't Take It With You (1938) - My Father Makes Fireworks Taxman Henderson (Charles Lane) and Grandpa Sycamore (Lionel Barrymore) lead off this mayhem as Tony (James Stewart) collects Alice (Jean Arthur) for a date. with Ann Miller, Spring Byington, Dub Taylor, and Mischa Auer, in Frank Capra's You Can't Take It with You, 1938.
Mata Hari (1931) - Some Dance And Some Die Opening with a victim (Mischa Auer) of the title character (Greta Garbo, not seen here) and introducing key supporting men, C. Henry Gordon as the French spy catcher, Lionel Barrymore as Russian general Shubin, and Ramon Novarro as dashing flyer Alexis, in MGM’s Mata Hari, 1931.
Delicious (1931) - The American Song Opening scenes on a passenger ship nearing New York, Scottish Heather (Janet Gaynor) and Russian Sascha (Raul Roulien) make plans, musician Mischa (Auer) joining, Yanks Larry (Charles Farrell) and Diana (Virginia Cherrill) chuckling from the upper deck, in Delicious, 1931.
And Then There Were None (1945) - The Place For Nursery Rhymes Director Rene Clair is still cycling through Agatha Christie's ten island guests, Walter Huston and Barry Fitzgerald, Mischa Auer on the piano, Richard Haydn playing the record, when the gimmick is revealed, to C. Aubrey Smith, Judith Anderson, June Duprez, Louis Hayward, Roland Young and Queenie Leonard, early in And Then There Were None, 1945.
And Then There Were None (1945) - What A Quiet Place Director Rene Clair wastes not a word introducing Agatha Christie's characters, Louis Hayward, June Duprez, Walter Huston, Barry Fitzgerald, C. Aubrey Smith, Roland Young, Judith Anderson, Mischa Auer and Harry Thurston joining Queenie Leonard and Richard Haydn on the island, opening And Then There Were None, 1945.
Gabriel Over The White House (1933) - Return To Prosperity President Hammond (Walter Huston) is happy to stifle a populist reporter (Mischa Auer) in an early scene from Gabriel over the White House, 1933, directed Gregory LaCava, from a novel by Thomas Frederic Tweed.

Trailer

My Man Godfrey (1936) - (Re-issue Trailer) A zany heiress (Carole Lombard) tries to help a tramp (William Powell) by making him the family butler in My Man Godfrey, 1936, directed by Gregory La Cava.
Hold That Ghost (1941) -- Original Trailer Original trailer for the second-made but third-released Abbott & Costello vehicle, Hold That Ghost, 1941, from Universal, with Joan Davis, Richard Carlson, Evelyn Ankers and The Andrews Sisters.
Marry the Girl - (Original Trailer) Warner Brothers gives its second bananas a chance to show their appeal in the screwy comedy Marry The Girl (1937).
Lives of a Bengal Lancer, The - (Re-issue trailer) Three British soldiers in India fight invaders when not fighting each other in The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935) starring Gary Cooper and Franchot Tone.
Stamboul Quest - (Original Trailer) A notorious enemy spy (Myrna Loy) falls for an American medical student during World War I in Stamboul Quest (1934).
Rasputin and the Empress - (Original Trailer) John, Ethel and Lionel Barrymore star in Rasputin and the Empress (1932), the true story of the mad monk who plotted to rule Russia.
Sons O' Guns - (Original Trailer) A song-and-dance man (Joe E. Brown) gets caught up in war and espionage in Sons O' Guns (1936) co-starring Joan Blondell.
Scarlet Dawn - (Original Trailer) A Russian nobleman (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) escapes the revolution with the help of his adoring servant (Nancy Carroll) in Scarlet Dawn (1932).
Murder in the Fleet - (Original Trailer) Robert Taylor got his first starring role solving a Murder In The Fleet (1935) when he becomes a suspect.
Tough Guy - (Original Trailer) To save his beloved dog, a boy runs away from home, only to get mixed up with gangsters in Tough Guy (1936) starring Jackie Cooper.
Mata Hari - (Original Trailer) Greta Garbo stars in Mata Hari (1931), a romanticized biography of the notorious World War I spy.
Crusades, The - (Original Trailer) Cecil B. DeMille presents the story of The Crusades (1935) with Henry Wilcoxon as the Holy Land-bound Richard the Lion-Hearted.

Family

Leopold Auer
Grandfather
Violinist.
Anthony Auer
Son
Mother, Norma Tillman.
Zoe Auer
Daughter
Mother, Norma Tillman.

Companions

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

Bibliography