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Anton Walbrook (November 19, 1896 – August 9, 1967) was an Austrian actor, although settled in the United Kingdom.
His real name was Adolf Anton Wilhelm Wohlbrück , and initially he was also known by the name of Adolf Wohlbrück . Born in Vienna, Austria, he was descended from a family of ten generations of actors, although his father had broken with tradition and was a circus clown. Walbrook studied with director Max Reinhardt, beginning his career in Austrian theater and cinema.
In 1936 he traveled to Hollywood in order to re-shoot the dialogue of the multinational film The Soldier and the Lady (1937), and in the process changed his name from Adolf to Anton. Instead of returning to Austria, Walbrook, who had part of his Jewish ancestry, decided to settle in England, where he continued working in film, specializing in the interpretation of continental European characters.
Producer and director Herbert Wilcox chose him to play Prince Albert of Saxony-Coburg-Gotha in Victoria the Great (1937), also performing in the sequel Sixty Glorious Years the following year. He also worked on the film directed by Thorold Dickinson Gaslight (Luz de Gas) (1940), in the role that Charles Boyer would play in the Hollywood version of 1944, Gaslight. In Dangerous Moonlight (1941), a romantic melodrama, played a Polish pianist torn with the possible return home. For the team formed by directors Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger he worked on The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), playing Theo Kretschmar-Schuldorff, and in The Red Shoes (1948), with the role of the tyrannical businessman Lermontov. One of his most unusual films, again with Dickinson, was The Queen of Spades (1949), a Gothic genre title based on Alexander Pushkin’s tale The Queen of Spades, in which Walbrook worked with Edith Evans. Finally, for Max Ophüls he was the track manager at La Ronde (1950).
Anton Walbrook retired from the cinema at the end of the 1950s, and in later years he worked in European theatrical and television productions. He died due to an acute myocardial infarction in Geretshausen, Bavaria (Germany), in 1967. His remains were incinerated, and the ashes buried in the church cemetery of St John-at-Hampstead, in London, as he had requested in your will.
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