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Oscar Homolka

(1898-1978) - Theatre and Film Actor

Oscar Homolka, born in Vienna, was an Austrian theatre and film actor. He had trained at the Imperial Academy of Music and the Performing Arts in Vienna. He served in the German army in the First World War but left Germany with the rise of Hitler moving to Paris, and then in 1965 to England.

His career embraced the West End, Broadway and Hollywood appearing in over 400 plays and 100 films. His stocky appearance and voice equipped him for roles as communist spies, soviet officials or authority figures.

He performed in a number of Shakespeare’s plays including King Lear and Macbeth and was Professor Higgins in Bernard’s Shaw’s Pygmalion. He acted with Ingrid Bergman, Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan, Katherine Hepburn and Michael Caine and was directed among many others by Max Reinhardt and Alfred Hitchcock. He was twice nominated for an Academy Award (an Oscar) as Best Supporting Actor.

He was married four times. He married his fourth wife, American actress Joan Tetzel, in 1949.

He moved with his wife to England in 1965. From 1965 until their deaths (in 1978 and 1977 respectively) Oscar and Joan lived in Beri-be-Dahn (now called Tibbs House) in Fairwarp. Their grave at Christ Church is notable for having theatrical masks engraved in the headstone.

Read about Joan Tetzel here

Research undertaken by Ian Brown, John Manthorpe and Jan Kemsley



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