He never lost his accent. He never lost his Teutonic personality. But even through the war, Anton Walbrook was Britain's favourite German.
He was born Adolf Wohlbrűck in Vienna into a circus family. He chose not to follow the family tradition and instead studied at the Max Reinhardt school then went into the legitimate theatre. He had a few bit parts in silent films but when the talkies came in theatrically trained actors were in great demand and he took cinema more seriously. He quickly rose to the front rank of leading men and got Hollywood's attention.
His stay there was brief. He remade one of his hits, Michel Strogoff, as The Soldier and the Lady for RKO which changed his name to the form we are familiar with. He hated Hollywood and was soon back in Europe. However, with the Nazis taking over German film studios he chose to settle in Britain.
Herbert Wilcox cast him as Prince Albert in his biopic of Queen Victoria. This was a smash hit and established him as a major star in British cinema. He was notoriously picky about which films to do, and refused point-blank to take any Nasty Nazi roles. This pickiness paid off and he made as good a crop of movies as anyone in British cinema.
He took British citizenship in 1947 and in the 50s turned increasingly to Europe for work. He died in Munich.
|1925||Der Fluch der Bosen Tat|
|1931||Der Stolz der Drei Kompanie|
|1932||Drei von der Tankstelle|
|1932||Die Funf Verfluchten Gentlemen|
|1932||Melodie der Liebe|
|1933||Viktor und Victoria/George et Georgette|
|1933||Keine Angst vor Liebe|
|1934||Die Vertauschte Braut|
|1934||Die Englische Heirat|
|1934||Eine Frau die Weiss Was Sie Will|
|1935||Ich War Jack Mortimer|
|1935||Der Student von Prag|
|1937||The Soldier and the Lady|
|1937||Victoria the Great|
|1938||Sixty Glorious Years|
|1943||The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp|
|1945||The Man from Morocco|
|1948||The Red Shoes|
|1949||Queen of Spades|
|1956||Koning fur eine Nacht|
Anton Walbrook at Amazon UK
Anton Walbrook at Amazon US