Erich von Stroheim

Erich von Stroheim


9/22/1885, Vienna, Austria



Birth Name

Erich Oswald Stroheim



Also Known As

Count von Stroheim, Eric Von Stroheim, Eric O.H. von Stroheim, Erich Von Stroheim, Eric von Stroheim, Karl von Stroheim
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Austrian born actor best known for his role as Gloria Swanson's ex-husband/butler in the classic 1950 film about Hollywood decay entitled Sunset Boulevard. Besides acting, Von Stroheim was also a director in the silent era. Though almost all of his pictures ran over budget and flopped at the…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Von Stroheim the director considered Greed star Zasu Pitts the best dramatic actress he ever saw.

    • In the 1918 film Heart of Humanity Von Stroheim's character threw a baby out of a window.

    • Von Stroheim is buried at Maurepas Cemetary in Maurepas, France.

    • Parents names were Benno and Johanna Stroheim.

    • Von Stroheim wrote a novel entitled Paprika which was published in the mid-1930's.

    • Though he had been barred from the MGM studio lot, Von Stroheim returned in 1932 to appear in As You Desire Me at the personal intercession of star Greta Garbo who wanted him in the picture.

    • Von Stroheim the actor was easy to work with according to most directors but Von Stroheim the director was a legendary tyrant who drove his actors crazy and constantly went over budget.

    • Von Stroheim was irate when MGM Studios cut his film Greed down to just over two hours running time. He always blamed studio executive Irving Thalberg for this.

    • Von Stroheim never learned how to drive an automobile. In the two scenes he's seen driving in Sunset Boulevard, the first was in a fake car on top of a flatbed truck and the one outside Paramount Studios the car was pulled with ropes by off-screen personnel.

    • Although nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in Sunset Boulevard, Von Stroheim detested his role calling it nothing but a damn butler.

    • Von Stroheim played a sympathetic German POW commandant in Jean Renoir's classic 1937 anti-war film The Grand Illusion.

    • Von Stroheim has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It is located at 6822 Hollywood Boulevard.

    • Von Stroheim was 5 feet, 7 inches tall.

    • Von Stroheim played a mentally unbalanced ventriloquist in the early 1929 talkie The Great Gabbo.

    • Von Stroheim immigrated to the United States on board the S. S. Prince Friedrich Wilhelm and arrived in New York on November 25, 1909.

    • Von Stroheim served briefly in the Austrian Army as an enlisted man and retained a fascination for all things military the rest of his life.

    • Von Stroheim claimed to be from an aristocratic background but in reality his father owned a garment factory.

    • Son Joseph von Stroheim worked for many years in Hollywood as a sound director on shows such as The Untouchables.

    • Von Stroheim was awarded the Legion of Honor by France in 1957 shortly before he passed away.

    • Von Stroheim was nicknamed "the Man You Love to Hate" for his villainous German roles during World War I.

    • Sunset Boulevard was the final American produced film in which Von Stroheim appeared. He spent his later years living in France.

    • Stroheim worked as an assistant director for D. W. Griffith and had bit parts in Griffith's classic films Birth of a Nation and Intolerance.

    • Von Stroheim portrayed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in the 1943 film Five Graves to Cairo. Some critics said he was too sympathetic in the role.

    • The Von Stroheim directed film, Greed, was originally six hours long but was cut by the studio to just over two hours running time.

    • Von Stroheim was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1950 for his performance as butler Max von Mayerling in Sunset Boulevard.

    • Von Stroheim replaced Boris Karloff on Broadway in the role of Jonathan Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace.

  • Quotes