For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Felix Bressart.

Felix Bressart

Felix Bressart
Shopcorner trailer 2.jpg
Solomon Breslau

(1892-03-02)March 2, 1892
DiedMarch 17, 1949(1949-03-17) (aged 57)
Years active1928–1949
SpouseFrieda Lehner (1925–1949, his death)

Felix Bressart (March 2, 1892[citation needed] – March 17, 1949[1]) was a German-American actor of stage and screen.

Life and career

Bressart (pronounced "BRESS-ert") was born in East Prussia, Germany (now part of Russia).[1] His acting debut came in 1914 as Malvolio in "Twelfth Night," and he went on to act in Austria, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hungary, and Yugoslavia.[2][1] He was an experienced stage actor when he had his film debut in 1927. He began as a supporting actor, for example as the bailiff in the boxoffice hit Die Drei von der Tankstelle (The Three from the Filling Station), but soon established himself in leading roles of minor movies. After the Nazis seized power in 1933, the Jewish Bressart left Germany and continued his career in German-speaking movies in Austria, where Jewish artists were still relatively safe. After acting in 40 German films, he emigrated to the United States in 1936.[1]

One of Bressart's former European colleagues was Joe Pasternak, who had become a Hollywood producer. Bressart's first American film was Three Smart Girls Grow Up (1939), a vehicle for the Universal Pictures' star, Deanna Durbin. Pasternak chose Bressart to perform in a screen test opposite Pasternak's newest discovery, Gloria Jean. The German community in Hollywood helped to establish Bressart in America, as his earliest American movies were directed by Ernst Lubitsch, Henry Koster, and Wilhelm Thiele (who had directed Bressart in The Three from the Filling Station).[citation needed]

Bressart appeared in Lubitsch's Ninotchka (1939), as one of the Soviet emissaries followed by Greta Garbo to Paris. A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer picture, the studio signed Bressart as a contract player. Most of his MGM work consisted of featured supporting roles in major films including Edison, the Man, Comrade X, and Lubitsch's The Shop Around the Corner, all released in 1940.[citation needed]

Lobby card from Edison, the Man – Bressart is third from the left.
Lobby card from Edison, the Man – Bressart is third from the left.

In Lubitsch's To Be or Not to Be (1942), he recites Shylock's famous "Hath not a Jew eyes?" speech from The Merchant of Venice.

Other films Bressart appeared in include Blossoms in the Dust (1941), Three Hearts for Julia (1943), The Seventh Cross (1944), and Without Love (1945).

Bressart left MGM in 1945 to work for other studios. His first freelance job featured his largest role; he co-starred in the RKO "B" musical comedy Ding Dong Williams, filmed in April 1945. Bressart, billed third, played the bemused supervisor of a movie studio's music department, and appeared in formal wear to conduct an orchestral version of Chopin's Fantaisie-Impromptu. Bressart received special mention for his performance in this low-budget feature.[3]

After almost 40 Hollywood pictures, Felix Bressart suddenly died of leukemia at the age of 57. His last film was to be My Friend Irma (1949), the movie version of a popular radio show. Bressart died during production, forcing the studio to reshoot his completed scenes with Hans Conried, who was playing the same role, "Professor Kropotkin," on radio.[4] In the finished film, Felix Bressart is still seen in the long shots.

Complete filmography

German language films

English language films


  1. ^ a b c d "Felix Bressart, 57, Veteran of Films". The New York Times. New York, New York. March 23, 1949. ProQuest 105703957.
  2. ^ "Felix Bressart 'Not His Type'". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. August 15, 1943. p. 43. Retrieved September 27, 2019 – via
  3. ^ Motion Picture Daily, Apr. 17, 1946, p. 6.
  4. ^ Hans Conried interview with Leonard Maltin, published in The Real Stars, Curtis, 1973, p. 79. ISBN 978-8304373297
{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Felix Bressart
Listen to this article

This browser is not supported by Wikiwand :(
Wikiwand requires a browser with modern capabilities in order to provide you with the best reading experience.
Please download and use one of the following browsers:

This article was just edited, click to reload
This article has been deleted on Wikipedia (Why?)

Back to homepage

Please click Add in the dialog above
Please click Allow in the top-left corner,
then click Install Now in the dialog
Please click Open in the download dialog,
then click Install
Please click the "Downloads" icon in the Safari toolbar, open the first download in the list,
then click Install

Install Wikiwand

Install on Chrome Install on Firefox
Don't forget to rate us

Tell your friends about Wikiwand!

Gmail Facebook Twitter Link

Enjoying Wikiwand?

Tell your friends and spread the love:
Share on Gmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Buffer

Our magic isn't perfect

You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo.

This photo is visually disturbing This photo is not a good choice

Thank you for helping!

Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.


Wikiwand 2.0 is here 🎉! We've made some exciting updates - No worries, you can always revert later on