German 43: Exiles and Émigrés

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Photo of Francis LedererLederer, Francis

(Prague 1899–Los Angeles 2000)

Born as Frantisek Lederer. Actor. Lederer's handsome demeanor and old world charme destined him to play the romantic lover on the stages of Budapest, Breslau and Berlin; he appeared with Louise Brooks in G. W. Pabst's Pandora's Box (1929). After debuting on the London stage in the early 1930s, he left for Hollywood in 1934 where he played the "continental lover" in The Gay Deception (dir. William Wyler, 1935) and Midnight (dir. Mitchell Leisen, script Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder 1939). In the early anti-Nazi film Confessions of a Nazi Spy (dir. Anatole Litvak, 1939), Lederer is the German-American Kurt Schneider, a crazed supporter of Hitler. After the war, he frequently played scoundrels as in Jean Renoir's Diary of a Chambermaid (1946) and in Stolen Identity (dir. Gunther von Fritsch and Emile Edwin Reinert, 1952). In 1959, he retired from the screen but continued teaching at the American National Academy of Performing Arts, which he founded.

GERMAN 43: Exiles and Émigrés
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