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Josef Swickard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Josef Swickard
Josef Swickard - 1921 MPSD.jpg
Swickard in 1921
Peter Josef Schwickerath

(1866-06-26)June 26, 1866
DiedMarch 1, 1940(1940-03-01) (aged 73)
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States
Spouse(s)Queeny Swickard, Margaret Campbell

Josef Swickard (26 June 1866 – 1 March 1940) was a Prussian-born veteran stage and screen character actor, who had toured with stock companies in Europe, South Africa, and South America.


Swickard emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1882. He was a stage actor several years before entering films with D.W. Griffith in 1912 and by 1914 was playing supporting roles for Mack Sennett. He appeared in Charles Chaplin's Laughing Gas and Caught in a Cabaret. He remained with Sennett until 1917, when he settled into his prolific career of playing mostly aristocratic characters.

Modern audiences are perhaps most familiar with his role of Marcelo Desnoyers, the well-intentioned but impractical French upper class father in Rex Ingram's 1921 film The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. His career in sound films was somewhat limited and he played in low-budget and action serial type films. He played the villainous Prime Minister Kruel in the 1925 film version of The Wizard of Oz.

Swickard as Marcelo Desnoyers in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)
Swickard as Marcelo Desnoyers in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)

Family Life & Death

Josef Swickard ad.jpg

Born in the Kingdom of Prussia in 1866 to Peter Schwecherath and Geniveve Steffens,[1] Swickard was the brother of actor Charles Swickard. After arriving in the United States in November 1882,[2] Schwecherath changed his name to Swickard and married a Scottish woman named Queeny in 1896.[3] In 1902, Swickard applied for citizenship in the Eastern District of New York under the name Joseph P. Schwickerath.[4] Records also show Swickard submitted a petition for naturalization in Los Angeles, California in February 1936 under the name of Peter Joseph Schwickerath.[5] Sometime around 1928 Swickard married Broadway actress Margaret Campbell.[6] That union was short-lived and the couple divorced on January 15, 1929.[7] Swickard's last known residence was the Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles where he lived after his divorce from Campbell.[8] Tragedy befell his ex-wife on June 27, 1939 when she was brutally murdered. Her son, Campbell McDonald, was the initial suspect. He was also suspected of having bludgeoned to death a Russian dancer, Anya Sosoyeva, as well as having assaulted the young actress Delia Bogard, who survived.LA police eventually arrested DeWitt Clinton Cook, who confessed and was sent to San Quentin, where he died in the gas chamber in 1941. Swickard died in 1940 from natural causes. He was falsely rumored to have jumped from the Hollywood sign.

The Evening Independent June 29, 1939. [6]news|url= Campbell murdered|newspaper=The Daily Times-News |date=28 June 1939 |page=6 }}</ref> Nearly seven months to-the-day after his ex-wife's murder, Swickard died on February 29, 1940. He was 73.

Despite rumors that Swickard committed suicide by jumping from the Hollywood sign, his death was from natural causes.[9] Swickard was buried under a simple headstone at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Josef Swickard - Jan 1923 ETR.jpg


Year Title Role Notes
1913 Cupid in a Dental Parlor Ethel's Father Short
1914 Twenty Minutes of Love Pickpocket's Victim Short
Caught in a Cabaret Mabel's Father Short, Uncredited
A Rowboat Romance Short
Laughing Gas Patient Short
The Property Man Old Stagehand Short, Uncredited
The Face on the Bar Room Floor Drinker Short, Uncredited
Lover's Luck The Girl's Father Short
Hello, Mabel Man in Lobby Short, Uncredited
Tillie's Punctured Romance Cinema spectator Uncredited
Fatty and Minnie He-Haw Minta's father Short
1915 Mabel and Fatty's Simple Life Mabel's father Short
Mabel, Fatty and the Law Desk Sergeant Short
Mabel and Fatty's Married Life Minor Role Short, Uncredited
Hogan's Romance Upset The Rival Uncredited
Love, Loot and Crash Mary's Father, a Banker Short
1916 A Social Cub The Knight of Old Short
Haystacks and Steeples The Minister Short
1917 A Tale of Two Cities Dr. Alexandre Manette
American Methods Baron de Prefont
The Book Agent Dr. Newdope
To Honor and Obey James Hollis
The Soul of Satan Chicago Stone
Because of a Woman Col. Gwynne
His Mother's Boy Tom Glenny
1918 Keys of the Righteous Paul Manning
Treasure of the Sea Thomas Elkins
The White Man's Law Suliman Ghengis
When a Woman Sins Mortimer West
The Light of Western Stars Padre Marcos
1919 A Trick of Fate Raoul Garson
The Lady of Red Butte Delicate Hanson
Pretty Smooth Judge
Snares of Paris De Brionne
A Girl in Bohemia Professor Bryce
A Woman of Pleasure Rev. Mr. Goddard
The Last of His People Baron Bonart
1920 The Beggar Prince Nodo
The Third Generation Colonel Alden Van Dusen
Blind Youth Pierre Monnier
Moon Madness Latour
Trumpet Island Jacques de Merincourt
1921 The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Marcelo Desnoyers
Sowing the Wind Petworth
Beach of Dreams Monsieur de Brie
Who Am I? Jacques Marbot
Serenade Domingo Maticas
Opened Shutters Sam Lacey
No Woman Knows The Great Schabelitz
Cheated Hearts Colonel Fairfax Gordon
1922 Across the Dead-Line Abel
Oh, Mabel Behave Townsman Uncredited
The Golden Gift Leonati
The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe Serial
The Storm Jacques Fachard
Another Man's Shoes Gouret
The Young Rajah Narada – the Mystic
Pawned Paul Veniza
My American Wife Don Fernando DeContas
1923 Mr. Billings Spends His Dime Estaban Juárez
Bavu Prince Markoff
Daughters of the Rich Maud's Father
The Cricket on the Hearth Caleb Plummer
Mothers-in-Law Newton Wingate
Forgive and Forget John Standing
The Age of Desire Marcio
The Eternal Struggle Pierre Grange
A Prince of a King Urbano
Maytime Colonel Van Zandt
1924 The Shadow of the Desert John Locke
North of Nevada Mark Ridgeway
Poisoned Paradise: The Forbidden Story of Monte Carlo Professor Durand
Pal o' Mine Verdugo Montford
A Boy of Flanders Jan Van Dullan
Men Cleo's Father
Untamed Youth Pietro
Defying the Law Michelo Brescia
Dante's Inferno The Victim – Eugene Craig
1925 Easy Money
The Sign of the Cactus Old Man Hayes
Wizard of Oz Prime Minister Kruel
The Verdict Pierre Ronsard
She Wolves De Goncourt
Fifth Avenue Models Josef Ludant
Playing with Souls Monsieur Jomier
The Mysterious Stranger Raoul Lesage
The Three Way Trail
Off the Highway Master
The Keeper of the Bees Bee master
Northern Code Père Le Blanc
1926 Stop, Look and Listen Old Actor
Three Pals Col. Girard
The Night Watch John Pendleton
Desert Gold Sebastian Castaneda
Whispering Canyon Eben Beauregard
Senor Daredevil Juan Estrada
Don Juan Duke Della Varnese
Officer Jim The President of the Bank
The High Flyer
Kentucky Handicap
Devil's Dice Judge Casper Paine
The Unknown Cavalier Lingo
The Border Whirlwind Señor Jose Cordova
1927 Hotel Imperial Austrian General Uncredited
One Increasing Purpose Old Gand
The Golden Stallion John Forsythe
The King of Kings Uncredited
False Morals
Senorita Don Francisco Hernandez
Time to Love Elvire's father
Old San Francisco Don Hernandez de Vasquez
Get Your Man Duke of Albin
Compassion Judge Henning
1928 Sharp Shooters Grandpère
Comrades John Burton
Turn Back the Hours Colonel Torreon
Eagle of the Night
The Toy Shop The toymaker Short
Dreary House
1929 The Bachelor's Club
The Devil's Chaplain The King
The Eternal Woman Ovaldo
The Veiled Woman Col. De Selincourt
Frozen River Hazy
The Phantom of the North Colonel Rayburn
Street Corner Short
Times Square Professor Carrillo
Dark Skies Señor Moreno
1930 The Lone Defender Juan Valdez Serial, [Chs. 1–2]
Mamba Count von Linden Uncredited
Song of the Caballero Manuel
The Phantom of the Desert Col. Van Horn
1933 The Narrow Corner Dutch Constable Uncredited
Narcotic Federal Narcotics Agent
The Perils of Pauline Haggins, Foreign Consul Serial, [Ch. 9]
1934 Beloved Revolutionist
All Men Are Enemies Katha's Father Uncredited
Cross Streets Dean Todd
The Return of Chandu Tyba – The White Magician Serial, [Chs. 8–12]
The Man Who Reclaimed His Head French Citizen Uncredited
1935 A Notorious Gentleman Minor Role Uncredited
The Lost City Dr. Manyus
A Dog of Flanders Monsieur de LaTour (replaced by Henry Kolker) (scenes deleted)
Love Me Forever Bonini Uncredited
The Crusades Buyer Uncredited
1936 Custer's Last Stand Major Henry Trent MD Serial
The Millionaire Kid The Tutor
Caryl of the Mountains Jean Foray
Lash of the Penitentes Dr. Andrew Robert Taylor
The Black Coin Don Pedro Navarro Serial, [Chs. 2–4, 13–15]
Under Your Spell Amigo Uncredited
The Boss Rider of Gun Creek Lafe Turner
1937 Sandflow Banker Porter
Fit for a King Sanitarium Director Uncredited
The Sheik Steps Out Mohammedan Priest Uncredited
The Girl Said No Jonesy
Zorro Rides Again Dam Watchman Serial, [Ch. 8], Uncredited
1938 The Secret of Treasure Island Passenger Ship Doctor Chapter 1, Uncredited
You Can't Take It with You Professor
Say It in French Old Man Uncredited
1939 Mexicali Rose Gonzales Uncredited
Dick Tracy's G-Men Presidente Huenemo Mendoza Serial, Chapter 3, Uncredited
$1,000 a Touchdown Hamilton McGlen Sr. Uncredited
The Pal from Texas Texas Malden
The Great Victor Herbert Newspaper Reporter Uncredited
The Mad Empress Mexican Statesman with Father Fisher Uncredited, (final film role)

See also


  1. ^ Ancestry Library Edition[verification needed]
  2. ^ Ancestry Library Edition[verification needed]
  3. ^ Ancestry Library Edition[verification needed]
  4. ^ Ancestry Library Edition[verification needed]
  5. ^ Ancestry Library Edition[verification needed]
  6. ^ Ancestry Library Edition[verification needed]
  7. ^ Walker, Brent E. (2013-04-25). Mack Sennett's Fun Factory: A History and Filmography of His Studio and His Keystone and Mack Sennett Comedies, with Biographies of Players and Personnel. McFarland. ISBN 9780786477111.
  8. ^ Ancestry Library Edition[verification needed]
  9. ^ Wollstein, Hans J. "Josef Swickard: Biography". Retrieved 2008-07-16.

External links

This page was last edited on 31 January 2023, at 14:10
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