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Peter van Eyck

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Peter van Eyck
Götz von Eick

(1911-07-16)16 July 1911
Died15 July 1969(1969-07-15) (aged 57)
Männedorf, near Zürich, Switzerland
CitizenshipWest Germany
United States (after 1943)
Years active1943–1969
Spouse(s)Ruth Ford
(m. 1940; div. 194?)
Inge von Voris
(m. 19??)

Peter van Eyck (born Götz Eick; 16 July 1911 – 15 July 1969) was a German-American film and television actor. Born in Prussian Pomerania, he moved to the United States in the 1930s and established a career as a character actor. After World War II, he returned to his native country and became a star of West German cinema.

Internationally, his best known roles included The Wages of Fear (1953), Mr. Arkadin (1955), The Longest Day (1962), The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (1965), and the 1960s Dr. Mabuse films. He was twice nominated for the German Film Award for Best Actor, for Blind Justice (1961) and for The River Line (1964).

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • "Address Unknown" 1944 Paul Lukas, Carl Esmond, Peter van Eyck, Mady Christians - Crime, Film-Noir
  • The Snorkel 1958 Peter van Eyck Betta St. John Mandy Miller Full Movie HD



Van Eyck was born into an aristocratic German family from Pomerania (since 1945 part of Poland).[1] After graduating from high school he studied music in Berlin.

While studying music in Berlin, Van Eyck purportedly had a brief liaison with Jean Ross, a cabaret singer who inspired the fictional character of Sally Bowles.[2][3] Ross became pregnant with Eyck's child and, when Eyck departed Weimar-era Berlin, Ross had an abortion authorized by gay author Christopher Isherwood who falsely claimed to be her impregnator.[2][3] These factual events served as the genesis for a short story by Isherwood which later became the 1937 novella Sally Bowles and was later adapted into the  1966 Cabaret musical and the 1972 film of the same name.[4][5]

In 1931, after leaving Berlin, Van Eyck lived in Paris, London, Tunis, Algiers and Cuba, before settling in New York. He earned a living playing the piano in a bar, and wrote and composed for revues and cabarets, including several songs for Madame Spivy with lyricist John LaTouche. He worked for Irving Berlin as a stage manager and production assistant, and for Orson Welles Mercury Theatre company as an assistant director.[6]

Van Eyck went to Hollywood where he worked as a truck driver. He initially found radio work with the help of Billy Wilder, who later gave him small film roles.[7] In 1943, he took US citizenship and was drafted into the U.S. Army as a commissioned officer. At the end of World War II, he returned to Germany as a control officer for film and remained there until 1948 as director of the film section. He completed training at Camp Ritchie and is considered to be one of the Ritchie Boys.[6] In 1949, he appeared in his first German film Hallo, Fräulein![8]

He gained international recognition with a leading role in the 1953 film Le Salaire de la peur (The Wages of Fear) directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot.[9] He went on to appear in episodes of several US TV series including The Adventures of Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.[10] In English-language films he was most often typecast as a Nazi or other unsympathetic type, while in Germany he was a popular leading man in a wider range of films, including several appearances in the Doctor Mabuse thriller series of the 1960s.[1][11]

Personal life

Van Eyck was married to the American actress Ruth Ford for a short time in the 1940s.[12] With his second wife, Inge von Voris, he had two daughters, Kristina [de], also an actor, and Claudia.[13]


He died in 1969 in Männedorf, Switzerland, of septicaemia, caused by an untreated (relatively) minor injury,[citation needed] a day before his 58th birthday.

Selected filmography


  1. ^ a b Davidson, John; Hake, Sabine (2008), Framing the Fifties: Cinema in a Divided Germany, Berghahn Books, p. 47, ISBN 9781845455361
  2. ^ a b Parker, Peter (September 2004). "Ross, Jean Iris (1911–1973)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/74425. Retrieved 18 June 2017. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)(subscription required)
  3. ^ a b Thomson, David (21 March 2005). "The Observer as Hero". The New Republic. New York City. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  4. ^ Lehmann, John (1987). Christopher Isherwood: A Personal Memoir. New York: Henry Holt and Company. pp. 28—9. ISBN 0-8050-1029-7.
  5. ^ Izzo, David Garrett (2005). Christopher Isherwood Encyclopedia. London: McFarland & Company. pp. 97, 144. ISBN 0-7864-1519-3.
  6. ^ a b Bock, Hans-Michael; Bergfelder, Tim (2009), The Concise Cinegraph: Encyclopaedia of German Cinema, Berghahn Books, p. 496, ISBN 9780857455659
  7. ^ Erickson, Hal. "Peter Van Eyck - Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  8. ^ "Peter Van Eyck". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 12 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Gestorben Peter Van Eyck" [Obituary Peter Van Eyck]. Der Spiegel. 21 July 1969.
  10. ^ "Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Season 1, Episode 21 Safe Conduct". TV Guide.
  11. ^ "The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960) - Fritz Lang - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  12. ^ "Ruth Ford", The Telegraph, 17 August 2009
  13. ^ "In Biographical Summaries of Notable People, Kristina van Eyck", MyHeritage

External links

This page was last edited on 21 May 2024, at 14:29
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