Mischa Auer Overview:

Character actor, Mischa Auer, was born Mischa Ounskowsky on Nov 17, 1905 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Auer died at the age of 61 on Mar 5, 1967 in Rome, Italy .


Mischa Auer was a pop-eyed, pencil-mustached, anxious-looking Russian-born comedy actor who came to Hollywood with the advent of sound, and stayed to create a memorable gallery of eccentric comic characters, usually flapping over some fresh disaster. He was at his peak in the late 1930's but continued working until his death, in Italy, from a heart attack. He was nominated for an Oscar for "My Man Godfrey".

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Illustrated Dictionary of Film Character Actors).



Although Auer was nominated for one Oscar, he never won a competitive Academy Award.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1936Best Supporting ActorMy Man Godfrey (1936)CarloNominated

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Mischa Auer Quotes:

Boris: All I want is to be a cowboy and to wear my own pants!

Carlo: Oh! Money, money, money! The Frankenstein monster that destroys souls!

[Repeated line, whenever Carlo plays the piano and sings]
Carlo: Ochi Chornya... Ochi Chornya... Ochi Chornya!

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Best Supporting Actor Oscar 1936

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Mischa Auer Facts
His father was an officer in the Russian navy under Tsar Nicholas II. After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 (during which his father apparently died; he was never heard from again), the 12-year-old Mischa and his mother were sent to Siberia. He roamed that area for three years, scrounging what little money and food he could for he and his mother, until they were able to escape to Southern Russia. He got a job driving an ambulance during a typhus epidemic (which killed his mother). In 1920 his maternal grandfather found him and managed to bring him to the US.

Children, with Tillman, Anthony and Zoe

Contrary to his screen image as an excitable, explosive, emotional type, Auer was in reality a quiet, somewhat introspective scholar who spoke six languages: Russian, English, Italian, French, German and Spanish.

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