Walter Slezak Overview:

Character actor, Walter Slezak, was born on May 3, 1902 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary [now Austria]. Slezak died at the age of 81 on Apr 21, 1983 in Flower Hill, NY .


Tubby, mustachioed Walter Slezak was an Austrian actor just as likely to play affable or menacing characters. A welcome part of any film, he was probably most memorable as the German on Hitchcock's Lifeboat. He had two bursts of intense film activity, in Germany from 1924 to 1928 and in Hollywood from 1942 to 1954, having been in America since the early 1930s. Otherwise he appeared mostly on stage. He was also a writer and humorist. He retired in 1972, but in 1983 committed suicide by shooting himself.

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



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Walter Slezak Quotes:

Papa Vittorio Martelli: Mr Hunter what kind of joke are you joking - you went out for dinner with Maria and come back with Nina.

Pillery Gow: Oh, let's hang him from the yardarm!
Paree: Bring him head-out on fire!
Pillery Gow: No, no, we got to do this properly. Step by step, limb from limb.
Contessa Francesca: Can't you let him live somehow? Find a way for him to do some useful work?
Don Juan Alvarado: Work? No, Contessa, yours is the cruelest of all suggestions.

Don Juan Alvarado: My dear child, there is no reason why we shouldn't be married tomorrow.
Contessa Francesca: Tomorrow, your excellency?
Don Juan Alvarado: Well, yesterday, unfortunately, is impossible.

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Walter Slezak Facts
Grandfather of actress Amanda Davies and actor Tobias Slezak.

Father-in-law of actor Brian Davies.

He was the son of Leo Slezak, operatic tenor (Aug. 18, 1873 - June 1, 1946), later a comedian in Austrian films. Leo Slezak was a famous Lohengrin, and is credited with this story: during one production of the opera "Lohengrin," when the mechanical swan that was to carry the hero across the lake malfunctioned and "floated" off too soon, he was heard to say, "What time is the next swan?". This quote became the title of Walter Slezak's autobiography.

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