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Walbrook, Anton (1896-1967)


Main image of Walbrook, Anton (1896-1967)

Anton Walbrook's screen acting combined melancholic irony and old-worldly charm, chilling arrogance and tragic pathos. A dark, handsome and suave dandy, Walbrook (born Adolf Wohlbrück) was a romantic lead in German films before emigrating in 1936.

His first major British success was as Prince Albert, opposite Anna Neagle as Victoria The Great (d. Herbert Wilcox, 1937). He is best remembered for his roles in several Powell and Pressburger films, particularly as Prussian Theo in The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (1943) and Svengali-like ballet impresario Lermontov in The Red Shoes (1948).

Other memorable performances included the sadistic husband in Gaslight (d. Thorold Dickinson, 1940), and the romantic hero of Dangerous Moonlight (d. Brian Desmond Hurst, 1941).

Postwar, Walbrook also appeared in German and French films, most notably in Max Ophuls' La Ronde (France, 1950) and Lola Montès (France, 1955), and in the British-made Saint Joan (UK/US, d. Otto Preminger, 1957) and I Accuse! (d. José Ferrer, 1958).

He was also on the London stage from 1939 in Design for Living and co-starred with Ethel Merman in Call Me Madam (1952).

Tim Bergfelder, Encyclopedia of British Cinema

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Selected credits

Thumbnail image of 49th Parallel (1941)49th Parallel (1941)

Wartime drama: a Nazi U-boat crew is stranded in Canada

Thumbnail image of Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The (1943)Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The (1943)

Ambitious wartime saga which infuriated Churchill

Thumbnail image of Oh... Rosalinda!! (1955)Oh... Rosalinda!! (1955)

Powell & Pressburger musical comedy based on 'Die Fledermaus'

Thumbnail image of Queen of Spades, The (1949)Queen of Spades, The (1949)

Darkly stylish adaptation of the Pushkin classic

Thumbnail image of Red Shoes, The (1948)Red Shoes, The (1948)

Powell and Pressburger's beautiful and delirious ballet film

Thumbnail image of Sixty Glorious Years (1938)Sixty Glorious Years (1938)

Colourful historical pageant of Queen Victoria's 60-year reign

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Thumbnail image of Pressburger, Emeric (1902-1988)Pressburger, Emeric (1902-1988)

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