Louis Wolheim (Louis Wolheim)

Louis Wolheim

Actor.  Rugged,  homely character player of stage and screen.  In films from 1914,  he was typecast as a brutal villain but won his greatest fame in a sympathetic role,  as the gruff,  paternalistic Corporal “Kat” Katczinsky in the World War I classic “All Quiet on the Western Front” (1930).  Born in New York City,  Wolheim earned an engineering degree at Cornell and remained at the university for six years as a math instructor.  He ventured into acting on the advice of his friend  Lionel Barrymore,  who told him,  “With that face you could make a fortune in the theatre” and persuaded him not to fix his nose,  which had been badly broken during his days as a Cornell halfback.  On Broadway he created the title role of Eugene O’Neill’s “The Hairy Ape” (1922) and was the original Captain Flagg in the long-running “What Price Glory” (1924).  His 53 movie credits include “The Warning” (1914).  “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” (1920),  D.W. Griffith’s “Orphans of the Storm” (1921) and “America” (1924),  “Two Arabian Nights” (1927),  “Tempest” (1928),  “The Racket” (1928),  “Danger Lights” (1930),  “The Silver Horde” (1930),  and “The Sin Ship” (which he also directed,  1931).  In contrast to his crude image,  Wolheim was known as a kindly,  cultured man who spoke four languages fluently;  he even translated a French play,  “The Claw”,  which became a big hit for Lionel Barrymore in 1921.  His unforgettable performance in “All Quiet on the Western Front” put him on the threshold of a promising career as a Hollywood character star,  one he would not live to fulfill.  He died of cancer at 50,  in the middle of rehearsals for “The Front Page” (1931).  His part in that film went to Adolphe Menjou. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) Cause of death: Stomach cancer

Born

  • March, 28, 1880
  • USA

Died

  • February, 02, 1931
  • USA

Cause of Death

  • Stomach cancer

Cemetery

  • Hollywood Forever Cemetery
  • California
  • USA

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