Luis van Rooten

Luis Van Rooten

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Luis van Rooten

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Luis van Rooten, (November 29, 1906 - June 17, 1973) was an American film actor. He was christened Luis d'Antin van Rooten.

Van Rooten earned his BA at the University of Pennsylvania and worked as an architect before deciding to pursue film work in Hollywood during World War II. His facility with languages made van Rooten an in-demand military radio announcer during the war, and he conducted a variety of broadcasts in Italian, Spanish and French. This led into film work, often in roles requiring an accent or skill with dialects.

Film work

Known for his villainous roles, he played Nazi ringleader Heinrich Himmler in both Hitler's Madman (1943) and Operation Eichmann (1961). He played supporting roles with a wide swath of film stars, including Alan Ladd in Two Years Before the Mast (1946) and Beyond Glory (1948), Charles Laughton in The Big Clock (1948), Veronica Lake in Saigon (1948), Edward G. Robinson in Night Has a Thousand Eyes (1948) and Kirk Douglas in Detective Story (1951). He provided the voices for both the King and the Grand Duke in Disney's animated "Cinderella."

Radio and television

Van Rooten found steady work doing narration in addition to acting in live television and radio dramas, such as The Mysterious Traveler. He portrayed the evil Roxor in the late 1940s revival of the radio serial Chandu the Magician. He also performed on Broadway in Eugene O'Neill's A Touch of the Poet (1958) and John Osborne's Luther (1963).

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