Peter van Eyck
, born Götz von Eick (16 July 1911, Steinwehr
(now Kamienny Jaz, Poland
) – 15 July 1969, Männedorf
), was a German-American actor.
After graduating from high school he studied music. In 1931 he left Germany, living in Paris, London, Tunis, Algiers and Cuba, before settling in New York
. He earned a living playing the piano in a bar, and wrote and composed for revues and cabarets. He then worked for Irving Berlin
as a stage manager and production assistant, and for Orson Welles Mercury Theatre
company as an assistant director.
Van Eyck went to Hollywood where he worked as a truck driver. He initially found radio work with the help of Billy Wilder
, who later gave him small film roles. In 1943 he took US citizenship and was drafted into the army as a commissioned officer. At the end of the war he returned to Germany as a control officer for film and remained there until 1948 as director of the film section. In 1949 he appeared in his first German film Hallo, Fräulein!
He gained international recognition with a leading role in the 1953 film Le Salaire de la peur
(The Wages of Fear
) directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot
. He went to appear in episodes of several US TV series including The Adventures of Ellery Queen
and Alfred Hitchcock Presents
. In English-language films he was most often typecast as a Nazi or other unsympathetic type, while in Germany he was a popular leading man in a wider range of... Read More