Henreid, Paul – Actor & Collector

Paul Henreid (1908 to 1992)

Paul Henreid’s sophisticated charm and continental elegance were forever immortalized in celluloid with the release of two films made in 1942 by Hal Wallis for Warner Brothers. Playing Victor Lazlo opposite Ingrid Bergman in Michael Curtiz’s Casablanca and Bette Davis’ lover, Jerry, in Irving Rappner’s Now Voyager, Henreid’s imperturable urbanity and impecable demeanor with the opposite sex became the envy of all women and the emulation of young men for more than a generation. His effortless lighting and exchange of cigarettes in Now Voyager is one of the supreme, sexually charged moments in all of film history.

Henreid, Viennese by birth, had been recruited by Otto Preminger when just out of actor’s school for Max Reinhardt’s repertory Vienna Theatre. He soon appeared regularly in both plays and films in Austria, later in England after he moved there in 1935, and, of course, in Hollywood where he emigrated in 1940 and remained for the rest of his life. In addition to acting, he produced and directed television, film and theatre right into the 1970′s. Although less well known, Henreid, as the grandson of a professional artist, also attended the Akademie der bildenden Kunste in Vienna. And, his marriage to Elizabeth the daughter of Gustav Gluck, Director of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna from 1911 – 1931, provided further impetus to his interests in art and collecting. Henreid and his wife brought their collection when they moved to America and lived surrounded by it until his death in 1992 and his wife’s the following year.

Information courtesy of Sotheby’s New York, January 2008.

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