Leonid Kinskey Poster


Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (9) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 18 April 1903St. Petersburg, Russia
Date of Death 8 September 1998Fountain Hills, Arizona, USA  (complications from a stroke)
Nickname Mad Russian

Mini Bio (1)

Leonid Kinskey, originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, performed across Europe and much of Latin America before his arrival in the United States. By 1932 he landed a small role as a radical in Ernst Lubitsch's comedy, Trouble in Paradise (1932). The next year he played an agitator in Duck Soup (1933). He went on to play small parts, nearly always foreigners and often comedic, in over sixty films, including Genflou in Les Misérables (1935), the snake charmer in the well-known scene from The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935), an Arab in The Garden of Allah (1936), Ivan in The Big Broadcast of 1938 (1938), and Pierre in That Night in Rio (1941). His final film role was Dominiwski in The Man with the Golden Arm (1955). Kinskey's most famous role was as Sascha, the humorous bartender at Rick's Cafe Americaine, in Casablanca (1942). The part had originally been given to Leon Mostovoy; Kinskey replaced him because (1) he was funnier than Mostovoy, and (2) by his own testimony, he was a drinking buddy of the star Humphrey Bogart. His contract guaranteed him two weeks at $750 a week. He died on 8 September 1998, in Fountain Hills, Arizona, aged 95.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Spouse (3)

Tina York (1983 - 8 September 1998) (his death)
Iphigenie Castiglioni (1943 - 30 July 1963) (her death)
Josephine Zossia Tankus (30 March 1930 - 1939) (her death)

Trivia (9)

He was widowed twice before his marriage to Tina.
He emigrated from Russia after the Communist Revolution of 1917, then worked in Europe, then came to Hollywood, and became a character actor, and eventually became a U.S. citizen.
He starred in "The Spot Lite Club" in 1948. The first situation comedy on TV (KTLA)
Along with Bing Crosby, introduced the song "I'm an Old Cowhand (from the Rio Grande)" in the film Rhythm on the Range (1936).
Leonid Kinskey was supposed to be one of the "heroes" of Hogan's Heroes (1965). He is in the pilot episode only "The Informer." He decided not to be in the series because he didn't believe that one could have a comedy take place in a German P.O.W. camp.
Kinskey married Iphigenie Castiglioni four times. 'It started in Mexico City, ' he said, 'and then over 20 years of our happy marriage we celebrated every five years by taking a new marriage licence in a different country.'
During the Second World War, as part of cultural exchange program, Kinskey was choosing Hollywood movies for showing in the USSR.
When his acting career tailed off, Kinskey wrote and directed industrial films for major corporations.
At the time of his death, in 1998, he was the last surviving major cast member of Casablanca (1942).

Personal Quotes (1)

On why he turned down a regular part on Hogan's Heroes (1965): "The premise to me was both false and offensive. The Nazis were seldom dumb and never funny."

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page