Edit
Max Schreck Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (14)

Overview (4)

Born in Berlin, Germany
Died in Munich, Bavaria, Germany  (heart attack)
Birth NameMaximilian Schreck
Height 6' 3" (1.91 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Max Schreck was born in Berlin. He worked in an apprenticeship until his father's death before enrolling into a school for acting. He toured the country with his peers and was a member of several theaters until he became a part of Max Reinhardt's group of innovative German actors. He played mostly out of the norm characters, the elderly and the grotesque, because of his talent and passion for make-up and costume fabrication. Although film was a challenge in which he excitedly and hopefully participated, he had small roles in films that are scarcely available, and his real career was in German theatre. He played hundreds of roles in his lifetime. He was married to Fanny Normann, a fellow performer whom he met a short time after his actor's education and shared many times with on stage. They had no children. He died on the morning of February 20th, 1936 from a heart attack.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jennifer T.

Max Schreck was a German actor, best known for his lead role as the vampire Count Orlok in the film Nosferatu (1922). He was married to actress Fanny Normann, who appeared in a few films, often credited as Fanny Schreck.

Schreck was born in Berlin-Friedenau, on 6 September 1879. His father did not approve of Schreck's ever-growing enthusiasm for theater. Schreck's mother provided the boy with money, which he secretly used for acting lessons, although only after the death of his father did he attend drama school. After graduating, he travelled briefly across the country with poet and dramatist Demetrius Schrutz.

For three years between 1919 and 1922, Schreck appeared at the Munich Kammerspiele, including a role in the expressionist production of Bertolt Brecht's début, Trommeln in der Nacht (Drums in the Night) (in which he played the "freakshow landlord" Glubb). During this time he also worked on his first film The Mayor of Zalamea, adapted from a six-act play, for Decla Bioscop. In 1921, he was hired by Prana Film for its first and only production, Nosferatu. The company declared itself bankrupt after the film was released to avoid paying copyright infringement costs to Dracula author Bram Stoker's widow, Florence Stoker. Schreck portrayed Count Orlok, a character analogous to Count Dracula.

Schreck's second collaboration with Nosferatu director F. W. Murnau was the 1924 comedy Die Finanzen des Grossherzogs.

In 1926, Schreck returned to the Kammerspiele in Munich and continued to act in films surviving the advent of sound until his death in 1936 of heart failure. He was buried on 14 March 1936 at Wilmersdorfer Waldfriedhof Stahnsdorf in Brandenburg.

His anthological interpretation and perfect characterization as Earl Orlok, role in which he condenses evil and repugnance, many thought that Max Schreck was in fact a vampire who had been hired by F.W. Murnau to give greater veracity to the character and thus produce a timeless masterpiece.

This legend served as inspiration for the film Shadow of the Vampire, for which Willem Dafoe was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Schreck.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Pedro Borges

Spouse (1)

Fanny Schreck (1910 - 20 February 1936) (his death)

Trivia (14)

In the film Batman Returns (1992), Christopher Walken played a villain named Max Shreck.
"Schreck" is German for "terror".
Uncle of Gisela Uhlen, granduncle of her daughters Barbara Bertram and Susanne Uhlen and great-granduncle of Florian and Christopher Steinberger and/or Uhlen.
An oft-told legend is that Schreck's otherworldly performance as Nosferatu was due to the fact that he was in reality a vampire. Actor Willem Dafoe portrayed him as such, playing the vampire Count Orlok in Shadow of the Vampire (2000).
Only from the 20s the film business became a fix part of his career.
Max Schreck was married with the actress Fanny Ott since 1910. He met her already shortly after his acting education. She called her according to her marriage Fanny Schreck and appeared in some movies as well.
In the middle of his creative period Max Schreck died at the age of 56 in 1936.
Because of his special feature he was already engaged for unusual characters during his time at the theater. He often impersonated older figures than he was. He punctuated this with his skill for makeup in order to realise the maximum effect.
Before he launched his acting career he attended an apprenticeship. But after the early death of his father he turned to the acting and he completed an education at the Staatstheater in Berlin. Soon he went on tour with like minded actors before he was engaged by the theater icon Max Reinhardt.
In "Nosferatu" (1922) directed by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau he impersonated the terrifying Count Orlak, a vampire who ambuscades his victims. Because of legal disputes with the descendants of Bram Stoker the director Murnau did not use the name Dracula but changed it to count Orlok.
While he played numerous bigger parts at the theater his roles in the movies remained small at the beginning of his film career.
Nosferatu (1922), is regarded as a jewel of the German silent movie film and because of the intensely play of Max Schreck there occurred many rumors about him which last till today.
The actor Max Schreck belongs to the most fascinating German actors who became a cult figure home and abroad with one specific role.
The new arising sound film was no problem for Max Schreck and in the following years he impersonated numerous roles in popular productions like "Boykott" (1930) and "Peter Voss, der Millionendieb" (1932).

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page