Harry Baur

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Harry Baur (12 April 1880 as Henri-Marie Baur in Montrouge, Hauts-de-Seine – 8 April 1943 in Paris) was a French actor.

Initially a stage actor, he was described by film academic Ginette Vincendeau as "a corpulent man with a resonant voice, his stagey performance style ranged from the hammy ... to the soberly moving".[1] Baur appeared in about 80 films between 1909 and 1942. He gave an acclaimed performance as the composer Ludwig van Beethoven in the biopic Beethoven's Great Love (Un grand amour de Beethoven, 1936), directed by Abel Gance, and as Jean Valjean in Raymond Bernard's version of Les Misérables (1934). He also acted in Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset's silent film, Beethoven (1909), and in La voyante (1923), Sarah Bernhardt's last film.

Baur was arrested by the Gestapo in 1942. Baur had been previously cast in a German production, Symphonie eines Lebens, that was shot in Berlin, and that German officials, especially Joseph Goebbels, wanted to showcase as an embodiment of the collaboration between occupied France and Nazi Germany. When a false report mentioned that Baur was Jewish, the same officials felt duped, and the Gestapo tortured Baur for four months. He was then cleared of the accusation and released, but never recovered from his ordeal and died a few months later.

Academy Award-winning American actor Rod Steiger cited Baur as one of his favorite actors who had exerted a major influence on his craft and career.[2]

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ Ginette Vincendeau (ed) Encyclopedia of European Cinema, London: Cassell/BFI, 1995, p.34
  2. ^ Dennis, Charles. "Remembering Rod Steiger". Paid to Dream. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 

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