Peter van Eyck
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|Peter van Eyck|
|Born||Götz von Eick
16 July 1911
Steinwehr, Pomerania, Germany
|Died||15 July 1969
Männedorf near Zürich, Switzerland
|Spouse(s)||Ruth Ford (1940-194?) (divorced) 1 child
Inge von Voris (?-1969) (his death) 2 children
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 films, including several appearances in the Doctor Mabuse thriller series of the 1960s.
Van Eyck was married to the American actress Ruth Ford for a short time in the 1940s. With his second wife, Inge von Voris, he had two daughters, Kristina, also an actor, and Claudia.
He died of sepsis in 1969 after he had left a relatively small injury untreated, aged 57.
- The Bridge at Remagen (1969) — Generaloberst von Brock
- Shalako (1968) — Baron Frederick Von Hallstatt
- Tevye and His Seven Daughters (1968) — Priest
- The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) — Hans-Dieter Mundt
- The Dirty Game (1965) — Petchatkin
- Scotland Yard vs. Dr. Mabuse (1963) — Major Bill Tern
- The Brain (1962) — Dr. Peter Corrie
- The Longest Day (1962) — Lieutenant-Colonel Ocker
- Foxhole in Cairo (1960) — Cont Almaszy
- The Rest Is Silence (1959)
- The Snorkel (1958)
- Retour de manivelle (1957) — Eric Fréminger
- Attack! (1956) — SS Captain
- Run for the Sun (1956) — Dr. Van Anders / Colonel Von Andre
- Mr. Arkadin (1955) — Thaddeus
- Night People (1954) — Capt. Sergei "Petey" Petrochine
- Flesh and the Woman (1954) — Fred
- Sailor of the King, also known as Single-Handed (1953) — Kapitan Ludvik von Falk
- The Wages of Fear (1953) — Bimba
- The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (1951) — German officer
- The Impostor (1944) — Hafner
- Address Unknown (1944) — Heinrich Schulz
- Action in the North Atlantic (1943) — German Ensign
- Five Graves to Cairo (1943) — Lieutenant Schwegler
- The Moon Is Down (1943) — Lieutenant Tonder