Eric van Viele

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Eric van Viele was a German theatre actor, who later worked almost exclusively in film. Although he was a leading theatrical actor, van Viele never secured major motion picture roles.

Van Viele was perhaps better known in death than in life. While director Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau was receiving critical acclaim for his award-winning 1927 film Sunrise, van Viele made numerous defamatory statements regarding the director, including calling the director a "stupid know-nothing silly". The two had met whilst filming Murnau's Nosferatu in which van Viele had a small role. During the filming, Murnau and van Viele had argued almost constantly, with rumours abounding amongst the cast of violence ensuing between the pair behind closed doors. After van Viele's comments to the media, allegations were made by Murnau to the police, and van Viele was arrested.

Three days later he was executed with charges relating to the earlier violence, and continued stalking, neither of which were ever substantiated.

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