Pittschau, whose father's name was also named Ernst Pittschau, a stage actor, received an education in business and had a brief career selling dental products. However, he then chose his father's profession and had his first theatrical engagement at the end of 1905 in Koblenz.
In 1910, he appeared in New York City, and in 1911, he was a stage actor in Berlin. A year later, he took roles in the still undervalued cinema. Pittschau personified elegant lovers and was a partner of Hanni Weiße and Henny Porten, among others.
In the 20s, his film roles became smaller; after that, he barely received work. He now mostly played at the Theater am Kurfürstendamm, at the Komödie and at the Tribüne. In the 1940s, he lived in poverty and had to rely on the support of the Goebbels-supported foundation for people who worked in the arts, "Künstlerdank."
After World War II, the Italian director Roberto Rossellini brought the almost forgotten actor in front of the camera again. In the survival drama Germany Year Zero (1948), he played the bedridden father.
His brother was the actor Werner Pittschau.
- Vengeance Is Mine (1916)
- The Picture of Dorian Gray (1917)
- The Story of Dida Ibsen (1918)
- The Lady in the Car (1919)
- The Woman in the Dolphin (1920)
- You Are the Life (1921)
- Cocain (1921)
- Lola Montez, the King's Dancer (1922)
- Lucrezia Borgia (1922)
- Die fünf Frankfurter (1922)
- Die Heimatlosen (1923)
- Reveille: The Great Awakening (1925)
- Nameless Heroes (1925)
- Watch on the Rhine (1926)
- The Beaver Coat (1928)
- A Waltz by Strauss (1931)
- Victoria and Her Hussar (1931)
- Johann Strauss (1931)
- Germany, Year Zero (1948)
- Bondanella, Peter E. The Films of Roberto Rossellini. Cambridge University Press, 1993.
- Gottlieb, Sidney. Roberto Rossellini's Rome Open City. Cambridge University Press, 2004.
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