Josef Swickard

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Josef Swickard
Josef Swickard - 1921 MPSD.jpg
Swickard in 1921
Born Peter Josef Schwickerath
(1866-06-26)June 26, 1866
Coblenz, Germany
Died February 29, 1940(1940-02-29) (aged 73)
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Other names Joe Swickard
Joseph Swickard
Spouse(s) Margaret Campbell

Josef Swickard (26 June 1866 – 29 February 1940) was a German-born veteran stage and screen character actor, who had toured with stock companies in Europe, South Africa, and South America.


Swickard emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1882. He was a stage actor several years before entering films with D.W. Griffith in 1912 and by 1914 was playing supporting roles for Mack Sennett. He appeared in Charles Chaplin's Laughing Gas and Caught in a Cabaret. He remained with Sennett until 1917, when he settled into his prolific career of playing mostly aristocratic characters. Modern audiences are perhaps most familiar with his role of Marcelo Desnoyers, the well-intentioned but impractical French upper class father in Rex Ingram's 1921 film The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. His career in sound films was somewhat limited and he played in low-budget and action serial type films. He played the villainous Prime Minister Kruel in the 1925 film version of The Wizard of Oz.

Family & Death[edit]

Swickard was the brother of actor Charles Swickard, and the former husband of Broadway actress Margaret Campbell, who on June 27, 1939 was brutally murdered by her adult son from a previous marriage, Campbell McDonald. Nearly seven months to-the-day after his ex-wife's murder, Swickard died on February 29, 1940. He was 73.

Despite rumors that Swickard committed suicide by jumping from the Hollywood sign, his death was from natural causes.[1]

Swickard was buried under a simple headstone at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Other notes
1913 Cupid in a Dental Parlor
1914 Twenty Minutes of Love Victim
Caught in a Cabaret Father
A Rowboat Romance
Laughing Gas Patient
The Property Man Old Stagehand Uncredited
The Face on the Bar Room Floor Drinker Uncredited
Lover's Luck The Girl's Father
Hello, Mabel
Tillie's Punctured Romance Cinema spectator Uncredited
Fatty and Minnie He-Haw Minta's father
1915 Mabel and Fatty's Simple Life Mabel's father
Mabel, Fatty and the Law
Mabel and Fatty's Married Life Uncredited
Hogan's Romance Upset
Love, Loot and Crash Mary's Father, a Banker
1916 A Social Cub
Haystacks and Steeples
1918 When a Woman Sins Mortimer West
The Light of Western Stars Padre Marcos
1920 The Beggar Prince Grand Vizier
1921 The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Marcelo Desnoyers
No Woman Knows The Great Schabelitz
Cheated Hearts Colonel Fairfax Gordon
1922 Across the Dead-Line Abel
The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe
Pawned Paul Veniza
My American Wife Don Fernando DeContas
1923 The Age of Desire Marcio
Maytime Colonel Van Zandt
1924 The Shadow of the Desert John Locke
Poisoned Paradise: The Forbidden Story of Monte Carlo Professor Durand
A Boy of Flanders Jan Van Dullan
Men Cleo's Father
1925 Wizard of Oz Prime Minister Kruel
1926 Stop, Look and Listen Old Actor
Desert Gold Sebastian Castaneda
1927 The Golden Stallion John Forsythe
Old San Francisco Don Hernandez de Vasquez
1928 Sharp Shooters Grandpère
Eagle of the Night
The Toy Shop
1929 The Phantom of the North Colonel Rayburn
Street Corner short film
1933 The Perils of Pauline Haggins, Foreign Consul Chapter 9
1934 Cross Streets Dean Todd
1935 The Lost City Dr. Manyus
1938 The Secret of Treasure Island Passenger Ship Doctor Uncredited, chapter 1
1939 Dick Tracy's G-Men Presidente Huenemo Mendoza Chapter 3

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wollstein, Hans J. "Josef Swickard: Biography". Retrieved 2008-07-16. 

External links[edit]