Biography

Polish actor Alexander Granach rose to theatrical prominence at the Volksbeinen in Berlin. Granach entered films in 1922; among the most widely exhibited of his silent efforts was Murnau's Nosferatu, in which the actor was cast as Knock, the lunatic counterpart to Dracula's Renfield. He was co-starred in such major early German talkies as Kameradschaft (1931), then fled to the Soviet Union when Hitler came to power. When Russia also proved too inhospitable, he settled in Hollywood, where he made his first American film appearance as Kopalski in Lubitsch's Ninotchka. Granach proved indispensable to big-studio filmmakers during the war years, effectively portraying both dedicated Nazis (he was Julius Streicher in The Hitler Gang) and loyal anti-fascists. His last film appearance was in MGM's The Seventh Cross (1944), in which virtually the entire supporting cast was comprised of prominent European refugees. Alexander Granach's autobiography, There Goes an Actor, was published in 1945, the year of his death. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi