German leading man Willy Fritsch gave up an engineering career to study with Austrian theatrical entrepreneur Max Reinhardt. At 21, Fritsch made his movie bow in the oft-filmed Razzia. As popular as he was in silent films, Fritsch doubled his popularity once talking pictures were able to reproduce his splendid singing voice. The star of many an escapist operetta of the 1930s and 1940s, Fritsch was at his best opposite the lovely Lillian Harvey in such frothy filmed concoctions as Three From the Filling Station (1930) and Congress Dances (1931). He managed to survive the Hitler era without any loss of prestige, and continued to appear on stage and in films until the early 1960s; his final film was 1964's Verleibt in Heidelberg. Willy Fritsch was the father of actor Thomas Fritsch.
by Hal Erickson biography