Anton Diffring

Active - 1950 - 1988  |   Born - Oct 20, 1916   |   Died - May 19, 1989   |   Genres - Drama, War, Mystery, Thriller, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

It was a strange twist of fate that many male German actors who fled their native country to escape Hitler, were subsequently cast in "Nazi" roles in British and American films. Such an actor was Anton Diffring, who emigrated to Canada in 1939, where he revitalized his stage career. After theatrical work in America, Diffring settled in Germany, where his film assignments were usually limited to cold-hearted German military officers--or, at the very least, untrustworthy gentlemen of vaguely European extraction. His films include I Am a Camera (the 1953 prototype for Cabaret), The Sea Shall Not Have Them (1955), Fahrenheit 451 (1966), Where Eagles Dare (1969) and Victory (1981). As late as his final film, 1988's Les Predateurs De La Nuit, Diffring was portraying unregenerated advocates of the Third Reich. On television, Anton Diffring played Dr. Frankenstein in a 1958 Hammer Studios pilot film based on the Mary Shelley novel, and was seen as "The Inspector" on the European-lensed Robert Conrad weekly series Assignment Vienna (1972-73).

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