Gert Fröbe

Active - 1953 - 1974  |   Born - Dec 25, 1912   |   Died - Jan 1, 1988   |   Genres - Drama, Adventure, Crime, Thriller, Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The corpulent, ruddy-faced Gert Frobe familiar to filmgoers of the 1960s bore so little resemblance to the thin, gawky Gert Frobe of the late 1940s and early 1950s that one might think that the German-born Frobe was two different people. A violinist and stage designer in his 20s, Frobe turned to acting in the 1930s, interrupting his career for war service. His membership in the Nazi party caused him no end of difficulty after the war until it was confirmed that not only had Frobe not engaged in any anti-Semitic activities, but he had also hidden several Jews from the Gestapo. In the immediate postwar years, Frobe established himself as a milquetoastish comic actor in such German films as Berliner Ballad (1948) and Der Tag vor der Hochzeit (1952). He switched to movie villainy after gaining a great deal of weight in the mid-1950s. Gert Frobe's best-known role was the megalomanic title character in the 1965 James Bond film Goldfinger, in which his thick Teutonic accent was dubbed over by a British actor.