Martin Kosleck

Active - 1929 - 1980  |   Born - Mar 24, 1904   |   Died - Jan 16, 1994   |   Genres - Drama, Mystery, Spy Film, War, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Of Russian descent, actor Martin Kosleck established himself on the Berlin stage under the guidance of Max Reinhardt, fleeing Germany shortly before Hitler came to power. Virtually never anything other than a villain on screen, Kosleck proved an excellent low-priced substitute for Peter Lorre in roles calling for skulking menace (1946's Pursuit to Algiers), implicit sexual depravity (1941's The Mad Doctor, as Basil Rathbone's "good friend") and outright bug-eyed lunacy (1945's House of Horrors). The role with which Kosleck was most closely associated was Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, a part he played to chilling perfection in such films as Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939), The Hitler Gang (1944) and Hitler (1962). Martin Kosleck was careful to invest his interpretation of Goebbels with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, explaining "I wanted people to hate me as much as I hated the character I was playing."

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