Trained as a musician, Peter Van Eyck fled his native Germany when Hitler assumed power in 1933. Van Eyck secured work in the U.S. as a musical arranger for some of the top names in the business. Through the kindness of fellow German expatriate Billy Wilder, Van Eyck was able to get work as a radio actor, and in 1942 was cast in his first film, The Moon Is Down. While his name and Teutonic bearing typecast Van Eyck as a Nazi in most of his wartime films, he was equally effective in sympathetic roles. Closing out his Hollywood career in 1951, Peter Van Eyck spent his last two decades as a popular leading man in European films.