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Harry Baur
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Actor
    (April 12, 1880-April 8, 1943)
    Born in Montrouge, Hauts-de-Seine, France
    Birth name is Henri-Marie Baur
    French-language stage/film star
    Appeared in close to 80 films between 1909 and 1942
    Partial filmography includes 'Beethoven's Great Love,' 'Taras Bulba,' 'The Red-Head,' 'Dance Program,' 'Volpone,' 'Rasputin,' 'Samson,' 'Golgotha,' 'Three Musketeers,' 'Gold of Chignon,' 'Sarati the Terrible,' 'The Patriot,' 'President Haudecoeur,' and 'Who Killed Santa Claus?'
    Best known for his acclaimed portrayal of Jean Valjean Raymond Bernard's film adaptation of 'Les Miserables' (1934)
    Arrested while filming a movie in Berlin, by the Gestapo, along with his wife, in 1942
    Was released from prison, in April 1943, but was mysteriously found dead soon after
    He was mainly at home in the 'period' costume drama genre.
    His sizable and impressive body of work is largely ignored by contemporary audiences, outside of France.
    His only credit outside his home country was an English-language counterpart to his film, 'Moscow Nights,' re-titled 'I Stand Condemned' with Laurence Olivier.
    He was arrested in Germany after it was revealed that he had forged papers for his entry visa, in order to obtain work in a big-budget German movie.
    Ginette Vincendeau described him as 'a corpulent man with a resonant voice, his stagey performance style ranged from the hammy to the soberly moving.'
    His father died shortly after a break-in left the family penniless.
    He was made a ward of the church, but eventually ran away to find work in Marseilles.
    He was originally wanted to be a sailor, but somehow found his way onto the stage, studying drama after being turned down by the Paris Conservatory.
    He had a stable career in silent films, but attained stardom in 'talkies,' where his melodious, regal delivery endeared him to the public.
    His career trajectory was stunted by the Nazi invasion and the creation of Vichy France (his second wife was Jewish, leading to questions of his own 'racial purity').
    He was brutally tortured by the Gestapo after being arrested in Berlin, who suspected him of working for the Resistance.
    His death was credited with whipping up anti-Nazi sentiment in France, and his funeral saw an outpouring of public emotion.
    He managed to elevate his characters to a pathos comparable to the presence of Germany's own Emil Jannings.
    His gritty and realistic portrayals of Rasputin and Jean Valjean have been called the definitive versions; head-and-shoulders above their American counterparts from the same period (Lionel Barrymore and Fredric March respectively).
    The 'MoviesOverMatter' Blog named him andRuan Lingyu as the rightful 'Best Actors of 1934,' as well as citing him as one of the great film actors of the 20th-century (if not the greatest).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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