Jean Hersholt

Jean Hersholt

Highest Rated: 100% Heidi (1937)

Lowest Rated: 80% Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)

Birthday: Jul 12, 1886

Birthplace: Not Available

Danish actor Jean Hersholt was already a stage and movie veteran when he arrived in the USA in 1913. An apprenticeship as an extra and bit player led to a long and lucrative silent film career in the '20s, during which time Hersholt was firmly entrenched as the slimiest and most monstrous of movie villains. Towards the end of the silent era, Hersholt began playing nicer characters, still taking on the occasional bad guy or "surprise" killer in murder mysteries. Hersholt's screen image was altered permanently in 1936, when he was cast as Dr. Dafoe, the Canadian obstetrician who delivered the celebrated Dionne Quintuplets, in 20th Century-Fox's The Country Doctor. Plans to create a Dr. Dafoe movie series were blocked by the real Dafoe, but Jean Hersholt was anxious to sustain the characterization of a beneficent, lovable small-town medico; thus Dr. Christian -- named for Hersholt's favorite author, Hans Christian Andersen -- was born. The actor created the role of Dr. Christian on radio in 1937, then commenced a series of six low-budget Christian features for RKO Radio in 1939. Extending the ethics and generosity of Dr. Christian into his private life, Hersholt set up the Motion Picture Relief Fund, which provided medical care and a livable income for actors, directors, and other studio employees who were no longer able to care for themselves. While serving as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Hersholt was lauded with three Academy Awards for his own charity work, and in 1948, he was knighted by King Christian X of Denmark. In 1956, a TV series based on Dr. Christian was produced by ZIV Studios; appearing on the first episode to bestow his practice upon the new Dr. Christian (MacDonald Carey) was Jean Hersholt, who had valiantly agreed to help launch the series even though he was dying of cancer and had wasted away to only 95 pounds. After the actor's death, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award was set up to honor conspicuous acts of selflessness and kindness in the movie industry.


Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Private Lives Actor 2005
No Score Yet Run for Cover (Colorado) Mr. Swenson 1955
No Score Yet Dancing in the Dark Himself 1949
No Score Yet Stage Door Canteen Stage Door Canteen Star 1943
No Score Yet They Meet Again Dr. Paul Christian 1941
No Score Yet Melody for Three Dr. Paul Christian 1941
No Score Yet Dr. Christian Meets the Women Dr. Paul Christian 1940
No Score Yet The Courageous Dr. Christian Dr. Paul Christian 1940
No Score Yet Remedy for Riches Dr. Paul Christian 1940
No Score Yet Meet Dr. Christian Dr. Paul Christian 1939
No Score Yet Mr. Moto in Danger Island Sutter 1939
80% Alexander's Ragtime Band Prof. Heinrich 1938
No Score Yet Happy Landing Herr Ericksen 1938
100% Heidi Adolph Kramer 1937
No Score Yet Seventh Heaven Fr. Chevillon 1937
No Score Yet His Brother's Wife Professor 'Pop' Fahrenheim 1936
No Score Yet The Country Doctor Dr. John Luke 1936
No Score Yet Sins of Man Christopher Freyman 1936
No Score Yet Reunion Dr. John Luke 1936
No Score Yet One in a Million Heinrich Muller 1936
No Score Yet Break of Hearts Professor Thalma 1935
80% Mark of the Vampire Baron Otto von Zinden 1935
No Score Yet Murder in the Fleet Victor Hanson 1935
No Score Yet The Painted Veil Prof. Koerber 1934
No Score Yet Men in White Dr. Hochberg 1934
No Score Yet The Cat and the Fiddle Professor Bertier 1934
95% Dinner at Eight Joe Stengel 1933
No Score Yet Hearts of Humanity Actor 1933
No Score Yet Christopher Bean Rosen 1933
No Score Yet Flesh Mr. Herman 1932
No Score Yet Skyscraper Souls Jake 1932
No Score Yet Unashamed Mr. Heinrich Schmidt 1932
No Score Yet Night Court Janitor 1932
No Score Yet New Morals for Old Hallett 1932
No Score Yet Are You Listening? George Wagner 1932
No Score Yet The Beast of the City Samuel "Sam" Belmonte 1932
No Score Yet Emma Frederick Smith 1932
88% The Mask of Fu Manchu Prof. Von Berg 1932
88% Grand Hotel Senf 1932
No Score Yet The Sin of Madelon Claudet Dr. Dulac 1931
No Score Yet Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise Karl Ohlin 1931
No Score Yet The Phantom of Paris Herman 1931
No Score Yet Transatlantic Rudolph Kramer 1931
No Score Yet Daybreak Herr Schnabel 1931
80% Private Lives Oscar 1931
No Score Yet The Cat Creeps Dr. Patterson 1930
No Score Yet A Soldier's Plaything Grandfather Rittner 1930
No Score Yet Hell Harbor Joseph Horngold 1930
No Score Yet Mamba Actor 1930
No Score Yet The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg(Old Heidelberg)(The Student Prince) Dr. Juttner 1928
No Score Yet The Battle of the Sexes J.C. Judson 1928
No Score Yet Stella Dallas Ed Munn 1925
No Score Yet Don Q Son of Zorro Don Fabrique 1925
100% Greed Marcus Schouler 1925
No Score Yet Her Night of Romance Joe Diamond 1924
No Score Yet So Big Aug Hempel 1924
No Score Yet Jazzmania Actor 1923
No Score Yet Tess of the Storm Country Ben Letts 1922
No Score Yet Heart's Haven Director Henry Baird 1922
80% The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Prof. von Hartrott 1921
No Score Yet Love's Prisoner Party Guest 1919
No Score Yet '49-'17 Gentleman Jim Rayner 1917
No Score Yet Hell's Hinges Extra 1916
No Score Yet The Disciple Extra 1915


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