Walter Slezak

Highest Rated: 92% Lifeboat (1944)
Lowest Rated: 67% Bedtime for Bonzo (1951)
Birthday: May 3, 1902
Birthplace: Not Available
The son of legendary opera star Leo Slezak, Walter Slezak was a medical student before settling into the comfortable position of bank clerk. Slezak was coerced by his friend, actor/director Michael Curtiz, to accept an acting role in Curtiz's 1922 spectacular Sodom and Gomorrah -- and with this film, Slezak's career in the world of finance came to an end. Those familiar with Walter Slezak only as the corpulent supporting player in such films as Sinbad the Sailor (1947), People Will Talk (1951), and Emil and the Detectives (1964) will be surprised upon viewing Slezak's appearances as a slim, romantic leading man in his German silent films. Unable to keep his weight under control, Slezak decided around 1930 to become a character actor. He made his Broadway debut in the 1930 production Meet My Sister. After 12 years of stage work, Slezak was cast in his first American film, 1942's Once Upon a Honeymoon, playing the fifth-columnist husband of social-climbing Ginger Rogers. Equally adept at comedy and villainy, Slezak was able to combine these two extremes in such films as The Princess and the Pirate (1944) and The Inspector General (1949). Occasionally returning to the stage in the 1950s, Slezak won a Tony award for his portrayal of Cesar in the 1955 musical Fanny, and in 1957 followed in his father's footsteps by singing at the Metropolitan Opera. His TV assignments included the role of the Clock King on Batman (1966-1967). Slezak's 1962 autobiography What Time Is the Next Swan? derived its title from the punch line of an apocryphal story involving his father. At the age of 80, despondent over his many illnesses, Slezak committed suicide in his Beverly Hills home. Walter Slezak was the father of actress Erika Slezak, best known for her continuing role on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
90% The Bridges of Madison County Actor 1995
No Score Yet Call Me Madam Actor 1986
No Score Yet Treasure Island Squire Trelawney 1972
No Score Yet Black Beauty Hackenschmidt 1971
No Score Yet Heidi Actor 1968
No Score Yet The Caper of the Golden Bulls Antonio Gonzalez 1967
No Score Yet Twenty-Four Hours to Kill Malouf 1966
No Score Yet A Very Special Favor Etienne 1965
No Score Yet Emil and the Detectives Baron 1964
No Score Yet Wonderful Life (Swingers' Paradise) Lloyd Davis 1964
No Score Yet The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm Stossel 1962
80% Come September Maurice Clavell 1961
No Score Yet The Miracle Flaco 1959
No Score Yet Ten Thousand Bedrooms Papa Vittorio Martelli 1957
No Score Yet White Witch Doctor Huysman 1953
80% Call Me Madam Tantinnin 1953
67% Bedtime for Bonzo Prof. Hans Neumann 1951
No Score Yet People Will Talk Professor Barker 1951
No Score Yet Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion Sgt. Axmann 1950
No Score Yet The Yellow Cab Man Dr. Byron Dokstedder 1950
89% The Inspector General Yakov 1949
71% The Pirate Don Pedro Vargas 1948
No Score Yet Riffraff Eric Molinar 1947
80% Sinbad the Sailor Melik 1947
80% Born to Kill Matthew Albert Arnett 1947
No Score Yet Cornered Melchior Incza 1945
No Score Yet The Spanish Main Don Juan Alvarado 1945
No Score Yet Salome, Where She Danced Col. Ivan Dimitrioff 1945
No Score Yet The Princess and the Pirate La Roche 1944
No Score Yet Step Lively Gribble 1944
92% Lifeboat Willy 1944
71% This Land Is Mine Major Von Keller 1943
No Score Yet The Fallen Sparrow Dr. Skaas 1943
No Score Yet Once Upon a Honeymoon Baron Von Luber 1942
90% Michael Mikaël 1924
No Score Yet Magic Legend of the Juggler Actor

TV

CREDIT
93% Batman
1966-1968
The Clock King
  • 1966
No Score Yet Rawhide
1959-1965
Fortuneteller
  • 1963

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