Alexander Granach

Alexander Granach (April 18, 1893 – March 14, 1945) was a popular German actor in the 1920s and 1930s. Granach was born Jessaja Granach in Werbowitz (Wierzbowce/Werbiwci) (Horodenka district, Austrian Galicia then, now Verbivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, Ukraine) to Jewish parents and rose to theatrical prominence at the Volksbühne in Berlin. Granach entered films in 1922; among the most widely exhibited of his silent efforts was the vampire classic Nosferatu (1922), in which the actor was cast as Knock, the lunatic counterpart to Dracula's Renfield. He co-starred in such major early German talkies as Kameradschaft (1931). Granach, who was Jewish, fled to the Soviet Union when Hitler came to power. When the Soviet Union also proved too inhospitable, he settled in Hollywood, where he made his first American film appearance as Kopalski in Ernst Lubitsch's Ninotchka (1939). Granach proved indispensable to big-studio filmmakers during the war years, effectively portraying both dedicated Nazis (he was Julius Streicher in The Hitler Gang) and loyal anti-fascists. Perhaps his most notable role was as Gestapo Inspector Alois Gruber in Fritz Lang's Hangmen Also Die! (1943).


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