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            Theodore von Eltz

            Biografie

            Born in New Haven, Connecticut on November 5, 1893, silent screen lead Theodore Von Eltz was the son of a Yale professor and educated at Hill School at Pottstown Pennsylvania. Originally prepped to become a doctor, he decided instead to pursue acting. At age 19 he made his New York debut and soon was hitting the Broadway boards with performances in "Children of Earth" (1915), "Rio Grande" (1916) and "The Old Lady Shows Her Medals (1917). Von Eltz evolved into a dark and dashingly handsome silent film actor. Well-dressed with a trimmed mustache, he romanced a number of the silent screen's most lovely stars in both comedy and drama, including Bebe Daniels in The Speed Girl (1921) and Viola Dana in Fourteenth Lover (1922), before moving into a pattern of disreputable second leads and support roles with Tiger Rose (1923), The Sporting Chance (1925), The Red Kimona (1925), The Sea Wolf (1926). He received lesser billing to a couple of animal heroes in White Fang (1925) and No Man's Law (1927).

            By the advent of sound Von Eltz was firmly entrenched in character parts and was often relied upon to drum up sinister support such as his deceptive culprit in The Arizona Kid (1930); his gangster in Red Haired Alibi (1932); the Shirley Temple vehicle Bright Eyes (1934), in which he played Jane Withers' annoyingly vexatious father; his henchman in The Sun Never Sets (1939); and, more notably, his minor role as the blackmailing pornographer whose actions ignite the classic film noir Somnul de Veci (1946). On the other hand, he could also play benevolent doctors, lawyers and servants and did so in a film career that nearly hit the 200 mark. By the late 1930's his billing had slipped considerably to the point he was frequently uncredited. A well-oiled player on radio, he voiced the part of Papa Barbour on the popular program "One Man's Family" from 1948-1949, but was later replaced. He also played on 50s TV.

            Von Eltz was married twice. First wife Peggy Prior was a screenwriter for Pathe Studios. They had two children, Teddy and Lori, the latter becoming the soap actress Lori March. Following their divorce and a bitter custody feud (which he lost), he married Elizabeth Lorimar in 1932. They remained together until his death. He passed away at the Motion Picture Country Home after an extended illness and was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles.

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