Peter Van Eyck. TCM Overview.
Peter Van Eyck was born in Germany in 1911. In 1931 he left Germany and came eventually to New York where he worked for Orson Welles’s Mercury Theater. He was in Hollywood by 1943 where he made such films as “The Moon is Down”, “Five Graves to Cairo” and “Action in the North Atlantic”. Among his later films was “The Snorkel” with Betta St John and Many Miller in 1959. He died in Switzerland in 1969.
Peter van Eyck, born Götz von Eick (16 July 1911, Steinwehr, Pomerania, Germany (now Kamienny Jaz, Poland) – 15 July 1969, Männedorf bei Zürich, Switzerland), was a German-American actor. After graduating from high school he studied music. In 1931 he left Germany, living in Paris, London, Tunis, Algiers and Cuba, before settling in New York. He earned a living playing the piano in a bar, and wrote and composed for revues and cabarets. He then worked for Irving Berlin as a stage manager and production assistant, and for Orson Welles Mercury Theatre company as an assistant director. Van Eyck went to Hollywood where he found radio work with the help of Billy Wilder, who later gave him small film roles. In 1943 he took US citizenship and was drafted into the army.
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He gained international recognition with a lead role in the 1953 film The Wages of Fear. He went to appear in episodes of several US TV series including The Adventures of Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In English-language films he was most often typecast as a Nazi or other unsympathetic German type, while in Germany he was a popular leading man in a wider range of films, including several appearances in the Dr. Mabuse thriller series of the 1960s. Van Eyck was married to the American actress Ruth Ford in the 1940s. With his second wife, Inge von Voris, he had two daughters, Kristina, also an actor, and Claudia.