An imposing Austrian import-turned-matinée idol on the silent screen, Hollywood actor Joseph Schildkraut went on to conquer talking films as well -- with Oscar-winning results. Inclined towards smooth, cunning villainy, his Oscar came instead for his sympathetic portrayal of Captain Alfred Dreyfus in The Life of Emile Zola (1937). His most touching role on both stage and screen would come as the Jewish father-in-hiding, Otto Frank, in The Diary of Anne Frank (1959).
Born on March 22, 1895, in Vienna, Austria, Joseph was the son of famed European/Yiddish stage actor Rudolph Schildkraut and his wife, the former Erna Weinstein. Nicknamed "Pepi" as a boy, the affectionate tag remained with him throughout his life. The family moved to Hamburg, Germany, when Joseph was 4. Joseph studied the piano and violin and grew inspired with his father's profession. On stage (with his father) from age 6, the family again relocated to Berlin where his father built a strong association with famed theatri