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Szöke Szakall




Jenö  Geré  was  born  1884  in  Budapest, Hungary



He wrote his first Sketches while still a schoolboy and published them under the pen name Szöke Szakall (blond beard in Hungarian).

During WWI, he served on the front lines in the East.

Then, upon his return after the war, launched his acting and comedy career.

Success came quickly and he gained fame in Hungary, as well as abroad in Vienna and then Berlin where he was successful not only  as a writer but also as a comedian.

Paul Davidson introduced him into the film industry, where he was first hired as a writer for Reinhold Schünzel's movies, but soon began his own movie acting career.

Szöke Szakall's classic silent films include: Der Himmel auf Erden (1927), Mary Lou (1928), Rutschbahn (1928) and Wer wird denn weinen, wenn man auseinandergeht (1929).

Film's transition into sound allowed him to truly show his acting talent. Some of his most successful films include: Zwei Herzen im 3/4 Takt (1930), Kopfüber ins Glück (1930), Ich heirate meinen Mann (1931), Der Zinker (1931), Gräfin Mariza (1932), Eine Frau wie Du (1933) and Fräulein Lilli (1936).

Joe Pasternak brought Szöke Szakall to Hollywood for his movie "It's a Gift". By this time, life in Europe had become uncomfortable for Jews and so he seized the opportunity to gain a foothold in the US, working under the name S. Z. Sakall, initially for Universal... and then for  Warner Bros after 1941.

Szakall's well-known movies from the 1940's and 1950's include: "The Devil and Miss Jones (1941), Ball of Fire (1941), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Casablanca (1942), Never Say Goodbye (1946), Cynthia (1947) and It's a Great Feeling  (1949), Montana (1950), Sugarfoot (1951), It's a Big Country (1951) and Small Town Girl (1953).





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                                 Last modified: January 5th 2012