Egon Brecher

Egon Brecher (18 February 1880 – 12 August 1946) was an Austria-Hungary-born actor and director, who also served as the chief director of Vienna's Stadttheater, before entering the motion picture industry.

Egon Brecher
Egon Brecher
Born(1880-02-18)18 February 1880
Died12 October 1946(1946-10-12) (aged 66)
Resting placeHollywood Forever Cemetery
Years active1903–1946

Early years

The son of a professor, Brecher began studying philosophy in 1900 at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. He did not finish his studies, deciding instead to become an actor.


He appeared on several provincial stages in Germany and Austria until 1910, and then played in Vienna on various occasions, directed by Josef Jarno until 1921.

In 1907, he founded an initiative (which lasted for one or two years) to play modern Yiddish theatre in German language with Siegfried Schmitz and members of the student club ‘Theodor Herzl’ like Hugo Zuckermann and Oskar Rosenfeld. In 1919 he was a co-founder, along with Isaak Deutsch, Jacob Mestel, and others, of the Freie Jüdische Volksbühne in Vienna, a Yiddish theatre, which existed until 1922.[1]

In 1921, he moved to New York to act on Broadway. In the latter half of the 1920s, he was stage director and leading man for the theatrical troupe headed by Eva Le Gallienne.[2] He moved to Hollywood in the late 1920s to appear in foreign-language versions of American films. In the mid-1930s he appeared in classic horror films The Black Cat, Werewolf of London, The Black Room, Mark of the Vampire and The Devil-Doll, and worked steadily in the espionage films of the 1930s and 1940s, his Slavic accent landing him roles both noble and villainous. One of his largest screen roles was in 1946's So Dark the Night.[3]


Brecher died on 12 August 1946, aged 66, of a heart attack in Hollywood, California. He was buried in Beth Olam Cemetery in Hollywood.[4]

Selected filmography


  • Brigitte Dalinger: Verloschene Sterne. Geschichte des jüdischen Theaters in Wien. (History of Jewish theatre in Vienna) Picus Verlag, Wien 1998, pp. 65, 198


  1. Dienstl, Theresa (2013). "Jüdisches Theater in Wien in den 1930er – Vermittlung der jüdischen Identität" [Jewish Theater in Vienna in the 1930s: Mediation of Jewish Identity. M.Phil. thesis (in German). University of Vienna. p. 63. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  2. Babcock, Muriel (July 9, 1931). "Road Attracts New Company". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. p. 29. Retrieved 6 January 2019 via
  3. Egon Brecher on IMDb
  4. Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 7. ISBN 9780786409839. Retrieved 6 January 2019.

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