Frank Reicher

Frank Reicher (December 2, 1875 – January 19, 1965) was a German-born American actor, director and producer. He is best known for playing Captain Englehorn in the 1933 film King Kong.

Frank Reicher
Reicher as Ferrand in John Galsworthy's
The Pigeon, debut production at the
Little Theatre (1912)
Born(1875-12-02)December 2, 1875
DiedJanuary 19, 1965(1965-01-19) (aged 89)
Resting placeInglewood Park Cemetery
OccupationActor, director, producer
Years active1899–1951
Spouse(s)Ella Reicher (m. circa 1899-1948; her death)

Early life

Born as Franz Reicher in Munich, Germany, the son of actor Emanuel Reicher [1] and Hedwig Kindermann,[2] a popular German prima donna who was a daughter of the famous baritone August Kindermann. Reicher's parents divorced in 1881 and his mother died two years later while at Trieste.[3][4] His half-sister, Hedwiga Reicher, would also become a Hollywood actor. His half-brother Ernst Reicher was popular as gentleman detective Stuart Webbs in the early German cinema of the 1910s. Frank Reicher immigrated to the States in 1899 and became a naturalized American citizen some twelve years later.[1]


Reicher made his Broadway debut the year he came to America playing Lord Tarquin in Harrison Fiske's production of Becky Sharp, a comedy by Langdon Mitchell based on William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair.[5] His early career was spent in legitimate theater on and off Broadway. He was head of the Brooklyn Stock Company when Jacob P. Adler performed The Merchant of Venice in Yiddish while the rest of the cast remained in English. Reicher was for a number of years affiliated with the Little Theatre on West Forty-Fourth Street as an actor and manager and would remain active on Broadway as actor, director or producer well into the 1920s. On stage, Reicher starred in such plays as the first Broadway production of Georg Kaiser's From Morning to Midnight (as the cashier), and the original production of Percy MacKaye's The Scarecrow (in the title role).[6][7]

Frank Reicher is probably more familiar to modern audiences as a supporting character actor in films. He began his cinema career with an uncredited role in the 1915 film The Case for Becky and would go on to work in over two hundred motion pictures. He is probably best remembered for playing the character of Captain Englehorn in King Kong and The Son of Kong, and for his work in such films as The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) and Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950). His last Hollywood role was in the very first theatrical Superman movie, Superman and the Mole Men, in 1951.[6][8]


Frank Reicher married his wife Ella sometime around 1899 prior to his coming to America. Ella Reicher, a native of Oldenburg, joined him there the following year. The couple remained together until her death in 1948.[9][10][11][12]


Frank Reicher died at a hospital in Inglewood, California, aged 89. He was survived by his sister and a brother.[6] His interment was at Inglewood Park Cemetery.





  1. US Passport Application August 4, 1922
  2. Who Was Who in the Theatre, 1912-1976: 1936
  3. L'art moderne 1904
  4. The Jewish Encyclopedia: Volume 10 edited by Isidore Singer, Cyrus Alder (1905)
  5. Famous actresses of the day in America By Lewis Clinton Strang 1902, pg. 120
  6. The New York Times January 23, 1965
  7. Frank Reicher
  8. Frank Reicher
  9. California Death Index
  10. 1920 US Census Records
  11. The Los Angeles Times April 4, 1948
  12. US Passport Application (Ella Reicher) August 4, 1922
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