Oscar Potoker

Oscar Potoker (born Vinnytsia April 26, 1880, death 26 Jun 1935 - Los Angeles, age 55) was a musician and film composer.

Oscar Potoker
BornApril 26, 1880
Vinnytsia, Russia
Died26 Jun 1935
Los Angeles
Known formovie music

Early life

In Russia, Potoker composed chamber works based on Jewish folk music.[1] Potoker immigrated from Russia to Paris, France, where he lived, and then from Cherbourg to the US, March 5, 1924, aboard the Berengaria.

Movies and Teaching

Potoker composed movie scores from 1929–1935, among them Blonde Venus (1932) with Marlene Dietrich, The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu (1929), The Vagabond King (1930), Trailing the Killer (1932), and Hei Tiki (1935). He also trained piano students in theory and harmony.[2]

Automobile Accident

Potoker was riding in an automobile film composer Josiah Zuro was driving, October 18, 1930, when the car overturned on Torrey Pines Road, north of San Diego. Zuro, age 42, died in an ambulance on his way to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla. Potoker was hospitalized seriously injured but recovered. Zuro and Potoker had both lived in the same building, 8439 Sunset Blvd, Hacienda Arms Apartments, according to the 1930 US census.[3]


  1. Leo Zeitlin: Chamber Music. (Recent Researches in the Music of the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries). Paula Eisenstein Baker (Editor), Robert S. Nelson (Editor). A-R Editions (December 31, 2008) pp IX, XV, XVII, XX, XXI
  2. Rabinowitch on Academy Faculty. Los Angeles Times Dec 9, 1934 Start Page: A7
  3. JOSIAH ZURO KILLED WHEN AUTO UPSETS. New York Times (1923-Current file); Tue Oct 21, 1930
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