Gustav von Seyffertitz

Last updated

Gustav von Seyffertitz
Gustav Von Seyffertitz, silent film actor (SAYRE 10699).jpg
Seyffertitz in 1922
Gustav Carl Viktor Bodo Maria von Seyffertitz

(1862-08-04)4 August 1862
Died25 December 1943(1943-12-25) (aged 81)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Years activeca. 1880–1939
Spouse(s)Katharina Hoffmann (1886)
Toni Creutzburg (1894)
Eugenie von Mink
Nelly Thorne [1]
ChildrenWilhelm (1882)
Joan Goodridge

Gustav von Seyffertitz (4 August 1862 – 25 December 1943) was a German film actor and director. He settled in the United States. He was born in Haimhausen, Bavaria and died in Los Angeles, California, aged 81.



Gustav von Seyffertitz was born into an aristocratic family as the son of Guido Freiherr von Seyffertitz and his wife Anna Gräfin von Butler Clonebough zu Haimhausen. His family expected him to start a military career, but was shocked when he said that he wanted to be an actor. He was a member of the Meiningen Court Theatre and also appeared in operas. He emigrated to the United States in 1896, after being asked by the Austrian-American theatre director Heinrich Conried. Despite his thick German accent, he was successful on Broadway where he worked as a stage actor and director during the 1900s and 1910s. He appeared as an actor in such lavish productions as The Brass Bottle in 1910. This play was turned into several films and was the idea for the television show I Dream of Jeannie in the 1960s. [2] He made his film debut in 1917, appearing with Douglas Fairbanks in Down to Earth .

Seyffertitz in Mystery Liner (1934) Gustav von Seyffertitz in Mystery Liner.jpg
Seyffertitz in Mystery Liner (1934)

In his films, the dignified-looking Seyffertitz often played the "very embodiment of the Hideous Hun - America's notion of the merciless, atrocity-happy German military officer". [3] One of his most successful film roles was Professor Moriarty in 1922's Sherlock Holmes with John Barrymore. He also played the antagonist to Mary Pickford in Sparrows (1926) and appeared as Ramon Novarro's uncle, the king of a small German state, in Ernst Lubitsch's The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (1927). He continued his career into the sound film and portrayed supporting roles in the Josef von Sternberg-Marlene Dietrich films Dishonored (1931) and Shanghai Express (1932). Among his later film roles was a parody on Sigmund Freud in Frank Capra's film classic Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936). He appeared in 118 films between 1917 and 1939.

Seyffertitz was married five times and had numerous children. [4]


As actor

As director

Related Research Articles

Jean Hersholt American actor

Jean Pierre Carl Buron, known professionally as Jean Hersholt, was a Danish-American actor. He is best known for starring on the radio series Dr. Christian (1937–1954) and in the film Heidi (1937). Asked how to pronounce his name, he told The Literary Digest, "In English, her'sholt; in Danish, hairs'hult." Of his total credits, 75 were silent films and 65 were sound films ; he directed four.

Victor Varconi Hungarian actor (1891-1976)

Victor Varconi was a Hungarian actor who initially found success in his native country, as well as in Germany and Austria, in silent films before relocating to the United States, where he continued to appear in films throughout the sound era. Varconi also appeared in British and Italian films.

Tully Marshall American actor

Tully Marshall was an American character actor. He had nearly a quarter century of theatrical experience before his debut film appearance in 1914.

Arthur Hoyt American actor

Arthur Hoyt was an American film character actor who appeared in more than 275 films in his 34-year film career, about a third of them silent films. He was a brother of Harry O. Hoyt.

Henry Victor was an English-born character actor who had his highest profile in the film silent era, he appeared in numerous film roles in his native Britain, before emigrating to the US in 1939 where he continued his career.

Lawrence Grant

Percy Reginald Lawrence-Grant was an English actor known for supporting roles in films such as The Living Ghost, I'll Tell the World, Shanghai Express, The Mask of Fu Manchu and Son of Frankenstein. He was host of the 4th Academy Awards ceremonies in 1931.

Montagu Love English actor

Harry Montagu Love was an English screen, stage and vaudeville actor.

Carl de Vogt German actor

Carl de Vogt was a German film actor who starred in four of Fritz Lang's early films. He attended the acting school in Cologne, Germany. Together with acting he was also active as a singer and recorded several discs. His greatest hit was "Der Fremdenlegionär". An extremely successful actor in his early career, he died in relative obscurity in 1970.

Lucien Littlefield American actor

Lucien Littlefield was an American actor who achieved a long career from silent films to the television era. He was noted for his versatility, playing a wide range of roles and already portraying old men before he was of voting age.

J. Farrell MacDonald American actor and director

John Farrell MacDonald was an American character actor and director. He played supporting roles and occasional leads. He appeared in over 325 films over a 41-year career from 1911 to 1951, and directed forty-four silent films from 1912 to 1917.

Theodor Loos German actor

Theodor August Konrad Loos was a German actor.

Theodore von Eltz American actor

Theodore von Eltz was an American film actor. He appeared in more than 200 films between 1915 and 1957. He was the father of actress Lori March.

Nigel De Brulier English actor

Nigel De Brulier was an English film actor.

Richard Tucker (actor) American actor

Richard Tucker was an American actor. Tucker was born in Brooklyn, New York. Appearing in 266 films between 1911 and 1940, he was the first official member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and a founding member of SAG's Board of Directors. Tucker died in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles from a heart attack. He is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, in an unmarked niche in Great Mausoleum, Columbarium of Faith.

John St. Polis American actor

John M. St. Polis was an American actor.

Wyndham Standing English actor

Charles Wyndham Standing was an English film actor.

Walter McGrail American actor

Walter B. McGrail was an American film actor. He appeared in more than 150 films between 1916 and 1951. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and died in San Francisco, California, at the age of 81.

Crauford Kent English actor

Crauford Kent was an English-born character film actor, in the United States. He has also been credited as Craufurd Kent and Crawford Kent.

Reinhold Schünzel German actor and director (1888–1954)

Reinhold Schünzel was a German actor and director, active in both Germany and the United States. The son of a German father and a Jewish mother, he was born in St. Pauli, the poorest part of Hamburg. Despite being Jewish, Schünzel was allowed by the Nazis to continue making films for several years until he eventually left to live abroad.

Bruno Ziener German actor

Bruno Ziener was a German stage and film actor and director. He appeared in over 100 films between 1913 and 1941. He also directed 28 silent films such as The Flight into Death (1921).


  1. "Gustav von Seyffertitz, The true Hollywood Artistocrat". Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  2. "Gustav von Seyffertitz at Internet Broadway Database". IBDb. 27 April 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  3. "Gustav von Seyffertitz, Rotten Tomatoes" . Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  4. "Gustav von Seyffertitz, The true Hollywood Artistocrat". Retrieved 15 June 2019.