Baur, Harry

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BAUR, HARRY (1883–1943), French actor. Born of poor Alsatian parents, Baur was compelled at the age of 12 to work on the Marseilles docks but managed to study at the Marseilles Conservatory of Music. He appeared briefly on the Paris stage but after the outbreak of World War i joined the army. Wounded, he returned to civilian life, continuing to act on the stage until movies became his chief interest. The French called Baur the "king of the character actors," and indeed, his heavy features and bushy brows lent themselves to a great range of parts including Beethoven in the Life and Loves of Beethoven. He also played in Rasputin and in The Golem. Baur was arrested in Berlin in 1942 on charges of forging a certificate of (Aryan) ancestry. Ironically, the Germans had to destroy a costly film because Baur had the main role. He was subsequently tortured for 4 months and died shortly after his release from prison.

[Louisa Cuomo]