Erich von Stroheim

portrait of Erich von Stroheim c. 1920, in the book “The First One Hundred Noted Men and Women of the Screen,” by Carolyn Lowrey, publisher Moffat, Yard & Company (New York)

Birth Name: Erich Oswald Stroheim

Date of Birth: 22 September, 1885

Place of Birth: Vienna, Austria-Hungarian Empire (now Austria)

Date of Death: 12 May, 1957

Place of Death: Maurepas, Seine-et-Oise, France

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Erich von Stroheim was an Austrian and American director, screenwriter, actor, and producer. He was known as a star and director of the silent film era. He directed the films Blind Husbands, The Devil’s Pass Key, Foolish Wives, Greed (1924), The Merry Widow, The Wedding March, The Honeymoon (1931), and Queen Kelly. He also starred in the first, third, sixth, and seventh films, wrote the first three, and the seventh; and co-wrote the fourth, fifth, and eighth. He co-directed and co-wrote the films Merry-Go-Round and Hello, Sister!. He also co-wrote the films Tempest (1928) and The Devil-Doll.

He was the son of Jenny Johanna (Bondy) and Benno Stroheim, a hatmaker. His father was born in Gliwice, Gliwice County, Silesian Voivodeship, Poland. His mother was born in Prague, Central Bohemian Region, Czechia. His parents were Jewish. Erich was born in Vienna, Austria, and moved to the U.S. in 1909. In the U.S., he sometimes claimed to be Count Erich Oswald Hans Carl Maria von Stroheim und Nordenwall, of the Austrian nobility.

He was married to Valerie Germonprez, until his death. Erich had a son, assistant director Erich von Stroheim, Jr., with his former wife Mae Jones; and a son, sound editor Josef von Stroheim, with Valerie.

Erich’s maternal grandfather was Sigmund Bondy (the son of Juda Simon Bondi/Bondy and Rebecca Austerlitz). Sigmund was born in Prague. Juda was the son of Simon Juda Bondi and Maria Wiener. Rebecca was the daughter of Noe Salomon Austerlitz and Rosa Jeiteles Bischitz.

Erich’s maternal grandmother was Ernestine Wahle (the daughter of Juda Abraham Wahle and Karolina/Caroline Bondy). Juda was the son of Abraham Moses Löw Wahle and Juditha Küche. Karolina was the daughter of Salomon Meschulam Abraham Bondy and Marie Lagus.

Source: Genealogy of Erich von Stroheim (focusing on his mother’s side) –


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