Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Remembering Peter Van Eyck

Götz von Eick  was born on July 16, 1913 in Steinwehr, Pmoerania, Germany. After graduating from high school he studied music. In 1931 he left Germany, living in Paris, London, Tunis, Algiers and Cuba, before settling in New York. He earned a living playing the piano in a bar, and wrote and composed for revues and cabarets. He then worked for Irving Berlin as a stage manager and production assistant, and for Orson Welles Mercury Theatre Company as an assistant director.
Van Eyck went to Hollywood where he worked as a truck driver. He initially found radio work with the help of Billy Wilder, who later gave him small film roles. In 1943 he took US citizenship and was drafted into the army as a commissioned officer. At the end of the war he returned to Germany as a control officer for film and remained there until 1948 as director of the film section. In 1949 he appeared in his first German film “Hallo, Fräulein!”.
He gained international recognition with a leading role in the 1953 film “Le Salaire de la peur” (The Wages of Fear) directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot. He went to appear in episodes of several U.S. TV series including The Adventures of Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In English-language films he was most often typecast as a Nazi or other unsympathetic type, while in Germany he was a popular leading man in a wider range of films, including several appearances in the Doctor Mabuse thriller series of the 1960s. He died of blood poisoning on July 15, 1969 in Männedorf, Zürich, Switzerland. He was only 57.
Peter appeared in two Euro-westerns: “Duel at Sundown” (1965) with Terence Hill and "Shalako" (1968) with Sean Connery.
Today we remember Peter van Eyck on what would have been his 100th birthday.


  1. He was also in 'Shalako' as Baron Frederick Von Hallstatt

  2. Correct Adrian. Shalako added to post. Thanks.