Sunday, October 20, 2013

Remembering Anton Diffring

Anton Diffring was born Alfred Pollock on October 20, 1918 in Koblenz, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. He studied acting in Berlin and Vienna but there is some conjecture about when he left Germany prior to World War II. The audio commentary for the Doctor Who series Silver Nemesis mentions he left Germany in 1936, as he was not enamored of fascism and further that he was a homosexual. Other accounts point to him leaving Germany in 1939 and heading for Canada where he was interned in 1940. Though he made two fleeting, unaccredited appearances in films in 1940, it was not until 1950, after a move to Britain, that his acting career began to take off.
With numerous British war films being produced in the 1950s, Diffring's blonde hair, blue eyes and the chiseled features saw him feature often as villainous German officers - such as in “Albert R.N.” (1953) and “The Colditz Story” (1955). Some of his more notable roles as German characters were in “The Heroes of Telemark” (1965), “The Blue Max” (1966), “Where Eagles Dare” (1968), “Operation Daybreak” (1975) and the match commentator in “Escape to Victory” (1981). In 1983 he played Hitler's foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop in the American mini-series ‘The Winds of War’ (1983).
He also starred in a number of horror films, such as “The Man Who Could Cheat Death” (1959) and “Circus of Horrors” (1960). Diffring also worked in quite a number of international films, such as “Fahrenheit 451” (1966) directed by François Truffaut.
His final performance was again as a Nazi character, for the BBC in the 1988 Doctor Who serial ‘Silver Nemesis’, in which he agreed to appear because the recording coincided with the Wimbledon Championships which he wanted to watch. Diffring continued workng until his death caused by AIDS on ay May 20, 1989 at his hime in Châteauneuf-Grasse in the south of France.
Diffring appeared in only one Euro-western 1976’s “Montana Trap”.
Today we remember Anton Diffring on what would have been his 95th birthday.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post and great site. Diffring's the best part of Where Eagles Dare; he always made a nice, understated villain.