Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Brother Stars in Films [archive newspaper article]


The Charlotte Observer

By Charlotte Wise

December 21, 1968

     When friends told Karla (Mrs. Steven Partridge Kennard) that her brother was starring at a local theater she didn’t believe them.

     A European film star Karl Hyrenbach, whose stage name is Peter Lee Lawrence never had one his films circulated in the United States.

     “But we went down to the theater to look at the advertisements and there he was,” Mrs. Kennard said.

     Her brother is starring as Billy the Kid in “A Few Bullets More” now playing at the Park Terrace Theater.

     German born Karla Hyrenbach fumbles over the enthusiasm and beams with pride when she talks about her famous relative.

     “He is very well-know in Europe” Mrs. Kennard said “Especially in Spain, France and Germany”.

     The Hyrenbach family lived in Lindau, Germany, at the edge of the Black Forest, where they owned a large farm.

     After the father’s death, Karla’s mother eventually moved the family to Nice, France, where she acquired a restaurant and several night clubs.

     “This where Karl first became interested in the movies,” said Mrs. Kennard who has been in America about 6 years.

     “He studied at a school in England for about a year and then returned to France.

     “He told my mother when he was 17, I want to do something with my life. I want to go to Rome and become a movie star.”

     “My mother,” continued Mrs. Kennard in her German accent, “sent him for speech and acting lessons. One evening she introduced him to an Italian producer who was at our night club.

     ‘The producer took him to Italy. At first he was the principal character in photo romance magazines.”

     This a popular type of magazine in Europe that illustrates and entire story with pictures and dialogue.

     “He did this for about two years, then got into the movies.”

     MOST OF his movies are the western type with cowboys and Indians. He did star in one where he was a soldier. The westerns he stars in are similar to the TV show, “Wild Wild West”. You can’t really compare European movies and American ones, because the American ones are so much better.”

     Mrs. Kennard called her brother this week at his home in Rome and told him his movie was playing in Charlotte. “He didn’t believe me. We invited him to come to Charlotte for Christmas, and we think he’ll be able to come. He is just so excited. He’s never been to America and he wants to come.

     “I took the children Carolina 5 and Pat 3; and went to Europe this summer. We visited my brother in Rome, and some of my relatives in Germany. It was good to go back but I told them how great it was to live in America. About how much money you can make here.”

     “They are about 10 years behind in everything over there, but the countries are really beautiful.”

     Mrs. Kennard met her husband, a local stockbroker, when he was in Europe studying, “I never dreamed I would be living in America until I met my husband.” 


[Thanks to Michael Hauss for contributing this archived newspaper article.]

1 comment:

  1. Peter Lee Lawrence was born as Karl Otto Hyrenbach on February 21, 1944, in Lindau, Nazi Germany, but later lived in Nice, France. Other stage names that he had were Pierre Clement and Arthur Grant. He is well known for an uncredited role he had as Colonel Mortimer's brother-in-law in 1965's "For A Few Dollars More" starring Lee Van Cleef, Clint Eastwood, Klaus Kinski, Mario Brega, Luigi Pistilli, Aldo Sambrell, Benito Stefanelli, Lorenzo Robledo, Antonio Molino Rojo, and of course, Gian Maria Volonte as "El Indio". From 1965 to 1974, Peter Lee Lawrence had a very successful nine year film career as an actor with most of his films being Spaghetti Westerns. I've seen most of them. He was picked by Sergio Leone for the role of Colonel Mortimer's brother-in-law for 1965's "For A Few Dollars More" after he appeared in a Coca-Cola commercial in Spain. Leone looked at Peter and said, "You! You're the man I want for my movie!" Peter asked, "What movie?" And Sergio Leone told him, "I'm working on a Western and I want you to be in it." Peter Lee Lawrence jumped at the chance because he always wanted to make movies, especially Western movies. My favorite one of his is "Fury Of Johnny Kidd" which I plan on remaking as "Johnny Kidd" and another one I like is "Killer Caliber .32" which I will remake as "Silver .32" named after his character, Silver. Peter Lee Lawrence died on April 20, 1974, of brain cancer, in Rome, Italy. He was 30. At the time of his death, he was married to Cristina Galbo. RIP Johnny Kidd. We miss ya.