Paul Muni

Paul Muni
Associated Press


Paul Muni
Film: North side of the 6400 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born Muni Weisenfreund on Sept. 22, 1895 in Lemburg, Austria
Died Aug. 25, 1967 of heart trouble in Montecito, CA

Actor Paul Muni gained film fame as "Scarface" and Louis Pasteur.

Muni got his start in Cleveland where his family opened a little nickel theater. "You know how it was: Show the picture and have a little song, dance and comedy sketch between showings, about 25 times a day," he said.

In 1908 his parents took him out of school and made him a part of the act. "I was delighted. Not that I loved the theater, but because it meant I could give up violin lessons. I hated the violin."

From this beginning he graduated to vaudeville, first with his parents and then on his own. He toured the Midwest for the most part, playing theaters and nightclubs.

In 1914, he joined the Girard Theater in Philadelphia and three years later became a stock company player with the Yiddish Art Theater in New York.

In 1928, after two years on Broadway, Muni was signed by 20th Century Fox. He played in two pictures, "The Valiant" and "Seven Faces," and was relieved when his contract expired.

Muni returned to Broadway and unbroken success in "This One Man," "Rock Me, Julia" and "Counsellor At Law." In 1932 United Artists brought him back to Hollywood for his memorable gangster role in "Scarface."

Among his best remembered films are "The Story of Louis Pasteur," for which he won the Academy Award in 1936, "Black Fury," "The Good Earth," "The Life of Emile Zola," "Juarez" and "We Are Not Alone."

Muni retired in 1962 after declaring that more than 50 years of acting was enough.

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1928 Best Actor The Valiant Nomination
    1932 Best Actor I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang Nomination
    1935 Best Actor Black Fury Nomination
    1936 Best Actor The Story of Louis Pasteur Win
    1937 Best Actor The Life of Emile Zola Nomination
    1959 Best Actor The Last Angry Man Nomination

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