Cornel Wilde

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Cornel Wilde (October 13, 1915October 16, 1989) was an American actor. Born Cornelius Louis Wilde in New York City, Wilde traveled throughout Europe in his youth, acquiring the ability to speak many languages. He qualified for the United States fencing team prior to the 1936 Summer Olympic Games, but quit the team just prior to the games in order to take a role in the theater. Hired as a fencing teacher by Laurence Olivier for his 1940 Broadway production of Romeo and Juliet, Wilde was given the role of Tybalt in the production. Because of this role, he was noticed by Hollywood.

He had several small film roles until he played the role of Frederic Chopin in 1945's A Song to Remember, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. He spent the rest of the decade appearing in romantic and swashbuckling films, but he also appeared in some significant films noir Leave Her to Heaven (1945), Road House (1948) and Shockproof (1949). Wilde's career entered an interesting creative stretch when in the 1950s he created his own film production company, producing the film noir The Big Combo (1955) and played the lead. He eventually produced, directed and starred in The Naked Prey (1966), in which he played a naked man being tracked by hunters from an African tribe affronted by the behaviour of members of a safari party. His other notable directing efforts include Beach Red (1967) and No Blade of Grass (1970).

He married actress Jean Wallace, the former Mrs. Franchot Tone.

Cornel Wilde is interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, California.

Wilde has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1635 Vine Street.

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