Jean Hersholt

D.O.B: Jul 12, 1886 |  Copenhagen, Denmark

24Credit Score

If ever there was a Great Dane in Hollywood it was Jean Hersholt - and one of its great hearts as well. He was from a well-known Danish stage and entertainment family that had toured throughout Europe performing with young Jean as an essential cast member.

Biography

If ever there was a Great Dane in Hollywood it was Jean Hersholt - and one of its great hearts as well. He was from a well-known Danish stage and entertainment family that had toured throughout Europe performing with young Jean as an essential cast member. He graduated from the Copenhagen Art School and continued expanding his stage experience and evidently decided early that he wanted to work in films. He did just two very early (1906) silent films in Germany. Hersholt emigrated from Denmark to the US while still a young man in 1913. Like many another European he came to America to seek further opportunities. Unlike many other European actors who appeared on Broadway in their early American careers, Hersholt never trod The Great White Way. He moved on to Hollywood in 1914 where the future of silent movies had taken the lead. He started as a movie extra then progressed into small feature player roles from 1915 through 1917. For that latter year he had no less than 17 bit parts. By the 1920s his roles were substantial feature pieces, but most of these were as villains - in fact, a concoction of really vile characters. His theater experience serving him well, he played them so well that he much sought after by directors.