owfischer.jpgOtto Wilhelm Fischer, one of the most popular and highest paid actors in post-war Germany, died on Feb. 1. Cause of death was not released. He was 88.
A protégé of theatre director Max Reinhardt, Fischer spent several years working on the Austrian stage before making the leap to German cinema in 1936. His role as the leading man in “Erzherzog Johanns grosse Liebe” (Archduke Johann’s Great Love) led to 40 other films, most of which were financially successful. In the 1950s, he and Curd Jürgens were the highest paid actors in Germany.
Known as Europe’s answer to Cary Grant, Fischer specialized in romantic roles, starring alongside Maria Schell in seven movies, such as “Der Traumende Mund” (Dreaming Lips) and “Tagebuch einer Verliebten” (The Diary of a Married Woman).
In 1957, he tried to break into Hollywood by starring in the remake of “My Man Godfrey,” but differences with director Henry Kosters and Universal Studios eventually cost him his contract. So Fischer returned to Europe, where he acted in films until the 1960s. He was married to Czech actress Anna Usell until her death in 1985.