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Max Schreck as Count Orlok in Nosferatu (1922)

Max Schreck (1879–1936) was a famous German actor from Berlin who played star roles in many silent films such as Nosferatu (1922), Die Strasse (The Street), and Der Tunnel (The Tunnel). He typically was cast as bizarre, horror movie characters (i.e. Nosferatu).


Max Schreck was born on the 6th of September, 1879, and died on the 20th of February, 1936. He began he acting carer in an apprenticeship and “payed his dues” before joining Max Reinhardt in a group a Germany's most talented actors. Max got married to an actress named Fanny Normann in 1910 before making his film debut in “Der Richter Von Zalamea.” Reinhardt eventually introduced introduced Schreck to Friedrich Wilhelm (F.W.) Murnau who saw Schreck's potential and cast him as Count Orlok in Nosferatu (1922). His performance frightened audiences in Germany, and around the world. By 1929 the film was released in the United States of America, and Schreck's fame spread overseas. Schreck played many other lead roles before he died of a heart on February 12th, 1936.


  • “Schreck” is the German word for “Terror.”
  • In Batman Returns (1992) there was a villain named Max Schreck.
  • Max's wife Fanny Schreck (Normann) also acted in Nosferatu (1922). She played a minor, uncredited role.
  • It is sometimes said that the reason Schreck played the role of Nosferatu so well was because he was an actual vampire. In the movie Shadow of the Vampire (2000) Max Schreck is portrayed as if this were a reality.

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