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Marcel Hillaire

Marcel Hillaire

Marcel Hillaire, born Erwin Ottmar Hiller, was a German-born character actor who had a lengthy career, appearing on stage, in films and on television. Hillaire was recognizable by his gaunt appearance and his accent, which seemed to be a combination of French and German. Of Jewish descent, Hillaire first evaded the Holocaust in Nazi Germany by adopting a stage name and moving around constantly in traveling theater troupes; later he brazenly entered the bureaucracy of the Todt under his birth name, narrowly avoiding execution after capture. After World War II, Hillaire emigrated to America, again changed his name, and adopted a French persona, even touring the United States in a one-man stage show dedicated to celebrating French culture. In the early days of American television Hillaire guest starred in over a hundred episodes of various series, usually playing a Frenchman. In American films, Hillaire played the French chef training Audrey Hepburn's eponymous Sabrina and was featured as Fritz the director in Woody Allen's mockumentary Take the Money and Run.
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