Actor. Born Kornél Lajos Weisz in Prievidza, Hungary (modern day Prievidza, Slovakia), he emigrated the United States with his family in 1920, and had his name Americanized to Cornel Louis Wilde. His extensive travels to Europe allowed the young man to learn many languages and develop an intercontinental flamboyance that would become an endearing quality to his fans. He gave up medical school and, just prior to the 1936 Olympics, quit the United States fencing team in order to pursue a career in the theater. In 1940 he was both the fencing choreographer for and an actor in the Broadway play "Romeo and Juliet." His work was noticed by Hollywood and he soon ventured west. After playing some minor roles he became a star in 1945 for his portrayal of Frederic Chopin in "A Song to Remember", receiving an Oscar nomination for this role. His success in this film propelled his career and he starred in several more romantic and swashbuckling roles throughout the decade. He continued to act in the 1950s but increasingly became more interested in directing. After forming a production company, he became one of the pioneers in the "film noir" style of motion picture making that became popular during this period. He directed and/or starred in several critically acclaimed films in the 1950s and 1960s including "The Greatest Show on Earth" (1952); "The Big Combo" (1955) and "The Naked Prey" (1966). He died of leukemia three days after his seventy-fourth birthday.
Bio by: Bigwoo