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 Jean Hersholt

Jean Hersholt

Birth
Copenhagen, Kobenhavns Kommune, Hovedstaden, Denmark
Death 2 Jun 1956 (aged 69)
Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Just outside the Great Mausoleum
Memorial ID 2087 · View Source
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Danish Actor, Humanitarian. He was born in Copenhagen, Denmark his parents were renowned Danish actors Henry and Claire Hersholt who performed at Denmark's Royal Theater. Upon graduation from high school, he attended Copenhagen Art School then enrolled at the Dagmar Theater where he became an excellent student going on to establish himself as a top international actor. He was invited to the U.S. to perform, lecture and tour. In 1916, Jean was in California and had a film contract in hand from Universal Studios. He became a mainstay in silent films and was recognized as a premier supporting actor. A few of his early silent movies: ' The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Danish film debut), Stella Dallas, Erich von Stroheim's Greed and The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg.' After loosing his thick accent Jean Hersholt made the transition to the Talkies: 'Private Lives, Grand Hotel, Dinner at Eight, One in a Million and then a very notable supporting role as a grandfather in the Classic Shirley Temple movie, 'Heidi.' Jean hit his stride after his appearance in 'The Country Doctor' which led to a bonanza where he portrayed Dr. Christian in a series of movies while simultaneously playing the role on radio which lasted an incredible seventeen years. His final screen role was 'Run for Cover.' Upon retirement , he devoted himself to many humanitarian and charitable causes. Jean Hersholt contracted cancer which took his life at age 69. He was buried at Forest Lawn in a special viewable site away from the traditional row style of graves. The burial place is graced by a statue from fellow Dane Hans Christian Anderson's book character (Clods Hands). On the base is a lengthy inscription. Postscript: He was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1940 for humanitarian work in recognition of his founding and construction of the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital. A year after his death, this yearly award was renamed the 'Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award' in his honor. Although Hersholt never won any performance Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, honored him four more times with two honorary Oscars, and two special awards. He hosted the Academy Awards numerous times. Hersholt was an ardent collector of rare books. His collection of Hans Christian Anderson books and the two volumes he personally translated into English were donated to the Library of Congress along with writings by Hugh Walpole and a significant amount of Sinclair Lewis material. His translations are considered the best English version in existence. He was a student of California history and his huge collection of first edition early California books were donated to various historical groups. The first Fr Junipero Serra biographical work printed in Mexico in 1787 was donated to a University of California Library. His sister had immigrated to Canada from Denmark. From her marriage to a Royal Mounted Policeman in the Yukon was born Leslie Nielsen, now a famous American actor and a brother Erik active in Canadian politics who rose to become Deputy Prime Minister. Beside the difficult translations of the Anderson book, he was an author and penned the novel 'Dr Christian.'

Bio by: Donald Greyfield


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2087
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Jean Hersholt (12 Jul 1886–2 Jun 1956), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2087, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .