Born: 4 September 1879
Died: 20 February 1936
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Best known as: Star of F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu
Max Schreck is famous for his portrayal of Count Graf Orlock in the 1922 vampire film Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror). Schreck (his name in German means "terror" or "fright") was a German actor on stage and in the movies throughout the '20s and '30s, but his fame rests solely on his super-creepy turn as Nosferatu. The film, directed by F. W. Murnau, was based on Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, but the filmmakers failed to get permission from Stoker's widow, a problem that kept the movie from audiences for decades. Now considered a classic of horror, it was re-released in 1972 and has been restored many times. The movie Shadow of a Vampire (2000) took advantage of Schreck's mysterious past to portray him as a real vampire (played by Willem Dafoe).
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