Known for movies

Short Info

DiedOctober 16, 1989, Los Angeles, California, United States
SpouseJean Wallace, Patricia Knight
FactHis role as Tybalt in the 1940 Broadway production of Romeo and Juliet with Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh led to a Warner Brothers contract.
PaymentsEarned $75,000 from Saadia (1953)

Cornel Wilde was born in Budapest, Hungary, on October 13, 1912, the son of a doctor. His family moved to New York City when he was four years old. Wilde attended the High School of Music & Art and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He made his Broadway debut in 1932 in a production of The Immortal Husband.

Wilde’s film career began in 1936 with a small role in The Last Outpost. He appeared in a number of films over the next decade, including The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Of Human Hearts (1938), and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942).

Wilde’s breakthrough role came in 1945 with the film noir classic Leave Her to Heaven. He received an Academy Award nomination for his performance. Wilde continued to appear in films throughout the 1940s and 1950s, including A Song to Remember (1945), The Naked Jungle (1954), and The Greatest Show on Earth (1952).

Wilde’s career began to decline in the 1960s, but he found success on television, appearing in the series The Virginian and The Big Valley. He also directed a number of films, including Beach Red (1967) and No Blade of Grass (1970).

Wilde’s later years were marred by personal tragedy. His wife, actress Jean Wallace, committed suicide in 1971. Wilde himself died of cancer on October 16, 1989, at the age of 77.

General Info

Full NameCornel Wilde
DiedOctober 16, 1989, Los Angeles, California, United States
Height1.85 m
ProfessionActor, Film director, Film producer, Screenwriter
EducationTownsend Harris High School, City College of New York, Columbia University


SpouseJean Wallace, Patricia Knight
ChildrenWendy Wilde, Cornel Wallace Wilde Jr.
ParentsVojtech Weisz, Renée Mary Vid
SiblingsEdith Weisz


NominationsAcademy Award for Best Actor, Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation
MoviesThe Naked Prey, Leave Her to Heaven, The Big Combo, A Song to Remember, The Greatest Show on Earth, Beach Red, Lancelot and Guinevere, Forever Amber, Road House, Storm Fear, At Sword's Point, No Blade of Grass, A Thousand and One Nights, Sharks' Treasure, California Conquest, The Bandit of Sherwood ...

Social profile links


Saadia (1953)$75,000
California Conquest (1952)$100,000 + 50% of profits
The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)$50,000


1[on Linda Darnell] Experienced, beautiful and nice--a nice person.
2[on working with Paul Muni on A Song to Remember (1945)] He was very difficult to work with. He said he didn't want to hear how I did it, he had no interest in how I portrayed it, he had his own conception of [Frédéric Chopin] and he told me he'd worked on his role in relation to that conception, and he didn't care how I played it. And that was the approach to teamwork on that film.
3Acting is not just "another day, another dollar". If I hate a script or think it's foolish or in bad taste, I'm miserable.
4I realized long ago that I could not depend on luck to bring me success. I worked hard, extra hard to improve my chance by increasing my abilities and my experience. It was my goal to accomplish, in my life, something of value and to do it with self-respect and integrity.


1He and Ida Lupino became good friends while filming Road House (1948). They found common ground in their liberal political beliefs.
2Featured in "Bad Boys: The Actors of Film Noir" by Karen Burroughs Hannsberry (McFarland, 2003).
3A vintage year for "beefcake bondage" in his film career was 1952. In At Sword's Point (1952), he appeared bound and stripped to the waist in a torture chamber where his torso was burned with a hot iron. In California Conquest (1952), he appeared stripped to the waist and bound to a tree where he was lashed across the chest with a whip.
4Interred at Westwood Memorial Park, Los Angeles, CA.
5Although most records indicate Wilde was born in New York City, the 1930 U.S. Census and the California Death Records database both state that he was born in Hungary.
6His role as Tybalt in the 1940 Broadway production of Romeo and Juliet with Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh led to a Warner Brothers contract.
7Chosen for the 1936 Olympic fencing team in Berlin, he turned down the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actively pursue acting.
8Enrolled as a pre-med student at the City College of New York (CCNY) and completed the four-year course in three years (CCNY at that time was tuition-free and admitted only the best scholars). He was a member of CCNY's fencing team.
9Prior to his film career, Wilde had various jobs--commercial artist, toy salesman at Macy's, newspaper advertising and Boys' Club counselor.
10He graduated from Townsend Harris High School for gifted students in New York at the age of 14. Townsend Harris was affiliated with CCNY, the college he entered upon graduation.
11At his death he was editing his autobiography, "My Very Wilde Life, " and working on a sequel to his acclaimed film The Naked Prey (1965).
12Spoke Hungarian, French, German, English, Italian and Russian.
13Daughter with first wife Patricia Knight: Wendy Wilde, born February 22, 1943. Son with second wife Jean Wallace: Cornel Wilde, Jr.




Murder, She Wrote1987TV SeriesDuncan Barnett
The New Mike Hammer1986TV SeriesGeorge Burnett
Flesh and Bullets1985
The Love Boat1983TV SeriesEdgar Dolan
The Fifth Musketeer1979D'Artagnan
Fantasy Island1978TV SeriesDaring Danny Ryan
The Norseman1978Ragnar
Sharks' Treasure1975Jim Carnahan
Gargoyles1972TV MovieDr. Mercer Boley
Night Gallery1972TV SeriesDr. John Fletcher (segment "Deliveries in the Rear")
No Blade of Grass1970Radio voice (voice)
The Comic1969Frank Powers
Beach Red1967Capt. MacDonald / Narrator
The Naked Prey1965Man
Kraft Suspense Theatre1964TV SeriesGeorge Press
The Greatest Show on Earth1964TV SeriesGil McMasters
Sword of Lancelot1963Sir Lancelot
General Electric Theater1955-1961TV SeriesRudy Alberti / Peter Maresy
Constantine and the Cross1961Constantine
Around the World with Nellie Bly1960TV Movie
The Chevy Show1960TV Series
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show1960TV SeriesSteve Roberts / German Captain / Count / ...
Edge of Eternity1959Les Martin
Alcoa Theatre1958TV SeriesDamon Phillips
Maracaibo1958Vic Scott
The Betty White Show1958TV SeriesHam Actor
The Devil's Hairpin1957Nick Jargin
Omar Khayyam1957Omar Khayyam
Father Knows Best1957TV SeriesCornel Wilde
Beyond Mombasa1956Matt Campbell
Hot Blood1956Stephano Torino
Star Stage1956TV Series
Storm Fear1955Charlie Blake
The Scarlet Coat1955Maj. John Boulton
I Love Lucy1955TV SeriesCornel Wilde
The Big Combo1955Police Lt. Leonard Diamond
Passion1954Juan Obreón
Woman's World1954Bill Baxter
Star of India1954Pierre
Saadia1953Si Lahssen
Main Street to Broadway1953Cornel Wilde
Treasure of the Golden Condor1953Jean-Paul
Operation Secret1952Peter Forrester
California Conquest1952Don Arturo Bordega
At Sword's Point1952D'Artagnan Jr.
The Greatest Show on Earth1952The Great Sebastian
Two Flags West1950Capt. Mark Bradford
Four Days Leave1950Stanley Robin
Shockproof1949Griff Marat
Road House1948Pete Morgan
The Walls of Jericho1948Dave Connors
Stairway for a Star1947Jimmy Banks
It Had to Be You1947George McKesson / Johnny Blaine
Forever Amber1947Bruce Carlton
The Homestretch1947Jock Wallace
Centennial Summer1946Philippe Lascalles
Leave Her to Heaven1945Richard Harland
A Thousand and One Nights1945Aladdin
A Song to Remember1945Frédéric Chopin
The Bandit of Sherwood Forest1945Robert of Nottingham
Wintertime1943Freddy Austin
Life Begins at Eight-Thirty1942Robert Carter
Manila Calling1942Jeff Bailey
The Perfect Snob1941Mike Lord
Kisses for Breakfast1941Chet Oakley
Knockout1941Tom Rossi
High Sierra1941Louis Mendoza
Lady with Red Hair1940Mr. Williams (uncredited)
Exclusive1937Reporter (uncredited)
The Rhythm Party1936ShortParty Guest (uncredited)


Sharks' Treasure1975
No Blade of Grass1970
Beach Red1967
The Naked Prey1965
Sword of Lancelot1963
The Devil's Hairpin1957
Storm Fear1955
General Electric Theater1955TV Series 1 episode


Sharks' Treasure1975producer
No Blade of Grass1970producer
Beach Red1967producer
The Naked Prey1965producer
Sword of Lancelot1963producer
The Devil's Hairpin1957producer
Storm Fear1955producer
The Big Combo1955associate producer - uncredited


Sharks' Treasure1975as Jefferson Pascal, "Money, Money"
No Blade of Grass1970as Louis Nelius, "No Blade Of Grass"
Beach Red1967writer: "Title Song" - as Elbey Vid
Maracaibo1958lyrics: "Maracaibo Moon" - as Jefferson Pascal
The Devil's Hairpin1957writer: "Swing It Just a Little More"
Centennial Summer1946performer: "All Through the Day" - uncredited
A Thousand and One Nights1945performer: "Beauty for Sale", "I Can't Believe My Eyes", "No More Women" - uncredited
Knockout1941performer: "Many Happy Returns of the Day" 1931 - uncredited


Sharks' Treasure1975written by
No Blade of Grass1970screenplay - as Jefferson Pascal
Beach Red1967screenplay - as Jefferson Pascal
Sword of Lancelot1963as Jefferson Pascal
The Devil's Hairpin1957


The Naked Prey1965uncredited


The Flying Fontaines1959aerialist technical advisor - uncredited


The 32th Annual Thalians Ball1987TV MovieHimself
The 3th Annual American Cinema Awards1986TV SpecialHimself
The 55th Annual Academy Awards1983TV SpecialHimself - Co-Presenter: Best Makeup
The Mike Douglas Show1975TV SeriesHimself - Actor
Celebrity Bowling1972TV SeriesHimself
The David Frost Show1970TV SeriesHimself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1965-1968TV SeriesHimself - Guest / Himself
The Joe Pyne Show1968TV SeriesHimself
The Hollywood Squares1967TV SeriesHimself
That Regis Philbin Show1965TV SeriesHimself
The Celebrity Game1964TV SeriesHimself
The World's Greatest Showman: The Legend of Cecil B. DeMille1963TV Movie documentaryHimself
Here's Hollywood1961TV SeriesHimself
About Faces1960TV SeriesHimself
I've Got a Secret1958TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Nat King Cole Show1957TV SeriesHimself
Who Do You Trust?1957TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Dinah Shore Show1956TV SeriesHimself
The Bob Hope Show1956TV SeriesHimself
Inside Beverly Hills1956TV MovieHimself
Screen Snapshots: Hollywood Premiere1955ShortHimself
The Colgate Comedy Hour1955TV SeriesHimself - Actor
On Stage!1949Documentary shortHimself

Archive Footage

The Naked Archaeologist2006-2010TV Series documentaryConstantine / Uriah
The Lady with the Torch1999DocumentaryHimself
Biography1997TV Series documentaryHimself
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies1995TV Movie documentaryactor 'Leave Her to Heaven' (uncredited)
M*A*S*H1975TV SeriesHimself
Fred Astaire Salutes the Fox Musicals1974TV MovieHimself


Won Awards

1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameMotion PictureOn 8 February 1960. At 1635 Vine Street.

Nominated Awards

1971HugoHugo AwardsBest Dramatic PresentationNo Blade of Grass (1970)
1946OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Leading RoleA Song to Remember (1945)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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