Cornelius Louis Wilde was born on October 13, 1915 – died on October 16, 1989. Cornel Wilde was an American actor and film director. Wilde was born in 1915 in Manhattan. His parents were the Hungarian Jews Béla Weisz and Renée Vojtech. A talented linguist, and an astute mimic, he had an ear for languages which became apparent later in his acting career. He qualified for the United States fencing team prior to the 1936 Summer Olympic Games, but quit the team just prior to the games saying that it was in order to take a role in the theater. Hired as a fencing teacher by Laurence Olivier for his 1940 Broadway production of Romeo and Juliet, Wilde was given the role of Tybalt in the production. Because of this role, he was noticed by Hollywood. Wilde entered City College of New York (CCNY) as a member of the Class of 1933 but dropped out after his freshman year. He had several small film roles until he played the role of Frédéric Chopin in 1945’s A Song to Remember, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. In 1945 he also starred in A Thousand and One Nights with Evelyn Keyes. In 1957, he played the role of the 13th century Persian poet Omar Khayyam in the film Omar Khayyam. He produced, directed, and starred in The Naked Prey (1966), in which he played a naked man being tracked by hunters from an African tribe affronted by the behaviour of members of a safari party. The original script for The Naked Prey was largely based on a true historical incident about a trapper named John Colter being pursued by Blackfeet Indians in Wyoming. Lower shooting costs, tax breaks, and material and logistical assistance offered by Rhodesia convinced Wilde and the other producers to shoot the film there. Her two children from her marriage to Franchot Tone became Wilde’s stepsons. They also had a son together, Cornel Wilde Jr. They divorced in 1981. Wilde died of leukemia three days after his 74th birthday. He was survived by a daughter and a son (one from each marriage); two stepsons, Pascal Franchot Tone and Thomas Jefferson Tone; and three grandchildren Wilde is interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, California. For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Cornel Wilde has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1635 Vine Street.


Original Cornel Wilde Autograph, signed on a 3 x 5 inch Index Card. Written: To Ted – Good Luck ! Cornel Wilde. Regular Price – $ 75.00 / Sale Price – $ 29 .95.

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