Anton Diffring

Last updated 09 January 2020

Anton Diffring (1918-1989)
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Anton de Vient

Born: Sunday 20th October 1918
Died: Saturday 20th May 1989 (age: 70)


Anton Diffring was a German character actor known for his portrayal of German officers and aristocrats in many film and TV appearances.

Diffring was born in Koblenz. He studied acting in Berlin and Vienna but there is some conjecture about when he left Germany prior to World War II. 

With numerous British war films being produced in the 1950s, Diffring's blonde hair, blue eyes and the chiseled features saw him feature often as villainous German officers - such as in Albert R.N. (1953) and The Colditz Story (1955). Some of his more notable roles as German characters were in The Heroes of Telemark (1965), The Blue Max (1966), Where Eagles Dare (1968),Operation Daybreak (1975) (as SS officer Reinhard Heydrich) and the match commentator in Escape to Victory (1981). In 1983 he played Hitler's foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop in the American mini-series The Winds of War.

He also starred in a number of horror films, such as The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959) and Circus of Horrors (1960). He also worked in quite a number of international films, such asFahrenheit 451 (1966) directed by François Truffaut.

His final performance was again as a Nazi character, for the BBC in the 1988 Doctor Who serial Silver Nemesis, in which he agreed to appear because the recording coincided with the Wimbledon Championships which he wanted to watch. Working up to his death, he died in his home at Châteauneuf-Grasse in the south of France in 1989

Biography from the Wikipedia article, licensed under CC-BY-SA