Born on April 5: Melvyn Douglas, aka Greta Garbo’s love interest in Ninotchka
Melvyn Douglas was born 119 years ago today. His most famour roles was in Ernst Lubtisch’s classic comedy “Ninotchka” (from 1939) where he played with Greta Garbo. My favorite movie where you can see him is Hal Ashby’s absurd political comedy “Being There”. His long career he also played Benjamin Franklin, Stalin, General Parker, and in “Hud” the Paul Newman’s character’s father, a role for which he won an Oscar.
His father was a Jewish emigrant from Riga, Latvia, then part of Russia. Douglas, in his autobiography, See You at the Movies (1987), wrote that he was unaware of his Jewish background until later in his youth: “I did not learn about the non-Christian part of my heritage until my early teens,” as his parents preferred to hide his Jewish heritage. It was his aunts, on his father’s side, who told him “the truth” when he was 14. (Wikipedia)