• 18 April 1903
  •  St. Petersburg, Russia

Leonid Kinskey


Leonid Kinskey, originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, performed across Europe and much of Latin America before his arrival in the United States. By 1932 he landed a small role as a radical in Ernst Lubitsch's comedy, Trouble in Paradise (1932). The next year he played an agitator in Duck Soup (1933). He went on to play small parts, nearly always foreigners and often comedic, in over sixty films, including Genflou in Les Misérables (1935), the snake charmer in the well-known scene from The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935), an Arab in The Garden of Allah (1936), Ivan in The Big Broadcast of 1938 (1938), and Pierre in That Night in Rio (1941). His final film role was Dominiwski in The Man with the Golden Arm (1955). Kinskey's most famous role was as Sascha, the humorous bartender at Rick's Cafe Americaine, in Casablanca (1942). The part had originally been given to Leon Mostovoy; Kinskey replaced him because (1) he was funnier than Mostovoy, and (2) by his own testimony, he was a drinking buddy of the star Humphrey Bogart. His contract guaranteed him two weeks at $750 a week. He died on 8 September 1998, in Fountain Hills, Arizona, aged 95.