• 12 May 1918
  •  Budapest, Austria-Hungary [now Hungary]

Oscar Beregi Jr.


Heavyweight Hungarian-born character actor Oscar Beregi Jr.'s best performances were on the small screen, usually as Germanic or Russian heavies. His stock-in-trade villainy was of a cultured or psychological, rather than physical nature, urbane and intellectual, yet inevitably sinister. His father, matinee idol Oscar Beregi Sr., had appeared on the Hungarian and German stage in Shakespearean roles, as well as acting in films, since 1919. Both Beregis left Hungary in 1939, the father settling in America, while the son ran a restaurant in Chile. It took several year for the younger Beregi to be granted a visa to enter the U.S., and then only through the intervention of then-senator Lyndon Johnson. When Beregi finally arrived in America, he spoke little English and worked as a salesman for several years, learning the language, before re-entering the acting profession well into middle age. On the big screen, he was largely restricted to small supporting roles. However, Beregi made the most of the meatier roles offered him in television, such as mob boss Joe Kulak (a character possibly based on real-life mobster Jake Guzik) in eight episodes of The Untouchables (1959). He was also impressively commanding as the scientific criminal mastermind Farwell in Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone: The Rip Van Winkle Caper (1961) and, in the same series, as former SS concentration camp commandant Guenther Lutze, driven to insanity by the ghosts of his former victims in The Twilight Zone: Deaths-Head Revisited (1961). He was also effective in Middle Eastern intrigue (The Third Man (1959)) and excellently parodying his evil personae as the KAOS beastmaster of Get Smart: I'm Only Human (1966) and as Dietrick in Get Smart: Tequila Mockingbird (1969) and as the sadistic jailer of Young Frankenstein (1974). In his spare time, Beregi was a successful breeder of Komondors, a species of large, white Hungarian sheep dog, considered a living treasure in their native country.


Movie Name Release Date
Φρανκενστάιν τζούνιορ – Young Frankenstein (1974) December 15, 1974