Gaunt actor who played the vampire Count Orlok in the 1922 silent classic film, Nosferatu. He received additional recognition for his roles in the 1922 film, The Merchant of Venice, and the 1928 film, The Republic of Flappers.
Beginning his acting in a pre-movie era, he appeared on stage in a production of Bertolt Brecht's Trommeln in der Nacht (Drums in the Night).
His father disapproved of his acting career, but his mother secretly funded his studies.
His part in creating Nosferatu was fictionalized in the 2000 movie, Shadow of the Vampire, starring Willem Dafoe .