Albert Basserman Albert Bassermann (September 7, 1867 - May 15, 1952) was a stage and screen actor.
He was born in Mannheim, Germany. His illustrious career was acknowledged when he received the Iffland-Ring from the respected classics scholar Friedrich Haase. While Bassermann himself attempted to bestow the Iffland-Ring, he outlived each of the three grantees he chose. Not wanting to be mistaken a fourth time, Bassermann deferred making a choice; instead, a group of German actors made the decision.
In "Knute Rockne All American", he played a chemistry professor and mentor to teacher-cum-coach Rockne (Pat O'Brien). In real life, Basserman had himself studied chemistry, but abandoned that science early on to work with Viennese stage impresario Max Reinhardt.
A prominent and popular stage and film actor in his native Germany, Basserman emigrated to Switzerland in 1933 rather than endure the incoming Hitler regime.
He worked briefly in the French film industry before coming to America in 1939. Basserman spent the next eight years portraying sagacious elderly Europeans, usually scientists and music teachers. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his dual role in Alfred Hitchcock's "Foreign Correspondent" (1940). He journeyed to England in 1948 for his final film assignment, "The Red Shoes".
Basserman's heartfelt, well-defined screen characterisations are all the more impressive when one realises that he could not speak English, and had to learn his lines phonetically.
Bassermann died from a heart attack in Zurich, Switzerland.