Hugo Haas (18 February 1901 – 1 December 1968) was a Czech film actor, director and writer. He appeared in more than 60 films between 1926 and 1962, as well as directing 20 films between 1933 and 1962. He was born in Brno, Moravia (now in the Czech Republic), and died in Vienna, Austria from complications of asthma. His brother Pavel Haas was a noted composer who died at Auschwitz in 1944.
Haas began acting as a character actor in American films during the mid-1940s. In 1951 he launched a successful if unacclaimed career as a film director in Hollywood with a string of B movie melodramas, usually starring blonde actresses in the role of a predatory mantrap. Haas usually cast himself as the male lead in the films although the female role almost always dominated the storyline and was usually exclusively promoted on film posters. His work also includes a touching human drama, The Girl on the Bridge (1951) – which he cowrote, directed and starred in – about a kindly watchmaker who after having lost his wife and family in the Holocaust, befriends, marries, and raises a second family with a young woman he saves from suicide. Cleo Moore starred in seven films for Haas, becoming a well-known film star in that era. Other actresses who starred in Haas’ films were Beverly Michaels and Carol Morris. The Haas pictures generally received poor reviews but were for the most part commercially successful, and on occasion featured such well-known names as Eleanor Parker, John Agar, Vince Edwards, Joan Blondell, Agnes Moorehead, Julie London, Corinne Griffith, and Marie Windsor. Haas’ final film, Paradise Alley was rejected by the major studios and sat unreleased for over three years, finally surfacing in a limited run in 1962.
- February, 18, 1901
- Brno, Moravia, Austria-Hungary
- December, 01, 1968
- Vienna, Austria
- Jewish Cemetery
- Jihomoravsky, Czech Republic