Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #005311: VICTOR VARCONI

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Scarce vintage 7.75 x 9.75-inch black and white publicity portrait as Colonel Gautier in The Forbidden Woman (1927), boldly signed and inscribed in black fountain pen.  In good condition, with extremely neat trimming to the borders and a few surface nicks made by the nib of the actor's pen.  Handsome, Transylvania-born Victor Varconi made his bones on stage and in silent films in Europe before being imported to Hollywood by Cecil B. DeMille, who cast him in classic films like Triumph (1924), Afterworld in Feet of Clay (1924), The Volga Boatmen (1926), and The King of Kings (1929).  With the advent of talkies, audiences struggled with the star's pleasant, but pronounced Hungarian accent, so that he was increasingly shifted from lead roles to supporting parts, as exotic continental adventurers and rogueish gigolos.  It was during this period that he appeared, alongside Warner Oland and Bela Lugosi, in the horror flick Charlie Chan in the Black Camel (1931), When London Sleeps (1934), Roberta (1935), and Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation (1939).  During World War II, Varconi found new work playing a variety of Axis of Evil agents, and other character roles in top-tier films like The Sea Hawk (1940) and For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943).  He scaled down his workload after 1949.  One of his last roles was as Lord of Ashrod in Samson in Delilah (1949), directed by his old boss DeMille, and he rounded out his long career with two sci-fi flicks, The Man Who Turned to Stone (1957) and The Atomic Submarine (1959).