Victor Oliver von Samek (8 July 1898 – 15 August 1964), known as Vic Oliver, was an Austrian-born British actor and radio comedian.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vic_Oliver
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Victor Oliver von Samek (8 July 1898 – 15 August 1964), known as Vic Oliver, was an Austrian-born British actor and radio comedian.
- Early Life
- Acting Career
- Personal Life
He was born in Vienna into a Jewish family, the son of Baron Viktor von Samek. He studied medicine at Vienna University but abandoned it for his first love, music. For a time he studied under Mahler. During the First World War he served in the Austrian Cavalry. After the war he worked as a banker and a textile manufacturer before returning to music. In 1926 he visited the United Statesas a conductor and violinist.
He discovered his gift for comedy by chance when he had to apologise to his audience for something. A new career as a comedian took him all over the United States. He reached the Palace Theatre, New York in 1929 and the London Palladium two years later. This established him in the United Kingdomand, with his deferential, modest humour, he became very popular. He was kept busy in musical revues, variety and pantomime. He was Roy Plomley's very first "castaway" guest on Desert Island Discs, on 29 January 1942.This lost broadcast was recalled in 2012 in a BBC radio documentary about Oliver's life in Britain. He starred in the BBC radio show Hi, Gang! and appeared in many others, including Discord in Three Flats (1962) with Cicely Courtneidge and Jack Hulbert. He played the violin (deliberately badly in his shows). He had aspirations as a conductor and founded the Vic Oliver Concert Orchestra which gave light classical con...
Oliver played tennis, football and hockey as a youth and became junior tennis champion of Austria in 1914. After arriving in the United Kingdom in 1936, Oliver became a supporter of First Division club Brentford and was vice-president of the club in the early 1950s.He later became president of the Brentford Supporters' Club. As a Jew, his name was reportedly listed on a Nazi blacklist (known as "The Black Book") of people to be arrested (and killed) immediately in the event of a successful German invasion of Britain. Oliver married Winston Churchill's daughter, Sarah, in 1936. They had become secretly engaged when they were appearing together in a C.B. Cochran revue. Churchill did not approve of him. There was nothing whatever against Oliver's character but he had been divorced at least once, possibly twice. Some thought there was negativity also towards those involved with music halls. There is an anecdote that, at a dinne...
Oliver is briefly portrayed in the 2002 film The Gathering Storm. He was played by Gerrard McArthur.
Oliver, Vic (1954). Mr. Showbusiness: The autobiography of Vic Oliver(hardcover) (First ed.). London: Harrap.
Vic Oliver was born on July 8, 1898 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary [now Austria] as Viktor Oliver Von Samek. He is known for his work on Give Us the Moon (1944), He Found a Star (1941) and Hi Gang! (1941). He was married to Natalie Conder and Sarah Churchill. He died on August 15, 1964 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
- Viktor Oliver Von Samek
- August 15, 1964 in Johannesburg, South Africa
Jan 26, 2012 · Born Victor Oliver von Samek in Vienna, Austria in 1898, Oliver's fame peaked during World War II. His hit BBC radio series Hi Gang! was so successful that it had film and theatre spin-offs.
Titles read: "Now Pathetone has pleasure in presenting - The famous American Variety Star - VIC OLIVER".London (probably Pathe studio).Variety star / comedia...
- 3 min
- British Pathé