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Jean Hersholt Edit Profile


Jean Hersholt, Danish actor. Awarded Motion Picture Relief Fund Medallion, 1946; received plaque from Indiana Motion Picture Producers Association, 1946; Look magazine industrywide achievement award, 1949; Oscar award by Academy Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 1939, 49, 50. Member Hollywood Bowl Association (president), Hollywood Chamber of Commerce (directory); Mason. Elk.


Hersholt, Jean was born on July 12, 1886 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Son of Henry and Clara (Petersen) Hersholt.


Educated Knud School and College, Copenhagen. Master of Arts, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine. Doctor of Laws, University California, 1953.

Doctor of Letters (honorary) Illinois Wesleyan University.


1 son, Allan. Came to the United States, 1913, naturalized, 1920. Began acting in Dagmar Theater, Copenhagen, 1904. Continued on European stage until 1913.

In Hollywood since 1913. Under contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Film Corporation. Played in more than 400 pictures, including Four Horsemen, Greed, Stella Dallas, Old Heidelberg, Emma, Old Soak, Alias the Deacon, Men in White, Grand Hotel, The Country Doctor (Doctor Dafoe of Dionne quintuplets).

Sins of Man, Reunion, Heidi. Starred as Doctor Christian in “Doctor Christian” radio series since 1937. Knighted by King Christian X of Denmark, 1946, for work as president American-Denmark Relief, Inc., during World War.

Awarded King’s Medal of Liberation. President Academy Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 1945-1949. Partner, member board directors Sol Lesser Productions, Inc., Hollywood.

Honorary president California-Denmark Home Foundation. President Motion Picture Relief Fund.


  • Other Work

    • Author: Complete Translation of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales. Co-author (novel) Doctor Christian’ General’ s Office.


Member Hollywood Bowl Association (president), Hollywood Chamber of Commerce (directory). Mason. Elk.; Clubs: University, Grolier (New York).


Married Via Andersen, April.

Henry Hersholt

Clara (Petersen) Hersholt

Via Andersen