Mostly Credited As: Kurt Kasznar
Sometimes Credited As: Kurt Kaszner
Birth Name: Kurt Serwicher
Date Of Birth: August 13, 1913 (Age 65)
Country Of Birth: Austria
Birth Place: Vienna, Austria-Hungary (now Austria)
Date Of Death: August 06, 1979
Cause Of Death: Cancer
Height: 6' (1.82 m)
"Gifted," "urbane." "tongue-in-cheek," these words are stock items in reviews of (or interviews with) black-haired character actor, Kurt Kasznar who was fifty-five when he played his starring role in Land of The Giants. Kasznar started at the top as a protege of the great German director Reinhardt.
With a background like that people wondered what he was doing in a television series. Particularly a far-out, child-oriented one like ABC's science-fiction "Land of the Giants?" (Sundays at 7:00.)
Kasznar admitted he wanted one series, he was ready for one. He'd served his time on Broadway and didn't want any more two-year runs ("Sound of Music," was one, "Barefoot in the Park," another.)
Besides when he talked to Irwin Allen (the series creator) he like his ideas.
In 1969 Kasznar went to St. Louis and did 'The Merry Widow'with Allan Jones. Then he did 'The Great Sebastian' in Cleveland with Van Johnson and Sheilah MaCrea. The Czechoslovakian crisis made that play timely again. Next, off to Dallas to play the shady Brock opposite Betty Grable in "Born Yesterday. It was one of the few acting challenges
left for this master of his craft. He had never
played an American before. Austrian by birth, Kasznar was a naturalized American.
By his own admission he cooked a great goulash. Ate less of it, though, than he used to, had trimmed off enough poundage from his six-foot frame to look younger than when he appeared in the film classic, "Lili" in 1954.
He did love New York . . . but he didn't live there. And he didn't want to. He stayed in a hotel whenever he came. He bought a nice little house in California and he grew zinnias. He was confident from the start that he picked a winner in "Land
of the Giants." Unfortunately the show only lasted for two seasons.
Kasznar died August 6, 1979, in Santa Monica, California, 10 months after being diagnosed with cancer.