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The Final Resting Place of Paul Muni .
September 22nd, 1895 - August 25th, 1967
Academy Award winner as Best Actor of 1936 for his role in "The Story of Louis Pasteur". Also starred in the films
"The Life of Emil Zola" (1937), "The Good Earth" (1937), "Scarface" (1932), "Angel on My Shoulder" (1946) and "I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang" (1932).
Section 14, grave 57.
Paul Muni was an Academy Award-winning versatile actor from the Golden Age of
Hollywood. He was born Meshilem Meier Weisenfreund to a Jewish family in Lwow, Galicja, an ethnically Polish part of the then-Austro-Hungarian Empire, which became Lvov, Ukraine (known as Lviv since the 1990s).
His family emigrated to the United States in 1902. Both of Muni's parents were actors with the Yiddish theater, so it was only natural that he would join them on stage. He made his stage debut at age twelve. In a stage quirk, Muni played an 80-year-old man as his first role. It was an appropriate beginning for an actor who loved wearing elaborate costumes and assuming accents in his film career. During his time in Yiddish theater, he was known as Moony Weisenfreund. He was quickly recognized by Maurice Schwartz, who signed him up with his Yiddish Art Theater.
A 1925 New York Times article singled out his and Sam Kasten's performances at the People's Theater as among the highlights of that year's Yiddish theater season, describing them as second only to Ludwig Satz.
Muni was 29 when he began acting on Broadway in 1924. His first role, that of an elderly Jewish man in the play We Americans, was written by playwright Sam Harris; it was also the first time that he ever acted in English. He was signed by Fox three years later, in 1929, and received an Oscar nomination for his first film The Valiant. However, he was unhappy with the roles and decided to return to Broadway. In 1932, Paul Muni returned to Hollywood to star in such harrowing pre-Code films as Scarface and I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang. He received a second Academy Award for Best Actor nomination for the latter film. Warner Brothers recognized his considerable talent and signed a long-term contract with him. He went on to receive a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for The Life of Emile Zola (1937) and to win the Academy Award for The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936).
In the ensuing years until his retirement in 1959, he spent his time acting on film and stage. He was widely recognized as a talented if eccentric individual. He would go into a rage whenever anyone wore red, but at the same time he could often be found between sessions relaxing with his violin. Over the years, he also became increasingly dependent on his wife, Bella, who terrified directors by forcing them to redo scenes that did not meet her satisfaction. After several failed projects, Muni was nominated for a Tony Award in 1955 for the role of Henry Drummond in the play Inherit the Wind. He was becoming increasingly infirm, however, and soon after receiving his final Academy Award nomination for The Last Angry Man (1959), he retired from acting.
Muni died in Montecito, California at aged 71, survived by his wife and children.
He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.