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by Rex Coleman, for Baron Studioshalf-plate film negative, 19 September 1963NPG x191711
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Michael Jaffé; Grandson
9 July 2015, 23:22
Jaffé was a German/Jewish actor with a prolific six-decade career in theatre, film, radio and TV. Classic German theatre training during the 1920s, in his native Hamburg, Kassel and Wiesbaden, then Berlin with Max Reinhardt. Early successes included Shakespearean performances and a rolein Germany’s most watched film; Persil’s 1932 PR-piece. His Jewish roots forced migration to England in 1936 where he remained, his wife and two young sons having already escaped in 1935. After “Alien Internment” 1939-42, then MOD Political Intelligence Dept., from 1945-1973 he was Head of BBC German Radio Language Services at Bush House London, producing and directing over 3,000 of his English lesson programmes for German speakers; “Lernt Englisch Im Londoner Rundfunk”. Jaffé gained British Naturalisation in 1947. Jaffé starred in over 30 West End/national stage productions, 57 feature films and 43 TV appearances on BBC/ITV - consistently cast as dubious German or Central European characters, often with military/espionage themes. Credits include: 1938: “Idiot’s Delight” (Sherwood), 1943: “The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp”, 1950/1: Leone d’Oro/BAFTA nominated “State Secret”, 1952: “Gay’s The Word” (Novello), 1964: NSPCC Royal Charity Premiere London: “She Loves Me” (Masteroff/Bock/Harnick), 1968: “Dad’s Army”, 1971: “Fiddler On The Roof”.
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