Josef Swickard (26 June 1866 – 29 February 1940) was a German-born veteran stage and screen character actor, who had toured with stock companies in Europe, South Africa, and South America.
Swickard entered films with D.W. Griffith in 1912 and by 1914 was playing supporting roles for Mack Sennett. He appeared in Charles Chaplin's Laughing Gas and Caught in a Cabaret. He remained with Sennett until 1917, when he settled into his prolific career of playing mostly aristocratic characters. Modern audiences are perhaps most familiar with his role of Marcelo Desnoyers, the well-intentioned but impractical French upper class father in Rex Ingram's 1921 film The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. His career in sound films was somewhat limited and he played in low-budget and action serial type films. He played the villainous Prime Minister Kruel in 1925 film version of Wizard of Oz.
Family & Death
Swickard was the brother of actor Charles Swickard, and the husband of Broadway actress Margaret Campbell, who on June 27, 1939 was brutally murdered by their adult son. Nearly seven months to-the-day after his ex-wife's murder, Swickard died on February 29, 1940. He was 73.
Despite rumors that Swickard committed suicide by jumping from the Hollywood sign, in fact he died from natural causes.
Swickard was buried in under a simple headstone at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
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