Mr. Stefan Schnabel, son of famed classical pianist Artur Schnabel, was born February 2, 1912 in Berlin. He emigrated to the United States as the Nazi Party came to power in Germany in 1938. Already a practicing actor, he had spent time at the Old Vic Theatre in London, Schnabel quickly found himself under the wing of Orson Welles as a regular performer on The Mercury Theater on the Air.

During the War of the Worlds broadcast, Schnabel portrayed a U.S. Army artillery observer during the sequence in which listeners are taken to the front lines of a valiant infantry battle against Martian walking machines.

Throughout his career, Schnabel was given the opportunity to play a variety of character roles. He worked with Welles on several projects, including a Broadway musical adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel Around the World in Eighty Days (entitled “Around the World”). After his stint with Welles, Schnabel found himself working with theater and film legends such as Lord Lawrence Olivier, and George Bernard Shaw.

After a long and varied film career (Houdini, Firefox, Journey Into Fear), Schnabel landed a role as 17-year stint as Dr. Stephen Jackson on the long-running soap opera “The Guiding Light”.

He and his second wife, Marion Kohler, are credited with the establishment of the Rainbow Theatre in Rowayton, Connecticut.

Schnabel passed away from a heart attack 11, March 1999, in Rogaro, Italy.


~ by Peter Overstreet on May 14, 2008.

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