Mr. Puffy

puffyk

Charles Puffy… wait, that can’t be his real name? Nope, he was born Károly Hochstadt but changed it to Károly Huszár, then had it changed to the unflattering Puffy for his brief four-year stint in Hollywood.

“America is the true country of exaggerations. For me, who wasn’t just there as a visitor, but who worked and lived there the country always seemed like the huge pumpkins and pickles shown in the shop windows which are ten times bigger than real pumpkins and pickles. Everything there is overgrown and huge. Everything is exaggerated to the limits. Everything. Nature, the lives of people, the needs of people, everything, everything. Children are like adults, but when they grow up they remain the same they were in childhood and then they look like children. Please don’t misunderstand me: I don’t want to say that every American is naive and childish. That’s not true. There are a lot of great, educated, very intelligent and wise people there. Just like everywhere else. But the average American, most of them is a big, naive child. Naive in cruelty and naive in goodness.”

puffy short

He’s in DR. MABUSE, THE GAMBLER and in THE BLUE ANGEL on either side of his Hollywood career.

For some reason the IMDb lists his place of death as Tokyo, but it seems likelier he perished in the Holocaust.

3 Responses to “Mr. Puffy”

  1. The name Octavus Roy Cohen is also arresting, and apparently once famous.

    Three versions of Karoly Huszar’s death: 1) Killed in Auschwitz, along with hundreds of thousands of other Hungarian Jews; 2) Escaped Hungary but died en route to the sanctuary city of Shanghai; 3) Died in Tokyo — WTF?

    Solely because of the mystery of his death — a commonplace “mystery” for his time, place, and person — I’d chosen to regard Karoly Huszar/Charles Puffy as a mystery in general.

    Undecided whether “naive in cruelty and naive in goodness” is spot-on or way too generous.

  2. revelator60 Says:

    Here’s a short from Mr. Puffy’s Universal years, “Kick Me Again” (1925), which features Charles in a tutu: https://www.filmpreservation.org/preserved-films/screening-room/kick-me-again-1925#

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