Film noir’s feline stars: The cat in ‘The Third Man’

More on the most famous kitties in film noir

The Cat in “The Third Man” 1949

Name: Klaus W. Kuddelmann

Character Name: Little Harry

Klaus Kuddelmann's music deeply impressed Orson Welles and they became close friends.

Bio: Klaus W. Kuddelmann grew up in a family of musicians. His father Hans was a classically trained violinist and his mother Clara was an operatic soprano of considerable acclaim.

Young Klaus first performed at the age of 6 weeks, playing “Eine Kleine Nacht Musik” to a packed house at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna.

While studying at the Mewlliard School in New York after World War Two, he made the acquaintance of the great actor/director Orson Welles. Upon accepting the part of the nefarious double-dealer Harry Lime in “The Third Man” (1949), Welles insisted that Kuddelmann be cast as his feline sidekick.

Off camera, Welles and Kuddelmann reportedly holed up in Welles’ Vienna hotel room, eating and drinking into the wee hours of the morning. As a musical purist, Kuddelmann abhorred the film’s famous zither music – calling it “excruciatingly middlebrow” – and made a point of hissing and clawing at Anton Karas.

After the “The Third Man,” Kuddelmann returned to music and enjoyed great success on the European concert circuit. He died in 1972; his obituary listed 19 children and 358 grandchildren.

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