Mischa Auer was born St Peterson, during the end days of the Russian Empire as Mikhail Semyonovich Unkovsky to Jewish parents. He got involved with Yiddish theater and was a member of Bertha Kalich's Yiddish Theater (she herself made it to Hollywood, albeit much earlier in the silent era) and in her company was credited as Mischa Ounskowsky. He was the grandson of Hungarian Jewish violinist Leopold Auer, so when he made the journey to Hollywood, he took that name to honour his grandfather. He immigrated to the United States in the late 1920's and managed to star in one of the very last fully silent films Something Always Happens in 1928, a year when partially sound films were common and few full mono sound films were produced. He went on to have a very prolific acting career right on until the time of his death in 1967. He passed away in Rome, Italy of heart complications. He is interred in Prospect Hill Cemetery in Gloversville NY.