Mike Brendel was a granite-faced, Hungarian-born, former wrestler who carved himself an acting career in small roles and bit parts, mostly in Spanish productions (including many Italian and international co-productions), from the early 50's until his death in 1969.
He was born Mihaly Orogovanyi in Erdőkürt, Hungary in 1910. He became first the Hungarian, then European wrestling champion (400 wins, no defeats). He lived in America for awhile in the early 30's, originally fighting under his own name, then later adopting the stage name of Mike Brendel. He is known to have been wrestling in Britain and France during the mid-late 30's. The Wrestling Heritage website mentions that he may have served 4 years in a prisoner of war camp during WW2. At some point in the late 40's he made his home in Spain, wrestling there under the title the "El Tigre Americano".
From the early 50's he started appearing in small roles in films, his battered looks and expressionless face making him perfectly suited to playing tough prisoners, gangsters or henchman (though he rarely did much physical stuntwork).
He died on August 18th 1969 in Madrid, Spain, aged 58 or 59.
Biographical information comes from a variety of wrestling websites combined with some research by the always-reliable Tom Betts from the Westerns All'Italiana! blog.
I have turned up a couple of undocumented appearances by Mike in historical productions so I think it is quite likely there could be more to be found.
- Vuelo 971 (credited) .... Plane passenger
- Malaga (credited) .... Tiger
- La vida alrededor (credited as Mike Brendell) .... Gangster
- Marinai, donne e guai (credited) .... Pablito
- Solomon and Sheba (uncredited) .... Egyptian ally
- Un hecho violento (credited) .... Prisoner
- Robinson et le triporteur (credited?) .... Plane passenger
- The Boy Who Stole a Million (credited) .... Carlos I
- Cleopatra (uncredited) .... Roman soldier
- El llanero (credited?) .... Role?
- The Castilian (uncredited) .... Nobleman
- Gunfighters of Casa Grande (credited) .... Barman
- I cento cavalieri (uncredited) .... Prisoner
- I due violenti (credited as Mike Brendell) .... Amos
- La muerte silba un blues (credited) .... Pulgarcito
- Rueda de sospechosos (credited) .... El Tigre's manager
- La valle delle ombre rosse (credited?) .... Chingachgook
- Marc Mato, agente S. 077 (uncredited) .... Henchman
- Joaquín Murrieta (credited) .... Buck Winters
- Solo contro tutti (uncredited) .... Gunman
- Kid Rodelo (credited) .... Turnkey
- Agente speciale L.K. (uncredited) .... Henchman
- La casa de las mil muñecas (uncredited) .... Nightclub doorman
- La isla de la muerte (credited) .... Baldi / Baldi's brother
- Krakatoa: East of Java (credited) .... Prisoner
- Operación Mata Hari (credited) .... Condemned prisoner
- 99 donne (uncredited) .... Boatman
- Il castello di Fu Manchu (uncredited) .... Pacha henchman
- Justine ovvero le disavventure della virtù (credited) .... Pierre
- Tempo di Charleston - Chicago 1929 (uncredited) .... Gangster
- Viva América: La vera storia di Frank Mannata (uncredited) .... Nightclub waiter
There are a few additional titles for Mike, mostly Spanish productions, where I have been unable to find images or credits, so if anybody has any of these please fill in the gaps
- La danza de los deseos (1954) IMDb as Policeman
- El guardián del paraíso (1955) IMDb
- Los peces rojos (1955) IMDb as Tavern customer
- Horas de pánico (1957) IMDb
- Los misterios del Rosario (1957) from Christoffer Slotte, as Barabbas
- ...Y eligió el infierno (1957) IMDb
- En las ruinas de Babilonia (Der Löwe von Babylon) (1957) Karl May website, as Turkish officer
- King of Kings (1961) from Christoffer Slotte
- Objetivo: las estrellas (1963) IMDb
- Las hijas de Helena (1963) IMDb
- El rayo desintegrador (1966) IMDb
- La vergine di Samoa (Tabú) (1966) IMDb as Yawata's henchman
- Eroe vagabondo (1966) IMDb
- Run Like a Thief (1967) IMDb as Turk
- No somos de piedra (1968) IMDb