Decker, John

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Decker, John Gender: M
Leopold Wolfgang Exel
born on 8 November 1895 at 19:30 (= 7:30 PM )
Place Berlin, Germany, 52n29, 13e21
Timezone MET h1e (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_scocol.18.gif 16°08' s_mo.18.gif s_leocol.18.gif 00°48 Asc.s_cancol.18.gif 11°07'

John Decker


German painter, set designer and caricaturist in Hollywood during the 1930s and 1940s.

As a teenager, Decker lived in London, painting scenery in theatres; this was interrupted by the advent of the First World War, when he was arrested as an enemy alien and interned on the Isle of Man. In 1921, he changed his name to John Decker and emigrated to America, where he worked as a cartoonist for the New York Evening World until 1928, when he moved to Hollywood and took up fine art.

Many film stars, including Anthony Quinn, Errol Flynn, Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, John Wayne and the Marx Brothers, commissioned Decker to paint their portraits, and many of his works were used in films: the paintings of the frustrated artist protagonist in Fritz Lang's 1945 film Scarlet Street were actually by Decker. One of his most famous portraits, depicting his friend and drinking companion W.C. Fields as Queen Victoria, hung for many years at Chasen's Restaurant in West Hollywood, California.

Like his friends Fields and John Barrymore, the years of seemingly endless drinking sprees wreaked massive abuse on his body, resulting in a premature death. He died on 8 June 1947 in Hollywood, aged 51.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • friend relationship with Fields, W.C. (born 29 January 1879)


  • Other Family 1898 (Parents married)

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield provided birth registry entry from Berlin City Archives. Mother's name recorded as Maria Anna Exel, nee Avenarius.


  • Diagnoses : Psychological : Abuse Alcohol
  • Family : Childhood : Family noted
  • Vocation : Art : Cartoonist (Caricaturist)
  • Vocation : Art : Fine art artist (Painter)
  • Vocation : Art : Stage/ Set design