Count Theodore Béla Rudolf Zichy de Zich et Vásonkeő (Hungarian: Zichi és Vásonkeői gróf Zichy Tivadar Béla Rudolf; 13 June 1908 – December 1987) was a British actor, photographer, film director, producer and playboy of Hungarian descent.
Born in Eastbourne in Sussex in 1908, the son of Count Béla Mária Rudolf Zichy de Zich et Vásonkeő (1868-1944), a Hungarian aristocrat, and an American mother, Mabel Elizabeth Wright (1865-1926), His brother was Edward George Béla Mária Zichy de Zich et Vásonkeő (1898-1958). A great-nephew of Mihály Zichy, Theodore Zichy held British and Hungarian citizenship.
In 1928, he started racing Bugattis, which he continued on and off until 1932.
As a photographer he mainly took pictures of women’s legs, feet and shoes. His 1948 photograph portfolio Chiaroscuros (from the Italian « chiaroscuro ») contained images of foot and shoe fetishism. In the mid-1950s he worked as a photographer for Baron Studios in London. His autobiography That Was No Gentleman, That Was Zichy was published in 1974
Count Theodore Zichy Chiaroscuros , Circa 1940 Silver prints
As an actor Zichy appeared as 2nd in Command in Gasbags (1941), Colonel Borg in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), as the Duel Referee in the TV movie Liebelei (1954), and as a German Agent in Private’s Progress (1956).
Later, he directed and produced the shorts Death Was a Passenger (1958), Portrait of a Matador (1958) and Mingaloo (1958), also writing the latter, as well as directing and producing the films Night Without Pity (1961) and Doomsday at Eleven (1963). He produced the film Bomb in the High Street (1961).
On 20 February 1928, he married Xenia V. Howard Johnston (1904-1931) in Paris, France; the couple divorced in 1930.
In 1964, he married Daphne Barker (previously of Jack and Daphne Barker Cabaret duo) in London and stayed married to her until her death in 1987.
Count Theodore Zichy committed suicide in London in December, 1987. However his death certificate was only issued in 1988.
Count Theodore Zichy Untitled Woman’s legs and crutch, 1948
Count Theodore Zichy- Untitled ‘ Plus çà change, plus c’est la même chose’ alphonse Karr ,1948
Count Theodore Zichy – Legs with dagger, Chiaroscuros #12, Londres 1948
Count Theodore Zichy- Chiaroscuros #10, Londres 1948
Count Theodore Zichy – Legs with dagger, Chiaroscuros #2, Londres 1948
Count Theodore Zichy – Chiaroscuros #20, Londres 1948
Count Theodore Zichy Legs , Circa 1948
Count Zichy Kayser Nylons, 1940’s,
Count Theodore Zichy – Legs, untitled,1948
Count Theodore Zichy Cupid And Shoes , Circa 1940
Count Theodore Zichy- Britian, 1948
Count Theodore Zichy – Untitled, 1948. [ Plus çà change, plus c’est la même chose //The more things change, the more they stay the same – Alphonse Karr]
Source Mutual Art
Source Air de Paris
More of his work in the Baron Studio
Count Zichy by Baron Studios half-plate film negative, 8 February 1960 © National Portrait Gallery, London