Rod Steiger

Highest Rated: 100% The Pawnbroker (1965)
Lowest Rated: 7% The Specialist (1994)
Birthday: Apr 14, 1925
Birthplace: Westhampton, New York, USA
A renowned character actor who never liked that label, Rod Steiger left his mark on 1950s and '60s Hollywood with forceful performances in such critical favorites as On the Waterfront (1954) and The Pawnbroker (1964), culminating in an Oscar for In the Heat of the Night (1967). Despite myriad health problems and less sterling job offers from the 1970s onward, Steiger never stopped acting before he passed away in 2002. Born on Long Island, Steiger was raised in New Jersey by his mother after his parents divorced. Dropping out of high school at 16, Steiger enlisted in the Navy in 1941, serving on a destroyer in the World War II South Pacific. Returning to New Jersey after his 1945 discharge, Steiger worked at the Veterans Administration and joined a civil service theater group where one of the female members urged him to make acting his career. Along with using his G.I. Bill to study at several New York schools, including the Actors Studio, Steiger began landing roles in live TV plays in 1947. Over the next five years, Steiger honed his formidable Method skills in 250-plus live TV productions, as well as on Broadway. Though he appeared in the movie Teresa (1951), Steiger didn't fully make the transition to film until his award-winning performance as the lonely title character in the 1953 TV production of Paddy Chayefsky's Marty, which helped him nab a part in Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront. As Charley Malloy, Steiger most memorably shared the backseat of a cab with screen brother Marlon Brando as Brando's ex-boxer Terry laid the blame for his one-way trip to Palookaville on his corrupt older sibling. Though Kazan had guided Steiger to his first Oscar nomination, Steiger later condemned the Academy's controversial decision to award Kazan an honorary Oscar in 1999. After On the Waterfront, Steiger made his presence felt as a movie tycoon in his erstwhile TV director Robert Aldrich's Hollywood tale The Big Knife (1955), a scheming attorney in Otto Preminger's The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell (1955), and the villain in Fred Zinnemann's adaptation of Oklahoma! (1955). Further underlining his effusive talent and his intense (if occasionally overwrought) screen style, Steiger co-starred with Humphrey Bogart in Bogart's final film, The Harder They Fall (1956); survived Samuel Fuller-style Western sadism as an Irish-accented ex-soldier in Run of the Arrow (1957); played a psychopath in Cry Terror! (1958); and raged as Al Capone (1959) (Steiger's Capone was later credited as the inadvertent model for Robert De Niro's performance in The Untouchables). Steiger still occasionally acted on-stage, including Orson Welles' unusual adaptation of Moby Dick in 1962. Nevertheless, Steiger concentrated mostly on movies, with his career taking on an international flavor after he married his second wife and Broadway co-star, Claire Bloom, in 1959. After appearing in the low-key British drama The Mark (1961), Steiger joined the impressive Hollywood all-star cast re-staging of D-Day in the war epic The Longest Day (1962). He returned to films after his 1962 theater hiatus as a dishonest politico in the Italian film Le Mani Sulla Città (1963). Steiger's forays into Italian movies preceded two of the best years of his career. In Sidney Lumet's groundbreaking independent drama The Pawnbroker, Steiger's powerful performance as a Holocaust survivor running a Harlem pawnshop earned the Berlin Film Festival's Best Actor prize in 1964 and garnered raves upon the film's 1965 U.S. release. That same year, Steiger also gleefully played the asexual embalmer Mr. Joyboy in Tony Richardson's outrageous comedy The Loved One (1965) and had a small part in David Lean's blockbuster romance Doctor Zhivago (1965). After his banner year resulted in a much-desired Best Actor Oscar nomination for The Pawnbroker, Steiger lost to Lee Marvin. The outcome was different for his next American film, the acclaimed racially charged police drama In the Heat of the Night. Starring oppo

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
No Score Yet An Unlikely Weapon: The Eddie Adams Story Actor 2008
No Score Yet The Magic Mountain (Der Zauberberg) Actor 2007
No Score Yet The Real James Dean: From Indiana Farmboy To Hollywood Legend Actor 2005
No Score Yet Breakout: Prisoner of War Escapes Actor Director 2004
88% Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust Actor 2004
No Score Yet The Hollywood Sign Floyd Benson 2002
33% Poolhall Junkies Nick $0.6M 2002
33% The Last Producer Sherri Ganse 2002
No Score Yet Frozen in Fear Director Ben 2001
No Score Yet Cypress Edge Actor 2001
No Score Yet A Month of Sundays Charley McCabe 2001
No Score Yet The Final Hit Sherri Ganse 2000
No Score Yet The Flying Dutchman Actor 2000
83% The Hurricane Judge Sarokin 1999
11% End of Days Father Kovak 1999
30% Crazy in Alabama Judge Mead 1999
70% Shiloh 2: Shiloh Season Doc Wallace 1999
No Score Yet Body and Soul Actor 1999
No Score Yet Cypress Edge Actor 1999
No Score Yet Ángeles y Demonios Fontina 1998
No Score Yet Legacy Sadler) 1998
30% Modern Vampires Dr. Van Helsing 1998
33% Incognito Milton Donovan 1998
No Score Yet Kingdom of Shadows Narrator 1998
No Score Yet Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's Actor 1997
No Score Yet The Kid Harry Sloan 1997
No Score Yet The Real Thing Victor 1997
38% Truth or Consequences, N.M. Tony Vago 1997
73% Shiloh Doc Wallace 1997
54% Mars Attacks! Gen. Decker 1996
13% Carpool Mr. Hammerman 1996
No Score Yet Dalva Northridge 1996
No Score Yet From Hollywood to Hanoi Actor 1995
No Score Yet In Pursuit of Honor Col. Owen Stuart 1995
No Score Yet Choices of the Heart Actor 1995
No Score Yet Demolition Day The President 1995
No Score Yet Choices of the Heart: The Margaret Sanger Story Anthony Comstock 1995
No Score Yet Forbidden City: The Great Within Narrator 1995
No Score Yet Tom Clancy's 'Op Center' Boroda 1995
No Score Yet Out There Col. Buck Gunner 1995
7% The Specialist Joe Leon 1994
No Score Yet The Last Tattoo Gen. Frank Zane 1994
No Score Yet Tous les jours dimanche (Seven Sundays) Actor 1994
No Score Yet The Neighbor Dr. Myron Hatch 1993
No Score Yet Sinatra Sam Giancana 1992
98% The Player Himself 1992
No Score Yet Guilty as Charged Ben 1992
No Score Yet Lincoln: The Pivotal Year, 1863 U.S. Grant 1992
No Score Yet Lincoln: The Making of a President, 1860-1862 U.S. Grant 1992
No Score Yet Ray Bradbury: An American Icon Narrator 1992
No Score Yet Lincoln: Now He Belongs to the Ages, 1865 U.S. Grant 1992
No Score Yet Lincoln: I Want to Finish This Job, 1864 U.S. Grant 1992
No Score Yet In the Line of Duty: Manhunt in the Dakotas Actor 1991
67% The Ballad of the Sad Cafe Rev. Willin 1991
No Score Yet Men of Respect Charlie D'Amico 1991
No Score Yet That Summer of White Roses Martin 1990
No Score Yet Passion and Paradise Sir Harry Oakes 1989
20% The January Man Mayor Eamon Flynn 1989
No Score Yet Black Water Judge Prescott 1989
No Score Yet American Gothic Pa 1988
No Score Yet Desperado: Avalanche at Devil's Ridge Silas Slaten 1988
No Score Yet Catch the Heat Jason Hannibal 1987
40% The Kindred Dr. Phillip Lloyd 1987
No Score Yet Sword of Gideon Mordechai Samuels 1986
No Score Yet The Glory Boys Director Sokarev 1984
No Score Yet Dealers in Death: Murder and Mayhem in America Actor 1984
No Score Yet The Naked Face Lt. McGreavy 1984
No Score Yet Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain Mynheer Peeperkorn 1982
No Score Yet The Sacred Music of Duke Ellington Actor 1982
82% The Chosen Reb Saunders 1981
No Score Yet Cattle Annie and Little Britches Tilghman 1981
80% Lion of the Desert (Omar Mukhtar) Benito Mussolini 1981
No Score Yet Klondike Fever Soapy Smith 1980
No Score Yet Love and Bullets Joe Bomposa 1979
30% The Amityville Horror Father Delaney 1979
No Score Yet Steiner - Das eiserne Kreuz, 2. Teil (Sergeant Steiner) (Breakthrough) Gen. Webster 1979
80% F.I.S.T. Sen. Andrew Madison 1978
No Score Yet W.c. Fields And Me W.C. Fields 1976
No Score Yet Hennessy Hennessy 1975
No Score Yet Dirty Hands Louis 1975
No Score Yet The Last Days of Mussolini Benito Mussolini 1974
No Score Yet Lucky Luciano Gene Giannini 1973
No Score Yet Lolly-Madonna XXX (The Lolly-Madonna War) Laban Feather 1973
91% Duck, You Sucker (A Fistful of Dynamite) (Giù la testa) Juan Miranda 1972
No Score Yet Happy Birthday, Wanda June Harold Ryan 1971
33% Waterloo Napoleon 1970
No Score Yet The Sergeant Sgt. Albert Callan 1969
42% The Illustrated Man Carl 1969
No Score Yet The Sergeant Actor 1968
89% No Way to Treat a Lady Christopher Gill 1968
96% In the Heat of the Night Police Chief Bill Gillespie 1967
No Score Yet The Girl and the General (La ragazza e il generale) The General 1967
No Score Yet Time of Indifference (Gli Indifferenti) Leo 1965
53% The Loved One Mr. Joyboy 1965
100% The Pawnbroker Sol Nazerman 1965
No Score Yet Le mani sulla città (Hands Over the City) Nottola 1963
No Score Yet Convicts 4 Tiptoes 1962
91% The Longest Day Destroyer Commander 1962
No Score Yet 13 West Street Actor 1962
No Score Yet The Mark Dr. Edmund McNally 1961
No Score Yet Seven Thieves Paul Mason/John Edwards 1960
No Score Yet Cry Terror! Paul Hoplin 1958
No Score Yet Across the Bridge Carl Schaffner 1957
No Score Yet The Unholy Wife Paul Hochen 1957
No Score Yet Back From Eternity Vasquel 1957
No Score Yet Run of the Arrow O'Meara 1957
100% Jubal 'Pinky' Pinkum 1956
100% The Harder They Fall Nick Benko 1956
86% The Big Knife Stanley Shriner Hoff 1955
100% The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell Maj. Allan Guillion 1955
92% Oklahoma! Jud Fry 1955
98% On the Waterfront Charley Malloy 1954
No Score Yet Tales of Tomorrow Actor 1953
No Score Yet Teresa Frank 1951

TV

CREDIT
85% The Simpsons
1989
Voice
  • 1998
No Score Yet Columbo
1968-2003
Vincenzo Forteli
  • 1995
No Score Yet Jesus of Nazareth
1977
Pontius Pilate
  • 1977

QUOTES FROM Rod Steiger CHARACTERS