Rod Steiger - Rotten Tomatoes

Rod Steiger

Highest Rated:   100% The Pawnbroker (1965)
Lowest Rated:   4% The Specialist (1994)
Birthday:  
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

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
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
  • Director
  • Actor
2004
88% Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet The Hollywood Sign
  • Floyd Benson
2002
34% Poolhall Junkies
  • Nick
$0.6M 2002
No Score Yet 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
52% 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 Choices of the Heart: The Margaret Sanger Story
  • Anthony Comstock
1995
No Score Yet Demolition Day
  • The President
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
4% 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
21% 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 Catch the Heat
  • Jason Hannibal
1987
No Score Yet The Kindred
  • Dr. Phillip Lloyd
1987
No Score Yet Sword of Gideon
  • Mordechai Samuels
1986
No Score Yet The Glory Boys
  • Sokarev
  • Director
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 The Sacred Music of Duke Ellington
  • Actor
1982
No Score Yet Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain
  • Mynheer Peeperkorn
1982
80% 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
29% 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 Jesus of Nazareth
  • Pontius Pilate
1977
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
90% Duck, You Sucker (Giù la testa)
  • Juan Miranda
1972
No Score Yet Happy Birthday, Wanda June
  • Harold Ryan
1971
No Score Yet 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 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
80% The Big Knife
  • Stanley Shriner Hoff
1955
100% The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell
  • Maj. Allan Guillion
1955
96% 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

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet The Simpsons
1989
  • Voice
  • 1998

Quotes from Rod Steiger's Characters