Sam Levene

Sam Levene

Highest Rated: 100% After the Thin Man (1936)

Lowest Rated: 29% Last Embrace (1979)

Birthday: Aug 28, 1905

Birthplace: Russian Empire

Sam Levene became an actor because he wanted to prove that he had enough poise to be a salesman. To hone his skills, the dress-cutter auditioned at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts--and got a scholarship. He made his Broadway debut in 1927 and, within a decade, was recreating his roles on the silver screen. Building his reputation as a screen heavy, Levene landed the part of Lieutenant Abrams in "After the Thin Man," the second outing of Dashiell Hammett's investigatory lovebirds, and reappeared in their fourth film, "Shadow of the Thin Man." He proved to be a mainstay of crime dramas, and appeared frequently with Burt Lancaster. They worked together in such classics as "The Killers," the stunning expansion of a story by Ernest Hemingway; the prison thriller "Brute Force"; and "Sweet Smell of Success," which probed yellow journalism's seedy underbelly. But Levene continued to work on stage, where he created the legendary role of Nathan Detroit, the gambler-hero of "Guys and Dolls." Despite having a singing voice so poor that his big number was written in a single octave, his performance was so well-regarded that, when Frank Sinatra nabbed the role in the movie version, there were doubts that he'd live up to Levene. The would-be salesman also played a washed-up vaudevillian in Neil Simon's Broadway hit "The Sunshine Boys," and made his final screen appearance in "...And Justice for All," a courtroom drama starring Al Pacino.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Credit
83% 80% ...And Justice for All Arnie (Character) - 1979
29% 32% Last Embrace Sam Urdell (Character) - 1979
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Royal Family Oscar Wolfe (Character) - 1977
73% 52% God Told Me To Everett Lukas, Science Editor for Daily Star (Character) - 1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Money Lou Maurice (Character) - 1975
No Score Yet 33% Such Good Friends Uncle Eddie (Character) - 1971
No Score Yet 57% A Dream of Kings Cicero (Character) - 1969
No Score Yet 50% Act One Richard Maxwell (Character) - 1963
No Score Yet No Score Yet Kathy O' Ben Melnick (Character) - 1958
98% 92% Sweet Smell of Success Frank D' Angelo (Character) - 1957
82% 69% Designing Woman Ned Hammerstein (Character) - 1957
No Score Yet 60% Slaughter on Tenth Avenue Howard Rysdale (Character) - 1957
No Score Yet 24% Dial 1119 Dr. John D. Faron (Character) - 1950
No Score Yet 20% Guilty Bystander Capt. Tonetti (Character) - 1950
No Score Yet No Score Yet With These Hands Alexander Brody (Character) - 1950
No Score Yet 64% The Babe Ruth Story Phil Conrad (Character) - 1948
No Score Yet 50% Killer McCoy Happy (Character) - 1947
82% 74% Crossfire Samuels (Character) - 1947
80% 63% Boomerang! Woods (Character) - 1947
No Score Yet No Score Yet A Likely Story Louie (Character) - 1947
94% 87% Brute Force Louie (Character) - 1947
100% 89% The Killers Lt. Sam Lubinsky (Character) - 1946
No Score Yet 50% The True Glory Unknown (Voice) - 1945
No Score Yet 33% I Dood It Ed Jackson (Character) - 1943
No Score Yet 67% Whistling in Brooklyn Creeper (Character) - 1943
No Score Yet 49% Gung Ho! Leo "Transport" Andreof (Character) - 1943
No Score Yet 71% Action in the North Atlantic Abel "Chips" Abrams (Character) - 1943
No Score Yet No Score Yet Sing Your Worries Away Smiley Clark (Character) - 1942
No Score Yet 59% The Big Street Horsethief (Character) - 1942
No Score Yet 36% Grand Central Murder Inspector Gunther (Character) - 1942
No Score Yet No Score Yet Married Bachelor Cookie Farrar (Character) - 1941
83% 79% Shadow of the Thin Man Lieutenant Abrams (Character) - 1941
No Score Yet 46% Golden Boy Siggie (Character) - 1939
No Score Yet 79% The Shopworn Angel Leer (Character) - 1938
No Score Yet No Score Yet Yellow Jack Busch (Character) - 1938
No Score Yet 63% The Mad Miss Manton Lieutenant Brent (Character) - 1938
100% 90% After the Thin Man Lieutenant Abrams (Character) - 1936
No Score Yet 50% Three Men on a Horse Patsy (Character) - 1936

TV

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet What's My Line? Guest 1972 1969
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Untouchables Unknown (Guest Star) 1960
No Score Yet No Score Yet The United States Steel Hour Reporter McArdle (Character) 1954

QUOTES FROM Sam Levene CHARACTERS

Joseph Samuels says: It's worse at night, isn't it? I think maybe it's suddenly not having a lot of enemies to hate anymore. Maybe it's because for four years now we've been focusing our mind on -- on one little peanut. The win the war peanut. That was all; get it over! Eat that peanut. [he eats and swallows the peanut] All at once, no peanut. Now we start looking at each other again. We don't know what we're supposed to do - we don't know what's supposed to happen. We're too used to fighting, but we just don't know what to fight. You can feel the tension in the air. A whole lot of fight, and hate, that doesn't know where to go. A guy like you, maybe, starts hating himself. Well - one of these days maybe we'll all learn to shift gears. Stop hating and start liking things again. Eh.