Actor Rod Steiger Dies at 78
July 9, 2002 11:37 AM   Subscribe

Actor Rod Steiger Dies at 78 One of the great character actors. I still remember how blown away I was by him in "In The Heat of the Night". R.I.P.
posted by BGM (11 comments total)
Next he was cast as the villainous Jud in the big-budget filming of "Oklahoma!" The director, Fred Zinnemann, expected to dub Steiger's songs with a professional singer and use an experienced dancer to portray Jud in the ballet sequence. Stressing his opera training, Steiger convinced the director that he could measure up to star Gordon MacRae in their duet, "Poor Jud Is Dead." He underwent three days of grueling ballet lessons and managed a creditable performance in the Agnes DeMille dance.
posted by ColdChef at 11:39 AM on July 9, 2002

The image of Rod studying ballet is a wonderful thing to carry with me for the rest of the week.

Then again, it might explain his fashion sense.
posted by Dagobert at 11:47 AM on July 9, 2002

Sadly, the last thing in which I remember seeing him was "the new Hollywood Squares".
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:00 PM on July 9, 2002

"Don't call them tattoos, they're skin illustrations".
posted by Mack Twain at 12:10 PM on July 9, 2002

Another show-biz obit:

Cory at BoingBoing is reporting through various other sources that Disney animator Ward Kimball has died.
posted by briank at 12:15 PM on July 9, 2002

Hasn't he been on Politically Incorrect and Dinner for Five in just the past couple of months??
posted by Ben Grimm at 12:59 PM on July 9, 2002

His performance as Rabbi Saunders in "The Chosen" (1981) is amazing, one of my favorites, along with "On the Waterfront", where he essentially plays backup to the virtuosic Brando, but does so in a way that makes Brando's performance even better.

Also: Mars Attacks.
posted by Ty Webb at 1:03 PM on July 9, 2002

Geez ... I just saw an absorbing profile on Steiger on television a few nights ago. Seemed like over the last few years he was just getting back into the swing of things (after his fabled and protracted bout with depression) working on Indie productions, cuz big studios weren't too big on hiring him. He seemed quite excited and energize by the world of independent films.

Along the same lines, a week or so back I saw Jack Klugman wandering around downtown here in Lincoln, Nebraska. He's here doing a play at the University. He certainly has enough money to retire comfortably, but here he is: spending the bulk of his summer in muggy Nebraska performing on stage. The man is 80 years old! (I know people in their 60's who vegitate by the window or in front of the TV). What passion these guys have for their craft.
posted by RavinDave at 1:10 PM on July 9, 2002

Rod Steiger was particularly good in "The Pawnbroker"...
posted by insomnia_lj at 1:38 AM on July 10, 2002

Best Rod Steiger performance is not Heat of the Night or On The Waterfront. It was as Napolean in Waterloo. It was in 1969. And the year before, Patton came out and it was a massive hit. Steiger was up for the role and turned it down because he was anti-war, later calling it the worst mistake he ever made -- he couldn't understand the difference between portraying a passionate warrior and actually glorifying war. So when the Napolean role came up, he threw everything into it. He was the best commander-in-chief EVER.
posted by timyang at 12:50 PM on July 10, 2002

Yes, tim, when I visualize Napolean, it is his face that springs to mind, probably was his best work...
posted by bittennails at 12:58 PM on July 10, 2002

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