Rodney Stephen "Rod" Steiger (April 14, 1925 – July 9, 2002) was an American actor, noted for his portrayal of offbeat, often volatile and crazed characters. Cited as "one of Hollywood's most charismatic and dynamic stars", he is closely associated with the art of method acting, embodying the characters he played, which at times led to clashes with directors and co-stars. He starred as Marlon Brando's mobster brother Charlie in On the Waterfront (1954), the titular character, Sol Nazerman, in The Pawnbroker (1964), and as police chief Bill Gillespie opposite Sidney Poitier in the film In the Heat of the Night (1967). His In the Heat of the Night performance won him the Academy Award for Best Actor.
Steiger was born in Westhampton, New York, the son of a vaudevillian. He had a difficult childhood, with an alcoholic mother from whom he ran away at the age of 16. After serving in the South Pacific Theater during World War II, he began his acting career with television roles in 1947, and went on to garner critical acclaim for his portrayal of the main character in the teleplay "Marty" (1953). He made his stage debut in 1946, in a production of Curse you, Jack Dalton! at the Civic Repertory Theatre of Newark, and subsequently appeared in productions such as An Enemy of the People (1950), Clifford Odets's Night Music (1951), Seagulls Over Sorrento (1952) and Rashomon (1959)...
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