Actor. Born Rodney Stephen Steiger, his parents had a song-and-dance act and following their divorce when he was a year old, he was raised by his mother and stepfather. His first encounter with acting was in a play during elementary school. He would drop out of high school to join the US Navy and during World War II, he served as a torpedo-man on a destroyer, as he saw action the South Pacific Theater, including the Battle of Iwo Jima. Upon his return home, he attained a job with the Department of Dependents and Beneficiaries while acting with an amateur group. With the aid of the G.I. Bill, he was able to study first with the New School for Social Research and later at the Actors Studio, where he became a perfect example of a "Method" actor. Steiger marked his professional debut in the Broadway production of "An Enemy of the People" (1950 to 1951) and during that same period initiated his Hollywood career in the film "Teresa" (1951). He played the role of Marty Pilletti during a 1953 TV episode of The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse, preceding Ernest Borgnine's Academy Award-winning performance by two years. His breakthrough role was as Marlon Brando's brother Charley Malloy in the classic picture "On the Waterfront", for which Steiger earned a Academy Award nomination and from that point on, the burly character performer who commanded screen presence found a wide range of parts in such films as "Oklahoma!" (1955, with a singing role), "The Harder They Fall" (1956, opposite Humphrey Bogart in his last picture), "Run of the Arrow" (1957) and the title role in "Al Capone" (1959). During the 1960, he reached the peak of his career, as he earned an Academy Award nomination for "The Pawnbroker" (1964), had a strong supporting performance in "Doctor Zhivago" (1965), and finally receiving an Oscar for his origination of Police Chief Gillespie opposite Sidney Poitier in the racially-charged "In the Heat of the Night" (1967). Among his other credits include "No Way to Treat a Lady" (1968), "The Sergeant" (1968), "Lolly-Madonna XXX" (1973), "W.C. Fields and Me" (1976), "Love and Bullets" (1979), "The Amityville Horror" (1979), "American Gothic" (1988). He was formerly married to actress Claire Bloom. He died of pneumonia following surgery to remove a tumor from his gallbladder.
Bio by: C.S.
Beloved Husband to Joan
Beloved Father of Anna And Michael
"See You Later"