Rod Steiger was an Oscar-winning actor with a chameleon-like ability to inhabit diverse characters. He gave particularly memorable performances in "The Pawnbroker" (1964) and "In the Heat of the Night" (1967).
Steiger was the consummate Method actor, studying under Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in New York, and was known for bringing a raw intensity to his performances. He played a middle-aged Italian butcher in the television drama "Marty" and a bigoted Southern sheriff of "In the Heat of the Night," a role that earned him the Academy Award.
Between 1948 and 1953 Steiger appeared in more than 250 live television productions, the best known being the 1953 Paddy Chayefsky drama "Marty."
By 1951 the actor had made his debut on Broadway and appeared in his first film role, in director Fred Zinnemann's "Teresa." Three years later, Steiger received his first Oscar nomination for playing Brando's thuggish brother Charlie in Elia Kazan's seminal drama "On the Waterfront" (1954).
Though Steiger consistently gave interesting performances after "In the Heat of the Night," the roles never lived up to his earlier work.
|1954||Best Supporting Actor||On the Waterfront||Nomination|
|1965||Best Actor||The Pawnbroker||Nomination|
|1967||Best Actor||In the Heat of the Night||Win|