Movie star Rod Steiger died today in Los Angeles at the age of 78.
An Academy Award winner for In the Heat of the Night (1967), Steiger was also known for his performances in the films Doctor Zhivago (1965), On the Waterfront (1954), and Al Capone (1959). Appearing alongside Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones, Steiger played the tormented, villainous Jud Fry in the 1955 film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!. More recently, he appeared in a wide range of big-screen roles, popping up in everything from the 1991 film adaptation of Edward Albee's The Ballad of the Sad Café to the 1999 Rubin Carter biopic The Hurricane. Steiger's last movie role was in A Month of Sundays (2001).
A committed method actor, Steiger very occasionally appeared on Broadway, though never in a hit show. His longest run was in Rashomon, which lasted 159 performances in 1959; Steiger played a bandit. His last Broadway appearance came in 1962 in Orson Welles' adaptation of Moby Dick. That show opened and closed within two weeks.
Steiger's death was attributed to pneumonia and kidney failure.