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By Donald Dewey

Or a lot of his theater contemporaries, Lee J. Cobb (1911–1976) used to be the best actor of his new release. In Hollywood he grew to become the definitive embodiment of gangsters, psychiatrists, and roaring lunatics. From 1939 until eventually his dying, Cobb contributed riveting performances to a couple of movies, together with Boomerang, at the Waterfront, The Brothers Karamazov, 12 offended males, and The Exorcist. yet for all of his conspicuous achievements in films, Cobb's identify is such a lot pointed out with the nature Willy Loman within the unique level creation of Arthur Miller's demise of a salesperson (1949). Directed by way of Elia Kazan, Cobb's Broadway functionality proved to be a benchmark for American theater.

In Lee J. Cobb: Characters of an Actor, Donald Dewey seems on the lifestyles and profession of this flexible performer. From his reduce East aspect roots in manhattan City—where he was once born Leo Jacob—to a number of accolades on level and the massive and small displays, Cobb's existence proved to be a tumultuous rollercoaster of highs and lows. As a number one guy of the theater, he gave a few compelling performances in such performs as Golden Boy and King Lear. For the Hollywood studios, Cobb healthy the outline of the "character actor." nobody larger epitomized the performer who without warning looks at the display and instantly grabs the audience's realization. in the course of his forty-five-year occupation, there wasn't an important star—from Humphrey Bogart and James Stewart to Paul Newman and Clint Eastwood—with whom he didn't work.

Cobb was once additionally by means of controversy: he seemed sooner than the home Un-American actions Committee within the Fifties and used to be a witness to a movie-set homicide case within the Nineteen Seventies. via all of it, he by no means misplaced his flavor for speedy autos and gin rummy. A undergo of a guy with a voice that both accommodated growls and sibilant sympathies, Cobb was once undeniably an actor to be reckoned with. during this interesting ebook, Dewey captures all the drama that surrounded Cobb, either on reveal and stale.

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Lee J. Cobb: Characters of an Actor

Or lots of his theater contemporaries, Lee J. Cobb (1911–1976) used to be the best actor of his iteration. In Hollywood he turned the definitive embodiment of gangsters, psychiatrists, and roaring lunatics. From 1939 till his demise, Cobb contributed riveting performances to a couple of movies, together with Boomerang, at the Waterfront, The Brothers Karamazov, 12 indignant males, and The Exorcist.

Extra info for Lee J. Cobb: Characters of an Actor

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Not only did she come to the Group with legendary ties to the Yiddish theater through her family, not only had Hollywood been beckoning to her for some time as a leading lady, not only did she have the statuesque looks and talent of a star to go with the dedication and self-awareness that had prompted her meeting with Stanislavsky and clash with Strasberg, but her personal relationship with Clurman seemed to many to make her the most equal of equals. That impression was reinforced by Clurman’s public docility before Adler’s habit of cornering herself with Meisner and Robert Lewis to exchange gossip or cackle away at rehearsal blunders, the practice earning the trio the reputation of the Weird Sisters among the other actors.

The Center for Jewish History, correspondence collection of the Hebrew Typographical Union, Local 83. indb 18 12/18/13 7:38 AM Pressrooms and Prodigies 19 5. Conversation with author. Subsequent quotes from Vincent Cobb are taken from conversations with the author over the course of several years. 6. Interview with author, January 9, 2009. 7. Conversation with author. Unless otherwise indicated, quotes from Julie Cobb are taken from conversations with the author over the course of several years.

It was part of my tradition. I had been treated royally by people who bowed to my father. If they bowed to him, they bowed to me, too. ”18 But the Adlers were only one of the cracks in the ensemble foundation, and far from being the most collapsible part of the company. Throughout its decade of existence the company was also in a snit about members who “betrayed” it by running off to Hollywood. indb 29 12/18/13 7:38 AM 30 Chapter 3 his improved earnings from the movies permitted him to help finance company productions.

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