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Saul Rubinek

Saul Rubinek

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: July 2, 1948 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Germany Profession: actor, director, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A compact, curly-haired character player with bushy eyebrows over large brown eyes and malleable looks, Saul Rubinek has excelled in playing nebbishy professionals. Born in a displaced persons camp after WWII to Polish Holocaust survivors, he and his family emigrated to Canada when he was a mere eight months. As a child, Rubinek was enrolled in theater classes and by age 10 had made his professional acting debut on Canadian radio. While still in grade school, he regularly performed at the Ottawa Little Theatre, often playing both male and female children. Deciding early on to pursue a career as an actor (his father had been a performer in Yiddish theater in pre-war Europe), Rubinek dropped out of school at 16. Four years later, he was gainfully employed at his craft at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and later was a founding member of both the Toronto Free Theatre and the Theatre Passe Muraille.By his early 30s, Rubinek made the transition to feature work, debuting in the uneven romantic comedy "Nothing Personal" (1980). Over the course of the next twenty-plus years, the actor essayed a number of shady lawyers ("Against All Odds" 1984; "Wall Street" 1987; "Bonfire of the Vanities" 1990), misguided...

A compact, curly-haired character player with bushy eyebrows over large brown eyes and malleable looks, Saul Rubinek has excelled in playing nebbishy professionals. Born in a displaced persons camp after WWII to Polish Holocaust survivors, he and his family emigrated to Canada when he was a mere eight months. As a child, Rubinek was enrolled in theater classes and by age 10 had made his professional acting debut on Canadian radio. While still in grade school, he regularly performed at the Ottawa Little Theatre, often playing both male and female children. Deciding early on to pursue a career as an actor (his father had been a performer in Yiddish theater in pre-war Europe), Rubinek dropped out of school at 16. Four years later, he was gainfully employed at his craft at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and later was a founding member of both the Toronto Free Theatre and the Theatre Passe Muraille.

By his early 30s, Rubinek made the transition to feature work, debuting in the uneven romantic comedy "Nothing Personal" (1980). Over the course of the next twenty-plus years, the actor essayed a number of shady lawyers ("Against All Odds" 1984; "Wall Street" 1987; "Bonfire of the Vanities" 1990), misguided or sleazy filmmakers ("Sweet Liberty" 1986; "True Romance" 1993) and outright criminals ("Getting Even With Dad" 1994). Rubinek has fared well in independent films, notably as a rabbi who renews a feud with a Holocaust survivor in the Canadian produced "The Quarrel" (1991) while finding the occasional meaty big screen role like his "biographer" in Clint Eastwood's Oscar-winning Western "Unforgiven" (1992) or portraying former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in Andrew Fleming's Watergate satire "Dick" (1999). Long harboring a desire to make a documentary based on the experiences of his parents, Rubinek did move behind the camera making his directorial debut with "Jerry & Tom" (1998), about two Chicago car salesmen who moonlight as Mob hit men.

On the small screen, Rubinek has proven equally prolific. He co-starred in the first made-for-cable TV-movie "The Terry Fox Story" (HBO, 1983) and had a recurring role on the CBS drama "The Equalizer" in the 1985-86 season. While his two stabs at regular series stardom, the 1989 NBC drama "Men" and the 1996 CBS sitcom "Ink," both met an early demise, Rubinek has proven an effective guest performer, perhaps most notably as the divorce lawyer who romances Jane Leeves' Daphne Moon on the NBC sitcom "Frasier" in 1999.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Wonder, The (2014)
3.
  Bleacher Bums (2002) Director
4.
  Club Land (2001) Director
5.
  Jerry & Tom (1999) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Gridlocked (2014)
4.
 Barney's Version (2010)
5.
 Knucklehead (2010)
7.
 Trotsky, The (2009)
9.
 Express, The (2008)
10.
 Julia (2008)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Moved to Montreal at the age of eight months from a displaced persons camp in Munich, Germany
:
Placed in a theater class at an early age
1958:
Professional acting debut on radio at age 10
:
Started acting in the Ottawa Little Theater while still in grade school, playing both male and female parts until his voice changed
1964:
Dropped out of school at age 16
:
Performed at the Stratford (Ontario) Shakespeare Festival
:
Was a founding member of the Toronto Free Theater
1979:
American TV debut in "Sanctuary of Fear"
1980:
Film debut in "Nothing Personal"
1982:
Won a Genie Award for his supporting turn in the thriller about cults, "Ticket to Heaven"
1983:
Played title role of a Los Angeles cab driver with a desire to be a private investigator in the busted NBC pilot "Dusty"
1984:
Had featured role in the award-winning PBS miniseries "Concealed Enemies", about the Alger Hiss spy case
1985:
Played recurring role on the CBS series "The Equalizer"
1989:
Cast in the short-lived ABC drama "Men"
1991:
Starred in the Canadian-produced "The Quarrel", about a writer and a Holocaust survivor who renew rivalries when they remeet; has claimed this is his favorite role
1992:
Co-starred in the unsold pilot for a series based on the award-winning play and film "Driving Miss Daisy" (CBS); played Daisy's son Boolie
1992:
Appeared as the "biographer" W W Beauchamp in Clint Eastwood's Oscar-winning Western "Unforgiven"
1993:
Essayed role as one of the doctors on the team tracking the AIDS virus in the HBO drama "And the Band Played On"
1995:
Acted in Oliver Stone's biopic "Nixon"; Dan Hedaya portrayed Bebe Rebozo
:
Joined ensemble cast of the CBS sitcom "Ink"
1998:
Feature directorial debut, "Jerry & Tom"; also produced; screened at film festivals
1999:
Played recurring role of lawyer Donnie Douglas, who entered into romance with Daphne (Jane Leeves) on "Frasier" (NBC)
1999:
Cast as Henry Kissinger in Andrew Fleming's satirical look at Watergate, "Dick", starring Dan Hedaya as Richard M Nixon
2000:
Starred opposite Joan Allen and Gary Oldman in Rob Lurie's "The Contender"
2000:
Starred opposite Nicolas Cage in "The Family Man"
2001:
Directed "Bleacher Bums"; premiered at the Chicago Film Festival; aired on Showtime in 2002
2002:
Played George 'Bullets' Durgom in the Television movie "Gleason" based on the life of Jackie Gleason
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Notes

"In Canada, I played all kinds of roles--a Hasidic rabbi, a thief. But in the U.S. I seem to be playing all these professionals. I used to be the hero's best friend, then I started to look for roles that had more of an edge to them. It's fun to play the character who looks like the hero's best friend, but has an edge." --Sau Rubinek quoted in DAILY NEWS, July 5, 1994

On his approach to playing Henry Kissinger in "Dick" (1999), Rubinek to the LOS ANGELES TIMES: "You learn from other actors. You can make the mistake, which I've definitely made, where I could have been better because I was trying to be funny, It would would have been a lot better if I'd played it straight and let the circumstances do it. On this set, everybody was straight. I had a little deja vu, though because I was in Oliver Stone's 'Nixon', so I was in the White House with the other Nixon (Anthony Hopkins) and the other Haldeman (James Woods)."

Family close complete family listing

father:
Israel Rubinek. Factory worker, actor. Born in 1920 in Lodz, Poland; Jewish; Talmudic scholar; hidden by farmers for more than two years during WWII; had acted in Yiddish theater before WWII and made film debut at age 70 in "Avalon" (1990).
father:
Israel Rubinek. Older; born c. 1950; was a piano prodigy.
mother:
Frania Rubinek. Polish Jew hidden by farmers for more than two years during WWII; appeared with her husband in "Avalon" (1990).
mother:
Frania Rubinek. Had three; survived him.
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