Sam Levene


Actor
Sam Levene

About

Birth Place
New York City, New York, USA
Born
August 28, 1905
Died
December 26, 1980

Biography

Sam Levene became an actor because he wanted to prove that he had enough poise to be a salesman. To hone his skills, the dress-cutter auditioned at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts--and got a scholarship. He made his Broadway debut in 1927 and, within a decade, was recreating his roles on the silver screen. Building his reputation as a screen heavy, Levene landed the part of Lieuten...

Biography

Sam Levene became an actor because he wanted to prove that he had enough poise to be a salesman. To hone his skills, the dress-cutter auditioned at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts--and got a scholarship. He made his Broadway debut in 1927 and, within a decade, was recreating his roles on the silver screen. Building his reputation as a screen heavy, Levene landed the part of Lieutenant Abrams in "After the Thin Man," the second outing of Dashiell Hammett's investigatory lovebirds, and reappeared in their fourth film, "Shadow of the Thin Man." He proved to be a mainstay of crime dramas, and appeared frequently with Burt Lancaster. They worked together in such classics as "The Killers," the stunning expansion of a story by Ernest Hemingway; the prison thriller "Brute Force"; and "Sweet Smell of Success," which probed yellow journalism's seedy underbelly. But Levene continued to work on stage, where he created the legendary role of Nathan Detroit, the gambler-hero of "Guys and Dolls." Despite having a singing voice so poor that his big number was written in a single octave, his performance was so well-regarded that, when Frank Sinatra nabbed the role in the movie version, there were doubts that he'd live up to Levene. The would-be salesman also played a washed-up vaudevillian in Neil Simon's Broadway hit "The Sunshine Boys," and made his final screen appearance in "...And Justice for All," a courtroom drama starring Al Pacino.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Last Embrace (1979)
...And Justice For All (1979)
God Told Me To (1976)
The Money (1975)
Lou
Such Good Friends (1971)
Uncle Eddie
A Dream of Kings (1969)
Cicero
Act One (1963)
Richard Maxwell
Kathy O' (1958)
Ben Melnick
Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (1957)
Howard Rysdale
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Frank D'Angelo
Designing Woman (1957)
Ned Hammerstein
The Opposite Sex (1956)
Mike Pearl
Three Sailors and a Girl (1953)
Joe Woods
Dial 1119 (1950)
Dr. John Faron
With These Hands (1950)
Alexander Brody
Guilty Bystander (1950)
Capt. Tonetti
The Babe Ruth Story (1948)
Phil Conrad
Leather Gloves (1948)
Bernie
Brute Force (1947)
Louie
Crossfire (1947)
[Joseph] Samuels
Killer McCoy (1947)
Happy
Boomerang! (1947)
Dave Woods
A Likely Story (1947)
Louie
The Killers (1946)
Sam Lubinsky
The Purple Heart (1944)
Lt. Wayne Greenbaum
I Dood It (1943)
Editor Jackson
Whistling in Brooklyn (1943)
Creeper
Action in the North Atlantic (1943)
"Chips" Abrahams
Gung Ho! (1943)
Transport, Leo Andreof
Sunday Punch (1942)
Roscoe
Grand Central Murder (1942)
Inspector Gunther
The Big Street (1942)
Horsethief
Sing Your Worries Away (1942)
Smiley Clark
Destination Unknown (1942)
Victor
Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)
Lieutenant Abrams
Married Bachelor (1941)
Cookie Farrar
Golden Boy (1939)
Siggie
Yellow Jack (1938)
Busch
The Shopworn Angel (1938)
"Leer"
The Mad Miss Manton (1938)
Lieutenant Mike Brent
After the Thin Man (1936)
[Lieutenant] Abrams
Three Men on a Horse (1936)
Patsy

Misc. Crew (Special)

Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows (1998)
Researcher

Cast (Short)

Shoe Shine Boy (1943)

Life Events

Videos

Movie Clip

Babe Ruth Story, The (1948) - Western Union Boy In a Boston bar with a reporter pal (Sam Levene), Babe (William Bendix) laments his pitching slump and meets (wholly fictional!) Claire (Claire Trevor), in The Babe Ruth Story, 1948.
Action In The North Atlantic (1943) - We Didn't Ask For This War Below decks with the crew of the Northern Star, novice Ensign Parker (Dick Hogan) getting schooled by Peter Whitney, Dane Clark, Alan Hale and Sam Levene as Goldberg, then we see there really is a German sub nearby, early in the WWII Merchant Marine story Action In The North Atlantic, 1943.
Action In The North Atlantic (1943) - My Dear Adolf Seven, then twelve days after their Merchant Marine tanker was sunk by a Nazi submarine, the crew of the Northern Star is rescued, Humphrey Bogart, Dane Clark, Raymond Massey the captain, Alan Hale sassing the enemy, in Warner Bros.’ Merchant Marine adventure, Action In The North Atlantic, 1943.
Boomerang! (1947) - Police Still Baffled Lt. White (Karl Malden) with murder witnesses in church for the viewing of the slain priest, his crusty boss Robinson (Lee J. Cobb) intervening, reporter Dave (Sam Levene) attempting an ambush, early in director Elia Kazan's Boomerang!, 1947.
Killers, The (1946) - The More I Know Of Love The song wasn't much but jaws dropped, as Kitty (Ava Gardner, her own vocal, her breakthrough role) made her first appearance, Swede (Burt Lancaster) falling hard, joined by Sam and Lily (Sam Levene, Virginia Christine) in The Killers, 1946.
Killers, The (1946) - Any Other Names? In a flashback, cop Lubinsky (Sam Levene) catches Kitty (Ava Gardner) in some hot jewelry, until Swede (Burt Lancaster) makes a blundering rescue, in Robert Siodmak's 1946 version of the Hemingway story, The Killers, 1946.
Shopworn Angel, The (1938) - Ever See A Woman Before? Lovelorn Texan doughboy Bill (James Stewart), waiting to ship out from New York, stumbles into a meeting with harried Broadway star Daisy (Margaret Sullavan), early in MGM's 1938 version of The Shopworn Angel.
Brute Force (1947) - Westgate News Gallagher (Charles Bickford) holds sway in the prison newspaper office as headstrong Joe Collins (Burt Lancaster) proposes a breakout, in Jules Dassin's Brute Force, 1947.
Mad Miss Manton, The - Park Avenue Pranksters Editor Peter (Henry Fonda), with assistant (George Chandler), has just published a piece mocking the criminal antics of society gal Melsa Manton (Barbara Stanwyck) who introduces herself with a lawsuit, in The Mad Miss Manton, 1938.
Mad Miss Manton, The - Justice For Dogs Opening scene, surely aimed at male Barbara Stanwyck fans, she (as "Melsa Manton") arrives at her Manhattan apartment at 4 a-m to walk her dogs, encountering trouble and eventually cop Brent (Sam Levene), in director Leigh Jason's The Mad Miss Manton, 1938.
Mad Miss Manton, The - Social Parasites Busted for a murder they didn't commit, Melsa (Barbara Stanwyck) and her socialite pals (Linda Perry, Frances Mercer, Whitney Bourne et al) get grilled by cop Brent (Sam Levene) and more sympathetic newsman Peter (Henry Fonda), who does them a good turn, in The Mad Miss Manton, 1938.
After The Thin Man - I'll Write You Every Day Nick (William Powell), enjoying himself, gets Nora (Myrna Loy) sprung from jail, together joining the interrogation of David (James Stewart), the ex-boyfriend of Nora's sister Selma (Elissa Landi), who's suspected of killing her husband, in MGM's After The Thin Man, 1936.

Trailer

Bibliography