Josef Sommer


Actor

About

Also Known As
M Josef Sommer, Maximilian Josef Sommer
Birth Place
Germany
Born
June 26, 1934

Biography

Sturdy, stage-trained character actor who made his debut as the district attorney in "Dirty Harry" (1971) and went on to lend solid support to a number of excellent productions, including "The Front" (1976), "Reds" (1981), "Silkwood" (1983) and "Witness" (1985).The German-born Sommer made his first stage appearance as a child performer with the Carolina Playmakers in 1943. After a stint ...

Biography

Sturdy, stage-trained character actor who made his debut as the district attorney in "Dirty Harry" (1971) and went on to lend solid support to a number of excellent productions, including "The Front" (1976), "Reds" (1981), "Silkwood" (1983) and "Witness" (1985).

The German-born Sommer made his first stage appearance as a child performer with the Carolina Playmakers in 1943. After a stint in the US Army, he trained in earnest at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, CT, where he gradually worked his way up from small parts to major roles. Sommer also appeared in a number of productions at the Seattle Repertory Theatre before making his Broadway debut in a production of "Othello" in 1970. He has subsequently appeared in "The Shadow Box" (1977), "Spokesong" (1979) and David Hare's "Racing Demon" (1995).

On TV, Sommer acted as host and narrator of the PBS miniseries version of "The Scarlet Letter" (1979) and went on to portray a number of real-life individuals, notably President Gerald Ford opposite Gena Rowlands in "The Betty Ford Story" (ABC, 1987), Franklin D. Roosevelt in "The Kennedys of Massachusetts" (ABC, 1990) and Joseph P. Kennedy in "A Woman Named Jackie" (NBC, 1991). He has also been featured in two short-lived series, "Hothouse" (ABC, 1988), as the patriarch of a family of doctors, and "Under Cover" (ABC, 1991), which followed the exploits of an espionage team.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Stop-Loss (2008)
The Invasion (2007)
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
The Elephant King (2006)
The Sum of All Fears (2002)
Shaft (2000)
The Family Man (2000)
The Next Best Thing (2000)
The Proposition (1998)
Father Dryer
Patch Adams (1998)
Mistrial (1996)
The Chamber (1996)
Phelps Bowen
Hidden in America (1996)
Edward Millerton
Kansas (1995)
Joe
Moonlight and Valentino (1995)
Letter to My Killer (1995)
Martin Prescott
Strange Days (1995)
Palmer Strickland
Enemy Within (1994)
Cultivating Charlie (1994)
Assault at West Point (1994)
Don't Drink the Water (1994)
Nobody's Fool (1994)
Malice (1993)
Hostages (1993)
The Mighty Ducks (1992)
An American Story (1992)
Citizen Cohn (1992)
Shadows And Fog (1991)
Spy Games (1991)
Before the Storm (1991)
Under Cover (1991)
Stewart Merriman
When Will I Be Loved? (1990)
Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1989)
Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989)
Money, Power, Murder (1989)
Chances Are (1989)
Judge Fenwick
Forced March (1989)
Richard Kline
Bridge To Silence (1989)
Dracula's Widow (1988)
Lieutenant Lannon
A Special Friendship (1987)
The Rosary Murders (1987)
Lieutenant Koznicki
The Betty Ford Story (1987)
Gerald Ford
Yuri Nosenko, KGB (1986)
Brotherly Love (1985)
Rafferty
D.A.R.Y.L. (1985)
Target (1985)
Witness (1985)
Deputy Commissioner Schaeffer
The Execution of Raymond Graham (1984)
Jim Neal
Iceman (1984)
Whitman
Saigon - Year of the Cat (1983)
Agatha Christie's Sparkling Cyanide (1983)
Silkwood (1983)
Still of the Night (1982)
Hanky-Panky (1982)
Sophie's Choice (1982)
Narrator
Independence Day (1982)
Absence Of Malice (1981)
Rollover (1981)
Roy Lefcourt
Reds (1981)
The Henderson Monster (1980)
Dr Martin Grossman
Hide In Plain Sight (1980)
Doctor Franken (1980)
Mr Parker
Too Far to Go (1979)
Henry Mills
Oliver's Story (1978)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Pleasantville (1976)
Ralph Brody
Valley Forge (1975)
Varnum
The Stepford Wives (1975)
Ted Van Sant
Man on a Swing (1974)

Cast (Special)

The Last Ferry Home (1992)
Hamlet (1990)
Polonius
Fires of the Mind (1988)
Narrator
The Wide Net (1987)
The Scarlet Letter (1979)
Nathaniel Hawthorne; The Host And Narrator
Enemies (1974)
Nikolai Skrobotov

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

The Hunt For the Unicorn Killer (1999)
A Woman Named Jackie (1991)
The Kennedys of Massachusetts (1990)

Life Events

1943

Stage debut, "Watch on the Rhine" with Carolina Playmakers, Chapel Hill, NC

1970

Broadway debut, "Othello"

1971

Screen debut, "Dirty Harry"

Videos

Movie Clip

Absence Of Malice (1981) - Off The Record Miami reporter Megan (Sally Field), with editor McAdam (Josef Sommer), decides to visit scheming Federal union-corruption task force lawyer Rosen (Bob Balaban), early in Sydney Pollack's Absence Of Malice, 1981.
Still Of The Night (1982) - I Thought His Wife Should Have It A murder discovered on a still Manhattan evening, then Roy Scheider is shrink Sam Rice, the game on his radio fixing the date at 10/2/1978, when Meryl Streep appears, confirming that the victim was his patient, opening writer-director Robert Benton’s Hitchcock-y Still Of The Night, 1979.
Still Of The Night (1982) - She's Definitely Your Type After spooky events in the basement of his apartment, therapist Sam (Roy Scheider) is surprised by Brooke (Meryl Streep), lover of his married murdered patient (Josef Sommer, later seen in flashback), replacing a statuette she broke at his office, in Robert Benton’s Still Of The Night, 1979.
Stepford Wives, The (1975) - It's A Casserole Day one in the Connecticut suburb, the first of the natives, Carol Van Sant (Nanette Newman) greets transplanted New Yorker Walter (Peter Masterson), who then has an odd exchange with her husband (Josef Sommer), then tries to reassure his wife Joanna (Katharine Ross), in The Stepford Wives, 1975.
Stepford Wives, The (1975) - I'll Just Die If I Don't Get This Recipe Dale (Patrick O'Neal), the former Disney engineer, seems the life of the pool party, as non-conforming new gals Joanna (Katharine Ross) and Bobbie (Paula Prentiss) arrive and Carol (Nanette Newman) appears to malfunction, one of the first indisputably weird events in The Stepford Wives, 1975.
Absence Of Malice (1981) - They Never Tell Us Miami businessman Michael Gallagher (Paul Newman, his first scene), implicated in a newspaper article about a missing union boss, confronts reporter Megan (Sally Field), editor McAdam (Josef Sommer) and lawyer Davidek (John Harkins), in Sydney Pollack's Absence Of Malice, 1981.
Sophie's Choice - Opening Josef Sommer's narration for Peter MacNicol's character "Stingo" finishes the opening title sequence from writer/director/producer Alan J. Pakula's Sophie's Choice, 1982, from the novel by William Styron.

Trailer

Family

Clemons Sommer
Father
Professor of history at University of North Carolina.
Elisebeth Sommer
Mother
Maria Sommer
Daughter

Bibliography