Robert Strauss


Actor

About

Birth Place
New York City, New York, USA
Born
November 08, 1913
Died
February 20, 1975

Biography

Robert Strauss is an animal. Or rather, the "Animal" of Billy Wilder's subversive 1953 World War II POW yarn, "Stalag 17." Distinguished by his deep baritone croak, Strauss originated that role on Broadway several years before reprising it in Wilder's famous adaptation. Though he performed odd jobs throughout much of his young life, it was in the theater that Strauss finally found a home...

Biography

Robert Strauss is an animal. Or rather, the "Animal" of Billy Wilder's subversive 1953 World War II POW yarn, "Stalag 17." Distinguished by his deep baritone croak, Strauss originated that role on Broadway several years before reprising it in Wilder's famous adaptation. Though he performed odd jobs throughout much of his young life, it was in the theater that Strauss finally found a home. The son of a costume designer, he took to the stage as a classical actor, performing the works of Shakespeare during the '30s. Strauss enjoyed only middling success until the following decade, however, when film roles began to materialize for him. He made his Hollywood debut in the 1942 Bill of Rights docudrama "Native Land," but true stardom would not be his until "Stalag." The role gained Strauss widespread recognition, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He went on to become one of the most recognizable faces of the '50s, popping up in TV and film roles alike. He appeared again under the direction of Wilder in his 1955 Marilyn Monroe comedy, "The Seven Year Itch," this time as Mr. Kruhulik, a gawking janitor. The character actor had the opportunity to work with other legendary performers as well, and played the shady Schwiefka opposite Frank Sinatra in "The Man with the Golden Arm" the same year. Strauss showed up on countless TV staples in the '60s, including the classic sitcom "Bewitched" as a crooked P.I.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Fortune Tell (1995)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

The Noah (1975)
Dagmar's Hot Pants (1971)
Businessman
Fort Utah (1967)
Ben Stokes
Frankie and Johnny (1966)
Blackie
Movie Star, American Style or; LSD, I Hate You (1966)
Joe Horner, producer
The Family Jewels (1965)
Pool hall owner
That Funny Feeling (1965)
Harlow (1965)
Hank
Stage to Thunder Rock (1964)
Judge Bates
The Wheeler Dealers (1963)
Fineberg
The Thrill of It All (1963)
1st truck driver
Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962)
Sam
The Last Time I Saw Archie (1961)
M/Sgt. Stanley Erlenheim
The George Raft Story (1961)
Frenchie
Dondi (1961)
Sammy Boy
Twenty Plus Two (1961)
Honsinger
September Storm (1960)
Ernie Williams
Wake Me When It's Over (1960)
Sam Weiscoff
Inside the Mafia (1959)
Sam Galey
I, Mobster (1959)
Black Frankie [Udino]
4D Man (1959)
Roy Parker
Li'l Abner (1959)
Romeo Scragg
Frontier Gun (1958)
Yubo
Attack (1956)
Pfc. Bernstein
The Man with the Golden Arm (1956)
Zero Schwiefka
The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1955)
Beer Barrel
The Seven Year Itch (1955)
Krahulik
Money from Home (1954)
Seldom Seen Kid
The Atomic Kid (1954)
Stan Cooper
The Redhead from Wyoming (1953)
"Knuckles" Hogan
Stalag 17 (1953)
Sgt. "Animal" Stosh
Here Come the Girls (1953)
Jack, the Slasher
Act of Love (1953)
Blackwood
Sailor Beware (1952)
Petty Officer Lardoski
Jumping Jacks (1952)
Sgt. McCluskey
The Sleeping City (1950)
Lt. Marty Miller
Native Land (1942)
Frank Mason, a grocer

Writer (Feature Film)

Retroactive (1998)
Screenplay

Producer (Feature Film)

Cafe Society (1996)
Co-Executive Producer
The Whole Wide World (1996)
Co-Executive Producer
French Exit (1995)
Co-Executive Producer
Fire in the Sky (1993)
Co-Producer

Cast (Special)

So You Want to Buy a President? (1996)
Firing Line Special Edition: The Next First Lady (1988)
Host
So Help Me, Aphrodite (1960)
Frank
The Elisabeth McQueeney Story (1959)
The Count (Guest)

Life Events

Videos

Movie Clip

Hard To Handle (1933) - Your Mother Doesn't Own A Gun, Does She? Hollywood widow landlady Ruth Donnelly is looking to scam a furniture buyer (William H. Strauss) while her daughter Ruth (Mary Brian) is still soaking her feet, after winning a dance marathon, with some help from her promoter boyfriend Lefty (James Cagney), who was himself robbed of the prize she was supposed to get, in Hard To Handle, 1933.
Wheeler Dealers, The (1963) - Surprise Becomes You Wall Street firm boss Bear (Jim Backus) is setting up his token female stock analyst Molly Thatcher (Lee Remick) to fail so he can fire her when he gives her a new assignment, and she meets visiting Texan client Henry Tyroon (James Garner), in The Wheeler Dealers, 1963.
Wheeler Dealers, The (1963) - I Don't Lose, Mr. Feinberg We don't quite know the game oil-man Henry Tyroon (James Garner) is playing, except that he's come from Texas to NYC to hustle up some funds, as he meets cabbie Feinberg (Robert Strauss) at then-Idlewild airport, early in The Wheeler Dealers, 1963, co-starring Lee Remick.
Stalag 17 (1953) - Illegitimate Son Of Hitler After a failed escape, German guard Schultz (Sig Ruman) joshes with Shapiro and "Animal" (Harvey Lembeck, Neville Brand), gets challenged by Duke (Neville Brand), and teased by suspected informer Sefton (William Holden), then writer/director Billy Wilder twists the plot, in Stalag 17, 1953.
Stalag 17 (1953) - Betty Grable The morning after two buddies died trying to escape, Duke (Neville Brand) in particular thinks Sefton (William Holden) informed the Germans, as Shapiro (Harvey Lembeck) and "Animal" (Robert Strauss) find solace in the new Russian lady prisoners next door, in Billy Wilder's Stalag 17, 1953.
Stalag 17 (1953) - Trading With The Enemy P.O.W. Sefton (William Holden) who won money betting against two guys killed trying to escape, enjoys a bartered egg and gets hassled by Shapiro, "Aninal," Duke, Hoffy and Price (Harvey Lembeck, Robert Strauss, Neville Brand, Richard Erdman, Peter Graves), in Billy Wilder's Stalag 17, 1953.
Girls! Girls! Girls! - I Dont Want To Be Elvis as fisherman Ross Carpenter stands in for singer Robin (Stella Stevens) at the night club performing "I Don't Want To Be" by Janice Torre and Fred Spielman in Girls! Girls! Girls!, 1962.

Bibliography