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Otto Kruger
Otto Kruger 1955.JPG
Kruger in 1955
Born(1885-09-06)September 6, 1885
DiedSeptember 6, 1974(1974-09-06) (aged 89)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Hollywood Hills, California
Years active1915–1964
Sue Kruger (née Susan MacManamy)
(m. 1920)

Otto Kruger (September 6, 1885 – September 6, 1974)[1] was an American actor, originally a Broadway matinee idol, who established a niche as a charming villain in films, such as Hitchcock's Saboteur. He also appeared in CBS's Perry Mason and other TV series. He was the grandnephew of South African president Paul Kruger.

Early life and education

Born in Toledo, Ohio,[2] Kruger was of German descent. He was the son of Bernard Alben Kruger and Elizabeth Winers Kruger[3] and the grandnephew of South African pioneer and president Paul Kruger.[4]

Otto was musically trained, but switched careers and became an actor after studying engineering at the University of Michigan.[3]


Making his Broadway debut in 1915,[5][6] Kruger quickly became a matinee idol.[4] Though he started to get noticed in the early 1920s, it was the 1930s when his career was at its height. His sound film debut came in Turn Back the Clock (1933)[3] and he made an appearance in the film Chained (1934).[7]

Though he played the hero on occasion, for most of his career, he played the main villain or a charming or corrupt businessman.[8] One of his best known roles was in the Douglas Sirk film Magnificent Obsession (1954).[9] Kruger played the supporting role of Judge Percy Mettrick, who unsuccessfully urges Will Kane to leave town in High Noon (1952).[10] Kruger is also remembered for playing the villain Tobin in Alfred Hitchcock's spy film Saboteur (1942) and mob boss Stevens in the film noir 711 Ocean Drive (1950).[7]

Kruger in Dracula's Daughter (1936)
Kruger in Dracula's Daughter (1936)

His television roles included those of Dr. Mumford in the 1959 episode "Experiments in Terror" of the NBC science fiction/adventure series The Man and the Challenge,[citation needed] as Ben Tully in "Gun City" of the ABC western series, The Rebel,[11] as Franklyn Malleson Ghentin in the 1961 episode "A Fool for a Client" of James Whitmore ABC's legal drama, The Law and Mr. Jones,[12] and as Karl in the episode "Quite a Woman" of the short-lived 1961 CBS series The Investigators starring James Franciscus.[citation needed]

Kruger made four guest appearances on CBS's Perry Mason.[13] In his first two appearances, "The Case of the Grumbling Grandfather" (1961) and "The Case of the Counterfeit Crank" (1962), he was cast as Mason's client, and in both episodes was the title character.[14][15] In his final appearance, he played Judge Norris in "The Case of the Missing Button" (1964).[16]

Personal life, later years and honors

On March 20, 1920, Kruger married Broadway actress[17][18][19] Susan "Sue" MacManamy. Their daughter, Ottilie Kruger (1926–2005),[20] was also an actress and was the first wife of pioneering cinematographer Gayne Rescher.[21]

Kruger supported Thomas Dewey in the 1944 United States presidential election.[22]

Kruger died at the Motion Picture and Television Country House[23] in Woodland Hills, California, on his 89th birthday.

Kruger was honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; one for TV and one for film.[23]

Partial list of appearances on radio

Kruger appeared as Mr. Hardecker in "After Dinner Story" (airdate October 26, 1943; story by Cornell Woolrich) from the Suspense radio program series.[citation needed]


Year Film Role Director Notes
1915 A Mother's Confession Harold Patterson Ivan Abramson film debut
1923 Under the Red Robe Henri de Cocheforet Alan Crosland
1933 Turn Back the Clock Ted Wright Edgar Selwyn
1933 Beauty for Sale Mr. Sherwood Richard Boleslawski
1933 Ever in My Heart Hugo Wilbrandt Archie Mayo
1933 The Prizefighter and the Lady Willie Ryan Howard Hawks (uncredited)
1933 Gallant Lady Phillip Lawrence Gregory La Cava
1933 The Women in His Life Kent 'Barry' Barringer George B. Seitz
1934 The Crime Doctor Dan Gifford Charles Kerr (assistant)
1934 Men in White Dr. Levine Ryszard Bolesławski
1934 Paris Interlude Sam Edwin L. Marin
1934 Treasure Island [[Dr. Livesey Victor Fleming character
1934 Springtime for Henry Henry Dewlip Frank Tuttle
1934 Chained Richard I. Field Clarence Brown
1935 Vanessa: Her Love Story Ellis Herries William K. Howard
1935 Two Sinners Henry Vane Arthur Lubin
1936 Living Dangerously Dr. Stanley Norton Herbert Brenon
1936 Dracula's Daughter Jeffrey Garth Lambert Hillyer
1937 The Barrier Stark Lesley Selander
1937 Glamorous Night King Stefan Brian Desmond Hurst
1937 They Won't Forget Gleason Mervyn LeRoy (credited as "A Mervyn LeRoy Production")
1937 Counsel for Crime William Mellon John Brahm
1938 Housemaster Charles Donkin Herbert Brenon
1938 Star of the Circus Garvin Albert de Courville
1938 I Am the Law Eugene Ferguson Alexander Hall
1938 Exposed William Reardon Harold D. Schuster
1938 Thanks for the Memory Gil Morrell George Archainbaud
1939 Disbarred Tyler Craden Robert Florey
1939 The Gang's All Here Mike Chadwick Thornton Freeland
1939 Black Eyes Ivan Ivanovich Petroff
1939 The Zero Hour Julian Forbes Sidney Salkow
1939 Scandal Sheet Jim Stevenson Nick Grinde
1939 A Woman Is the Judge Steven Graham Nick Grinde
1939 Another Thin Man Van Slack W. S. Van Dyke
1940 Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet Dr. Emil von Behring William Dieterle
1940 Seventeen Sylvanus Baxter Louis King
1940 The Man I Married Heinrich Hoffman Irving Pichel
1940 A Dispatch from Reuter's Dr. Magnus William Dieterle
1941 Mercy Island Dr. Sanderson William Morgan
1941 The Men in Her Life Victor Gregory Ratoff
1942 Saboteur Charles Tobin Alfred Hitchcock
1942 Friendly Enemies Anton Miller Allan Dwan
1943 Hitler's Children Albert Pasavy
1943 Power of the Press Howard Rankin Lew Landers
1943 Corregidor Dr. Jan Stockman William Nigh
1943 Night Plane from Chungking Colonel Henkel Ralph Murphy
1943 Stage Door Canteen Himself Frank Borzage
1943 Tarzan's Desert Mystery Paul Hendrix Wilhelm Thiele
1944 Knickerbocker Holiday Roosevelt Harry Joe Brown
1944 Cover Girl John Coudair Charles Vidor
1944 Storm Over Lisbon Alexis Vanderlyn George Sherman
1944 They Live in Fear Matthew Van Camp Josef Berne
1944 Murder, My Sweet Jules Amthor Edward Dmytryk
1945 Escape in the Fog Paul Devon Budd Boetticher(as Oscar Boetticher Jr.)
1945 The Great John L. Richard Martin Frank Tuttle
1945 Wonder Man District Attorney H. Bruce Humberstone
1945 The Chicago Kid John Mitchell Frank McDonald
1945 Jungle Captive Mr. Stendahl Harold Young
1945 On Stage Everybody James Carlton Jean Yarbrough
1945 Allotment Wives Whitey Colton William Nigh
1945 The Woman Who Came Back Rev. Jim Stevens Walter Colmes
1946 The Fabulous Suzanne Hendrick Courtney Sr. Steve Sekely
1946 Duel in the Sun Mr. Langford King Vidor
1947 Love and Learn Andrew Wyngate Frederick de Cordova
1948 Smart Woman D.A. Bradley Wayne Edward A. Blatt
1948 Lulu Belle Harry Randolph Leslie Fenton
1948 Romance on the High Seas Wedding Guest Michael Curtiz uncredited
1950 711 Ocean Drive Carl Stephans Joseph M. Newman
1951 Payment on Demand Ted Prescott Curtis Bernhardt
1951 Valentino Mark Towers Lewis Allen
1952 High Noon Judge Percy Mettrick Fred Zinnemann
1953 Schlagerparade Remer Erik Ode
1954 Magnificent Obsession Edward Randolph Douglas Sirk
1954 Black Widow Gordon Ling Nunnally Johnson
1955 The Last Command Stephen F. Austin Frank Lloyd
1958 The Colossus of New York Dr. William Spensser Eugène Lourié
1959 The Young Philadelphians John Marshall Wharton Vincent Sherman
1960 Cash McCall Will Atherson Joseph Pevney
1962 The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm The King George Pal (fairy tale sequences)
1964 Sex and the Single Girl Dr. Anderson Richard Quine
1964 Della Walter Garrick Robert Gist final film



  1. ^ Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 90. ISBN 9780786450190. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  2. ^ Liebman, Roy (7 February 2017). Broadway Actors in Films, 1894-2015. McFarland. pp. 148–149. ISBN 9781476626154. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Marsh, Molly (December 9, 1934). "Capricious Otto Kruger Outwits the Copy Books". Oakland Tribune. California, Oakland. p. 20. Retrieved April 3, 2017 – via open access
  4. ^ a b "Otto Kruger, Suave Star Of Stage and Screen, Dead". 7 September 1974 – via
  5. ^ League, The Broadway. "Otto Kruger – Broadway Cast & Staff - IBDB".
  6. ^ Whitty, Stephen (2016-06-09). The Alfred Hitchcock Encyclopedia. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781442251601.
  7. ^ a b "AFI-Catalog".
  8. ^ "Otto Kruger | Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos | AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
  9. ^ "Magnificent Obsession (1954) - Articles -". Turner Classic Movies.
  10. ^ "High Noon (1952) - Fred Zinnemann - Cast and Crew - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  11. ^ "The Rebel".
  12. ^ "The Law and Mr. Jones".
  13. ^ "Otto Kruger - Movies and Filmography - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  14. ^ "Perry Mason: The Case of the Grumbling Grandfather (1961) - Bernard Kowalski - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  15. ^ "Perry Mason: The Case of the Counterfeit Crank (1962) - Jerry Hopper - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  16. ^ "Perry Mason: The Case of the Missing Button (1964) - Richard Donner - Cast and Crew - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  17. ^ "Kruger, Otto". The New York Times Index. January–March 1920. p. 200. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  18. ^ "Sue MacManamy". Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  19. ^ "Sue MacManamy". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  20. ^ "Ottilie Kruger Laybourne". Variety. 19 July 2005. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  21. ^ "Cinematographer Gayne Rescher dies". Variety. 14 March 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  22. ^ Critchlow, Donald T. (2013-10-21). When Hollywood Was Right: How Movie Stars, Studio Moguls, and Big Business Remade American Politics. ISBN 9781107650282.
  23. ^ a b "Hollywood Star Walk: Otto Kruger". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  24. ^ "Television . . . . . . Highlights of the Week". Detroit Free Press. November 19, 1950. p. 22. Retrieved April 13, 2021 – via

External links

This page was last edited on 21 March 2023, at 06:26
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