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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sig Ruman
Sig Ruman - Think Fast, Mr. Moto (1937).png
Born
Siegfried Carl Alban Rumann

(1884-10-11)October 11, 1884
DiedFebruary 14, 1967(1967-02-14) (aged 82)
Resting placeJulian Cemetery, San Diego County, California
Other namesSiegfried Rumann
Sig Rumann
OccupationActor
Years active1928–1966
Spouse(s)
Else Rumann
(m. 1905)
Children1

Siegfried Carl Alban Rumann (October 11, 1884 – February 14, 1967), billed as Sig Rumann and Sig Ruman, was a German-American character actor known for his portrayals of pompous and often stereotypically Teutonic officials or villains in more than 100 films.[1]

Early years

Born in Hamburg, German Empire to Alban Julius Albrecht Ludwig Rumann and his wife, Caroline Margarethe Sophie Rumann on October 11, 1884,[2] he studied electrical engineering, then began working as an actor and musician[3] before serving with the Imperial German Army during World War I.[4] He resumed his acting career after the war.[5] After emigrating to the United States in 1924, his acting career blossomed. Befriending playwright George S. Kaufman and theater critic Alexander Woollcott, he enjoyed success in many Broadway productions. His Broadway credits included Once There Was a Russian (1961), Lily of the Valley (1942), Eight Bells (1933), Alien Corn (1933), Grand Hotel (1930), Half Gods (1929), and The Channel Road (1929).[6]

Film

Hortense Alden, Sam Jaffe and Sig Ruman in the original Broadway production of Grand Hotel (1930)
Hortense Alden, Sam Jaffe and Sig Ruman in the original Broadway production of Grand Hotel (1930)

Ruman made his film debut in Lucky Boy (1929).[1]

He became a favorite comic foil of the Marx Brothers, appearing in A Night at the Opera (1935), A Day at the Races (1937), and A Night in Casablanca (1946). His German accent and large stature kept him busy during World War II, playing sinister Nazi characters in a series of wartime thrillers.

During this period, he also appeared in several films by director Ernst Lubitsch, a fellow German émigré, including Ninotchka (1939), portraying a Russian, and in To Be or Not to Be (1942) as the pompous Nazi Colonel "Concentration-Camp Erhardt". He played the role of Professor Herman Von Reiter in Shining Victory (1941), an adaptation of an A. J. Cronin play. Ruman continued his trend of portraying over-the-top German characters later in his career for Lubitsch's protege Billy Wilder, in his films The Emperor Waltz (1948), and Stalag 17 (1953). Ruman's voice was dubbed over German actor Hubert Von Meyerinck's voice in Wilder's One, Two, Three (1961), and he had a cameo role in The Fortune Cookie (1966).

Around 1936, Ruman modified his screen name from Siegfried Rumann to Sig Ruman in an attempt to make it a little less German-sounding, as anti-German prejudice was rising at that time, just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War.

Despite declining health during the 1950s and 1960s, Ruman continued to appear in films and made many guest appearances on television. He guest-starred as pompous Broadway director Eric Von Bissell in the memorable 1965 episode of The Addams Family, "My Fair Cousin Itt".

Death

Ruman died of a heart attack on February 14, 1967, at his home in Julian, California at the age of 82. He was buried in Julian Cemetery, San Diego County, California.[7] He was survived by his wife Else and their daughter Senta.[8]

Selected filmography

References

  1. ^ a b Hischak, Thomas S. (2008). The Oxford Companion to the American Musical: Theatre, Film, and Television. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 650. ISBN 9780195335330. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  2. ^ Best. 332-5 Standesämter, Personenstandsregister, Sterberegister, 1876-1950, Staatsarchiv Hamburg, Hamburg, Deutschland
  3. ^ Neuer Theater Almanach: Theatergeschichtliches Jahr und Adressen-Buch, 1913, p. 524
  4. ^ Petitions for Naturalization From the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1897-1944. NARA Microfilm Publication M1972, 1457 rolls. Records of District Courts of the United States, Record Group 21.
  5. ^ Deutsches Bühnen-Jahrbuch: Theatergeschichtliches Jahr- und Adressenbuch, 1920, p. 255
  6. ^ "Siegfried Rumann". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on November 19, 2019. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  7. ^ "Siegfried "Sig" Ruman (1884 - 1967) - Find A Grave Memorial". www.findagrave.com.
  8. ^ Willis, John (1983). Screen World 1968. Biblo & Tannen Publishers. p. 239. ISBN 9780819603098. Retrieved October 11, 2017.

External links

This page was last edited on 21 October 2021, at 02:53
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