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who appeared with Lee J. Cobb on screen:
Lee J. Cobb
Birthday: December 8, 1911
Place: New York, New York, USA
Height: 0' 0"
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Lee J. Cobb, one of the premier character actors in American film for three decades in the post-World War II period, was born Leo Jacoby in New York City's Lower East Side on December 8, 1911. The son of a Jewish newspaper editor, young Leo was a child prodigy in music, mastering the violin and the harmonica. Any hopes of a career as a violin virtuoso were dashed when he broke his wrist, but his talent on the harmonica may have brought him his first professional success. At the age of 16 or 17 he ran away from home to Hollywood to try to break into motion pictures as an actor. He reportedly made his film debut as a member of Borrah Minevitch and His Harmonica Rascals (their first known movie appearance was in the 1929 two-reeler "Boyhood Days"), but that cannot be substantiated. However, it's known that after Leo was unable to find work he returned to New York City, where he attended City College of New York at night to study accounting while acting in radio dramas during the day.An older Cobb tried his luck in California once more, making his debut as a professional stage actor at the Pasadena Playhouse in 1931. After again returning to his native New York, he made his Broadway debut as a saloonkeeper in a dramatization of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's "Crime and Punishment," but it closed after 15 performances (later in his career, Dostoevsky would prove more of a charm, with Cobb's role as Father Karamazov in The Brothers Karamazov (1958) garnering him his second Oscar nomination),Cobb joined the politically progressive Group Theater in 1935 and made a name for himself in Clifford Odets' politically liberal dramas "Waiting for Lefty" and "Til the Day I Die", appearing in both plays that year in casts that included Elia Kazan, who later became famous as a film director. Cobb also appeared in the 1937 Group Theater production of Odets' "Golden Boy," playing the role of Mr. Carp, in a cast that also included Kazan, Julius Garfinkle (later better known under his stage name of John Garfield), and Martin Ritt, all of whom would come under the scrutiny of the House Un-American Activities Committee during the heyday of the McCarthy "Red Scare" hysteria more than a decade later. Cobb would take over the role of Mr. Bonaparte, the protagonist's father, in the 1939 film version of the play, despite the fact that he was not yet 30 years old. The role of a patriarch suited him, and he'd play many more in his film career.It was as a different kind of patriarch that he scored his greatest success. Lee J. Cobb achieved immortality by giving life to the character of Willy Loman in the original 1949 Broadway production of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman." His performance was a towering achievement that ranks with such performances as Edwin Booth as Richard III and John Barrymore as Hamlet in the annals of the American theater. Cobb later won an Emmy nomination as Willy when he played the role in a made-for-TV movie of the play (_Death of a Salesman (1966/II) (TV)_ ). Miller said that he wrote the role with Cobb in mind.Before triumphing as Miller's "Salesman," Cobb had appeared on Broadway only a handful of times in the 1940s, including in Ernest Hemingway's "The Fifth Column" (1940), Odets' "Clash by Night" (1942) and the US Army Air Force's "Winged Victory" (1943-44). Later he reprised the role of Joe Bonaparte's father in the 1952 revival of "Golden Boy" opposite Garfield as his son, and appeared the following year in "The Emperor's Clothes." However, he stayed off the Broadway boards until his final appearance as King Lear in the Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center's 1968 production of Shakespeare's play.Aside from his possible late 1920s movie debut and his 1934 appearance in the western "The Vanishing Shadow" in 1934, Cobb's film career proper began in 1937 with the westerns North of the Rio Grande (1937) (in which he was billed as "Lee Colt") and Rustlers' Valley (1937) and ended nearly 40 years later with his death. After a hiatus while he served in the Army Air Force during World War II, Cobb's movie career resumed in 1946, and he continued to play major supporting roles in prestigious A-list pictures. His movie career reached its artistic peak in the 1950s, when he was twice nominated for Best Supporting Actor Academy Awards, for his role as Johnny Friendly in On the Waterfront (1954) and as the father in The Brothers Karamazov (1958). Other memorable roles in that decade were his supporting turns as the sagacious Judge Bernstein in The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956), as the probing psychiatrist Dr. Luther in The Three Faces of Eve (1957) and as the volatile Juror #3 in 12 Angry Men (1957).It was in the 1950s that Cobb achieved the sort of fame that most artists dreaded: he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee on charges that he was or had been a Communist. The charges were rooted in Cobb's membership in the Group Theater in the 1930s. Other Group Theater members already investigated by HUAC included Odets and Kazan, both of whom provided friendly testimony before the committee, and Garfield, who did not. Many blamed Garfield's fatal heart attack on HUAC: he died the day after Odets testified that Garfield had never been a member of the Communist Party. The blacklisted Garfield had been appearing with Cobb in the Broadway revival of Odets' "Golden Boy" that had closed on April 6th, 1952.Cobb's own persecution by the witch hunters had already caused a nervous breakdown in his wife, and he decided to appear as a friendly witness in order to preserve her sanity, and his career, by bringing the inquisition to a halt. Appearing before the committee in 1953, he named names and thus saved his career. Ironically, he would win his first Oscar nomination in "On the Waterfront," directed and written by fellow HUAC informers Kazan and Budd Schulberg. The film can be seen as a stalwart defense of informing, as epitomized by the character Terry Malloy's testimony before a Congressional committee investigating racketeering on the waterfront.Of that period, Arthur Miller wrote in his 1989 autobiography "Timebends" that "...Lee Cobb, my first Willy Loman, [was] more a pathetic victim than a villain, a big blundering actor who simply wanted to act, had never put in for heroism, and was one of the best proofs I knew of the Committee's pointless brutality toward artists. Lee, as political as my foot, was simply one more dust speck swept up in the thirties idealization of the Soviets, which the Depression's disillusionment had brought on all over the West."Major films in which Cobb appeared after reaching his career plateau include Otto Preminger's adaptation of Leon Uris' ode to the birth of Israel, Exodus (1960), the Cinerama spectacle How the West Was Won (1962), the James Coburn spy spoofs Our Man Flint (1966) and In Like Flint (1967), Clint Eastwood's first detective film, Coogan's Bluff (1968) and legendary director William Wyler's last film, The Liberation of L.B. Jones (1970). In addition to his frequent supporting roles in film, Cobb often appeared on television. He played Judge Henry Garth on "The Virginian" (1962) from 1962-66 and also had a regular role as the attorney David Barrett on "The Young Lawyers" (1970) from 1970-71. Cobb also appeared in made-for-TV movies and made frequent guest appearances on other TV shows. His last major Hollywood movie role was that of police detective Lt. Kinderman in The Exorcist (1973).Lee J. Cobb died of a heart attack in Woodland Hills, California, on February 11, 1976, at the age of 64. He was buried in Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. Though he will long be remembered for many of his successful supporting performances in the movies, it is as the stage's first Willy Loman in which he achieved immortality as an actor. Bearing in mind that the role was written for him, it is through Willy that he will continue to have an influence on American drama far into the future, for as long as "Death of a Salesman" is revived.
- He was also an accomplished harmonica artist. He was a member of the famed Borrah Minevitch and His Harmonica Rascals, who appeared in the 1928 film, The Patriot (1928) starring Lewis Stone, and directed by Ernst Lubitsch.
- Was succeeded in two of his roles by the late George C. Scott. Cobb died shortly after playing Lt. Kendrick in The Exorcist (1973). Scott took over the part in the third film. Cobb played Juror #3 in 12 Angry Men (1957) and Scott played that part in the remake.
- Father of Julie Cobb who is married to James Cromwell.
- The part of Willy Loman in the stage play "Death of a Salesman" was written specifically for him by Arthur Miller.
- Arthur Miller offered him the lead role of Eddie Carbone in his Broadway play "A View from the Bridge." While an outsider might think that the politically progressive Miller would be hostile to the actor due to Cobb's friendly testimony before the infamous House Un-American Activities Committee, during which he "named names," Miller thought Cobb would be ideal for the role. Himself a target of the witch hunt for alleged Communists undertaken by the government, Miller believed that Cobb would bring real intensity to Carbone, who informs on his relatives to the immigration service, as he himself had been an informer. Cobb turned down the role, as he believed that to accept it would open him up to retaliation from the reactionary right and jeopardize his career.
- Appeared with Harry Morgan, the father of his future son-in-law Christopher Morgan, in How the West Was Won (1962).
- Former father-in-law of Christopher Morgan.
- Grandfather of Rosemary Morgan.
- William Link and Richard Levinson, creators of TV's "Columbo", initially wanted Cobb to portray Lt. Columbo, but he was unavailable.
- His performance of 'King Lear' in 1968 is the longest-running production of the play in Broadway history.
- In his autobiography "Timebends," Arthur Miller says that Lee J. Cobb was his favorite Willy Loman. He also says that Cobb was never really a leftist as he was apolitical, but that he had been attracted to left-wing and anti-Nazi causes during the Depression as had many people who were trying to do right. Thus, Miller never held the fact that he was a friendly witness before HUAAC against him. A decade after his testimony, Cobb's Willy Loman was captured for posterity, with the 1966 video version. By then, Miller had even worked again with Elia Kazan, the most famous and unrepentant of the people who knuckled under and "named names."
- According to his former friend, screenwriter Alvah Bessie, Cobb was making ,500 a week in the late 1940s. When Bessie tried to borrow money from him, Cobb claimed that he was financially insolvent, which was possible, Bessie knew, as Cobb was a heavy better at horse races.
- Was a good friend with screenwriter Alvah Bessie, a Communist Party member who was one of the Hollywood 10, until Cobb refused to lend him 0 in the late 1940s. Bessie had been ruined financially by legal fees connected to his appeals of his contempt citation issued by the House Un-American Activities Commission (HUAC). Bessie and other members of the Hollywood 10 braved the Committee's inquisition into communists and fellow-travelers in the film industry by refusing to cooperate. When Cobb told him that 0 wouldn't solve his problems, their friendship was over. Cobb later turned out with hundreds of sympathizers of the Hollywood 10 to show their support for the members who were flying to Washington, D.C. for their trials on charges of contempt of Congress levied by HUAC. Later, Cobb would be a friendly witness before HUAC, naming names of fellow former communists and leftists from his Group Theater days in New York in the 1930s.
Naked Photos of Lee J. Cobb are available at MaleStars.com. They
currently feature over 65,000 Nude Pics, Biographies, Video Clips,
Articles, and Movie Reviews of famous stars.