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Robert Ellenstein Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (10)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 18 June 1923Newark, New Jersey, USA
Date of Death 28 October 2010Los Angeles, California, USA  (natural causes)
Height 5' 10½" (1.79 m)

Mini Bio (1)

The son of a Newark dentist, Robert Ellenstein grew up in that New Jersey city and saw his father go on to become its two-term mayor. He got his feet wet acting-wise prior to serving with the Air Corps during World War II; earning a Purple Heart during his service, he began acting, directing and teaching in Cleveland, Ohio. A veteran of the "Golden Age" of live television (he played Quasimodo in a live Robert Montgomery Presents (1950) version of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"), he made his first film in 1954 (MGM's Rogue Cop (1954)) and was still active in television and regional theater. He taught theatre professionally and academically for over 50 years, founding the Los Angeles Academy of Stage and Cinematic Arts. He was artistic director of The Company of Angels and founding artistic director of the Los Angeles Repertory Company. He was best known for having played the villain in the pilot episode of Moonlighting (1985), and then the Federation President in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986). Robert Ellenstein died at age 87 of natural causes on October 28, 2010.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tom Weaver <TomWeavr@aol.com>

Spouse (1)

Lois Sylvia Stang (June 1952 - 28 October 2010) (his death) (3 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Deep commanding voice

Trivia (10)

Survived by his wife of 58 years, Lois Sylvia Stang; sons David and Peter; daughter Jan; and four grandchildren.
Artistic director of The Company of Angels and founding artistic director of the Los Angeles Repertory Company.
Founder of the Los Angeles Academy of Stage and Cinematic Arts, where he taught theatre professionally and academically for over 50 years.
Best remembered for his role as the Federation President in the sequel film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986).
Served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II; earning a Purple Heart during his service.
Was awarded the lifetime achievement award at the 1988 LA Weekly Theater Awards.
Attended and graduated from New York University in New York City.
Attended and graduated with honors from the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
The most memorable role for which he is least known? 'Licht', in the Hitchcock classic, 'North by Northwest'. As one of James Mason's ('Phillip Vandamm') evil henchmen, Licht is first introduced during the film's opening scene, when he participates in the kidnapping of Cary Grant's character, 'Roger Thornhill' from the Plaza Hotel's Oak Bar. Later, in what's arguably now the film's most iconic scene, the crop-dusting biplane which crashes and burns while attempting to kill 'Roger' as he awaits the mythical 'Mr. Kaplan' at the desolate Prairie Stop is actually being flown by Licht. However, Alfred Hitchcock knew that it would be much more menacing if the pilot were never actually seen, and if Roger was threatened by a faceless, impersonal machine. The plane gets destroyed, and Licht is killed, while his character simply disappears from the rest of film without any further mention ever being made of him, or any explanation of his absence being given.

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