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Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (8)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 27 November 1918New York City, New York, USA
Date of Death 21 May 2005Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA  (congestive heart failure)
Birth NameElliott Pershing Stitzel

Mini Bio (1)

A Drama Desk Award-winning actor ("A Whistle in the Dark" [1969] ) and a Tony Award nominee (as "Monsieur Colmier", "Marat/Sade" [1967] ), he began his career as a member of New York's Neighborhood Playhouse from 1940 to 1942, where he studied with noted acting instructor, Sanford Meisner, before joining the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II. Upon his return, he made his Broadway debut in 1945 in "The Tempest". His stepson, David Hirson, told the Los Angeles Times in an interview that his stepfather was always proudest of his stage work.

His mother died soon after his birth, during the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918, and he was raised by his father, who was a textile worker, and his stepmother.

Most of his acting successes in films came after he reached the age of fifty, although he was a pioneering actor in the days of early television, notably as the third actor, though he had the longest tenure (1950-55),after Bram Nossen and Hal Conklin to play "Dr. Pauli", nemesis of "Captain Video" on the daily TV series, _"Captain Video and His Video Rangers" (1949-1955) over the DuMont Television Network. His portrayal of "Burt Johnson" in Arthur (1981) earned praise from the New York Times as a "standout performance".

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Louis Rugani

Spouse (3)

Alice Hirson (1 January 1980 - 21 May 2005) (his death)
Nancy Penrose Chase (9 October 1947 - 1960) (divorced) (2 children)
Barbara Blaise (17 October 1942 - 1945) (divorced)

Trivia (8)

Was nominated for Broadway's 1967 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Feature Actor (Dramatic) for a revival of "Marat/Sade."
Gruff, exacting, manly American character actor best remembered on film for playing Dudley Moore's wealthy, animal trophy-displaying father-in-law-to-be in the hit comedy Arthur (1981).
Studied with prominent acting coach Sanford Meisner from 1940-1942.
First TV role came in "Hands of Murder," as series of live plays on the DuMont Television Network in 1949.
Played Jane Wyman's ex-husband on the prime time soap Falcon Crest (1981) for one season.
First wife, Nancy Chase, was a stage actress. They had two children: Jency and Jon. Second wife was also an actress, Alice Hirson, whom he met on Broadway in 1964, but did not marry until 1980. He became the stepfather of her two children: David Hirson and Christopher Hirson. He was survived by three grandchildren at the time of his death in 2005.
He died only one day after J.D. Cannon, with whom he had appeared in the Law & Order (1990) episode Law & Order: The Secret Sharers (1991).
Played Prestor in NPR's Star Wars radio drama.

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