Sam Jaffe (I) (1891–1984)

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Originally named Shalom Jaffe, he became known to the world as Sam Jaffe. He was born in New York City, to Heida (Ada) and Barnett Jaffe, who were Russian Jewish immigrants. As a child, he appeared in Yiddish theatre productions with his mother, a prominent regional stage actress. He graduated from the City College of New York and then studied ... See full bio »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Known For

The Asphalt Jungle Doc Erwin Riedenschneider
The Day the Earth Stood Still Professor Jacob Barnhardt
Ben-Hur Simonides


Jump to: Actor | Self | Archive footage
Hide Hide Show Show Actor (75 credits)
 1984/I On the Line
El Gabacho
 1984 Nothing Lasts Forever
Father Knickerbocker
 1983 The Love Boat (TV Series)
Professor Roscoe Weber
 1981 Foul Play (TV Series)
Barbary Bob Norwood
- Sins of the Father (1981) ... Barbary Bob Norwood
 1980 Battle Beyond the Stars
Dr. Hephaestus
 1980 Gideon's Trumpet (TV Movie)
1st Supreme Court Justice
 1980 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (TV Series)
The Keeper
- Flight of the War Witch (1980) ... The Keeper
 1978 Flying High (TV Series)
Dr. Alsdorf
- Fear of Cheesecake (1978) ... Dr. Alsdorf
 1977 Kojak (TV Series)
- Tears for All Who Loved Her (1977) ... Papa
 1976 The Bionic Woman (TV Series)
Admiral Richter
- Kill Oscar: Part 3 (1976) ... Admiral Richter
 1976 The Sad and Lonely Sundays (TV Movie)
Dr. Sweeny
 1975 Medical Story (TV Series)
Dr. Gershowitz
- The Moonlight Heater (1975) ... Dr. Gershowitz
 1975 Harry O (TV Series)
Dr. Howard Cambridge
- The Acolyte (1975) ... Dr. Howard Cambridge
 1975 Columbo (TV Series)
Dr. Henry Willis
- Forgotten Lady (1975) ... Dr. Henry Willis
 1975 S.W.A.T. (TV Series)
Dr. Brunner
- Omega One (1975) ... Dr. Brunner
 1974 The Best of Times (TV Movie)
 1974 The Streets of San Francisco (TV Series)
Alex Zubatuk
- Mister Nobody (1974) ... Alex Zubatuk
 1974 Mooch (TV Movie)
Sam Jaffe - Party Guest (uncredited)
 1974 QB VII (TV Mini Series)
Dr. Tessler
- Part Three (1974) ... Dr. Tessler
 1973 The Snoop Sisters (TV Series)
Issac Waldersack
- Corpse and Robbers (1973) ... Issac Waldersack
 1973 Saga of Sonora (TV Movie)
Old Sam
 1972 Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law (TV Series)
Henry Noll
- Five Will Get You Six (1972) ... Henry Noll
 1972 Love, American Style (TV Series)
Mr. Palvecko (segment "Love and the Wishing Star")
- Love and the Girlish Groom/Love and the New You/Love and the Oldlyweds/Love and the Wishing Star (1972) ... Mr. Palvecko (segment "Love and the Wishing Star")
 1972 Circle of Fear (TV Series)
De Witt
- The New House (1972) ... De Witt
 1971-1972 Alias Smith and Jones (TV Series)
Soapy Saunders
- Bad Night in Big Butte (1972) ... Soapy Saunders
- A Fistful of Diamonds (1971) ... Soapy Saunders
- The Great Shell Game (1971) ... Soapy Saunders
 1971 The Tell-Tale Heart (Short)
The Old Man
 1971 Enemies (TV Movie)
 1971 Bedknobs and Broomsticks
 1971 Who Killed the Mysterious Mr. Foster? (TV Movie)
 1970 The Old Man Who Cried Wolf (TV Movie)
Abe Stillman
 1970 Quarantined (TV Movie)
Mr. Berryman
 1970 Nanny and the Professor (TV Series)
Dr. Lazko
- The Astronomers (1970) ... Dr. Lazko
 1970 The Dunwich Horror
Old Whateley
 1969 Night Gallery (TV Series)
Bleum (segment "Escape Route")
- Pilot (1969) ... Bleum (segment "Escape Route")
 1969 The Great Bank Robbery
Brother Lilac
 1968 Guns for San Sebastian
Father Joseph
 1967 Tarzan (TV Series)
Dr. Singleton
- The Blue Stone of Heaven: Part 2 (1967) ... Dr. Singleton
- The Blue Stone of Heaven: Part 1 (1967) ... Dr. Singleton
 1967 A Guide for the Married Man
Technical Adviser (uncredited)
 1966 Batman (TV Series)
Zoltan Zorba
- Walk the Straight and Narrow (1966) ... Zoltan Zorba (uncredited)
 1966 Bonanza (TV Series)
Joshua Norton
- The Emperor Norton (1966) ... Joshua Norton
 1965 Daniel Boone (TV Series)
Jed Tolson
- The First Beau (1965) ... Jed Tolson
 1961-1965 Ben Casey (TV Series)
Dr. David Zorba
- A Horse Named Stravinsky (1965) ... Dr. David Zorba
- From Sutter's Crick... And Beyond Farewell (1965) ... Dr. David Zorba
- Did Your Mother Come from Ireland, Ben Casey? (1965) ... Dr. David Zorba
- The Day They Stole County General (1965) ... Dr. David Zorba (credit only)
- Journeys End in Lovers Meeting (1965) ... Dr. David Zorba
 1964 The Donna Reed Show (TV Series)
- First Addition (1964)
 1962 The Defenders (TV Series)
Dr. William Graham
- The Bedside Murder (1962) ... Dr. William Graham
 1961 Cain's Hundred (TV Series)
Louis Speckter
- Final Judgment: Alexander Marish (1961) ... Louis Speckter
 1960-1961 The Law and Mr. Jones (TV Series)
Martin Berger
- The Broken Hand (1961) ... Martin Berger
- No Sale (1960) ... Martin Berger
 1961 Naked City (TV Series)
Lazslo Lubasz
- Economy of Death (1961) ... Lazslo Lubasz
 1961 The Robert Herridge Theater (TV Series)
Mr. Bates
- A Cup of Kindness (1961) ... Mr. Bates
 1960-1961 Alfred Hitchcock Presents (TV Series)
Hal Ballew / The Abbot
- The Greatest Monster of Them All (1961) ... Hal Ballew
- The Ikon of Elijah (1960) ... The Abbot
 1961 The Untouchables (TV Series)
Luigi Valcone
- Augie 'The Banker' Ciamino (1961) ... Luigi Valcone
 1961 The Islanders (TV Series)
Papa Mathews
- To Bell a Cat (1961) ... Papa Mathews
 1961 Shirley Temple's Storybook (TV Series)
- The Terrible Clockman (1961) ... Zacharias
 1960 The Westerner (TV Series)
Old Man McKeen
- The Old Man (1960) ... Old Man McKeen
 1960 Play of the Week (TV Series)
- Legend of Lovers (1960)
 1959-1960 Playhouse 90 (TV Series)
Carpenter / Schiller / Grandy
- In the Presence of Mine Enemies (1960) ... Carpenter
- To the Sound of Trumpets (1960) ... Schiller
- The Ding-A-Ling Girl (1959) ... Grandy
 1959 Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse (TV Series)
- Lepke (1959) ... Younkers
 1959 Ben-Hur
 1958 The Barbarian and the Geisha
Henry Heusken
 1957 The Spies
Sam Cooper
 1953 Main Street to Broadway
Sam Jaffe- First Nighter (uncredited)
 1951 The Day the Earth Stood Still
Professor Jacob Barnhardt
 1951 I Can Get It for You Wholesale
Sam Cooper
 1951 Under the Gun
Samuel Gower
 1950 The Asphalt Jungle
Doc Erwin Riedenschneider
 1949 The Big Story (TV Series)
Hal Studer
- Mad Dog ... Hal Studer
 1949 Rope of Sand
Dr. Francis Hunter
 1949 The Accused
Dr. Romley
 1947 Gentleman's Agreement
Prof. Fred Lieberman
 1946 13 Rue Madeleine
Mayor Galimard
 1943 Stage Door Canteen
Sam Jaffe
 1939 Gunga Din
Gunga Din
 1937 Lost Horizon
High Lama
 1934 We Live Again
Gregory Simonson
 1934 The Scarlet Empress
Grand Duke Peter
 1916 A Cheap Vacation (Short)
Show Show Self (13 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (11 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage: Appeared (as "Lum Crowder") in "Ruint" on Broadway. Written by Hatcher Hughes. Directed by James Light. Provincetown Playhouse: 7 Apr 1925-May 1925 (closing date unknown/30 performances). Cast: James K. Applebee, Jeanie Begg, Jane Burby, Wilbur De Rouge, John Huston (as "Aud Horton"; Broadway debut), David Landau (as "Amos ... See more »

Publicity Listings:

7 Articles | See more »


5' 6½" (1.69 m)


Bettye Ackerman  (his death) | See more »

Did You Know?


He was a victim of the Hollywood blacklist during the HUAC hearings. Although he had already been signed, 20th Century-Fox wanted to remove him from The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). Producer Julian Blaustein felt that Jaffe was so crucial for the role of the Albert Einstein-like Prof. Barnhardt that he appealed to studio chief Darryl F. Zanuck. Zanuck approved Jaffe for the role, but it was ... See more »


His unruly hair See more »

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