Sam Levene (I) (1905–1980)

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Sam Levene was the actor who originated "craps-shooter extraordinaire" Nathan Detroit in the seminal American musical "Guys and Dolls" on the Great White Way in the original 1950 production. Levene was not a good singer and had trouble staying in key, so his solo number "Sue Me" had to be written in one octave to compensate for his lack of pipes. ... See full bio »


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Known For

After the Thin Man Police Lt. Abrams
The Killers Police Lt. Sam Lubinsky
Last Embrace Sam Urdell


Jump to: Actor | Self | Archive footage
Hide Hide Show Show Actor (65 credits)
 1979 And Justice for All
 1979 Us Two
 1979 Last Embrace
Sam Urdell
 1979 The Champ
Uncle Eddie (uncredited)
 1977 The Royal Family (TV Movie)
Oscar Wolfe
 1976 God Told Me To
Everett Lukas
 1976 The Money
Lou Maurice
 1971 Such Good Friends
Uncle Eddie
 1969 A Dream of Kings
 1966 A Small Rebellion (TV Movie)
Noel Greb
 1966 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (TV Series)
Noel Greb
- A Small Rebellion (1966) ... Noel Greb
 1963 Act One
Richard Maxwell
 1960 The Untouchables (TV Series)
Larry Fay
- The Larry Fay Story (1960) ... Larry Fay
 1960 The Witness (TV Series)
Louis Buchalter
- Louis 'Lepke' Buchalter (1960) ... Louis Buchalter
 1960 The Aquanauts (TV Series)
Lieutenant Maharis
- Night Dive (1960) ... Lieutenant Maharis
 1960 The Ed Sullivan Show (TV Series)
Actor - Dramatic Reading
- Episode #13.47 (1960) ... Actor - Dramatic Reading
 1959 Play of the Week (TV Series)
- World of Sholom Aleichem (1959) ... Mendele
 1959 The World of Sholom Aleichem (TV Movie)
 1958 Kathy O'
Ben Melnick
 1958 Omnibus (TV Series)
- Mrs. McThing (1958) ... Eddie
 1957 A Farewell to Arms
Swiss Sergeant (uncredited)
 1957 Kraft Theatre (TV Series)
- The Old Ticker (1957)
 1957 Slaughter on 10th Avenue
Howard Rysdale
 1957 Sweet Smell of Success
Frank D' Angelo
 1957 Studio One in Hollywood (TV Series)
Ben Selig / Ben Weber
- The Mother Bit (1957) ... Ben Selig
- The Playwright and the Stars (1957) ... Ben Weber
 1957 Designing Woman
Ned Hammerstein
 1956 The Opposite Sex
Mike Pearl
 1954 The United States Steel Hour (TV Series)
Reporter McArdle
- Fearful Decision (1954) ... Reporter McArdle
 1954 Rheingold Theatre (TV Series)
- Johnny Blue (1954) ... Sam
 1954 Medallion Theatre (TV Series)
Fight Manager
- The Alibi Kid (1954) ... Fight Manager
 1953 Three Sailors and a Girl
Joe Woods
 1953 The Passing Show (TV Series)
Nathan Detroit
- All Our Yesterdays (1953) ... Nathan Detroit
 1952 Frontiers of Faith (TV Series)
- The World of Sholom Aleichem (1952) ... Tevya
 1950 Dial 1119
Dr. John Faron
 1950 With These Hands
Alexander Brody
 1950 Guilty Bystander
Capt. Tonetti
 1949 The Ford Theatre Hour (TV Series)
Sidney Black
- Light Up the Sky (1949) ... Sidney Black
 1948 Leather Gloves
 1948 The Babe Ruth Story
Phil Conrad
 1947 Killer McCoy
 1947 Crossfire
 1947 Brute Force
Louie Miller
 1947 A Likely Story
 1947 Boomerang!
Dave Woods
 1946 The Killers
Police Lt. Sam Lubinsky
 1944 The Purple Heart
Lt. Wayne Greenbaum
 1943 Whistling in Brooklyn
 1943 Shoe Shine Boy (Short)
 1943 'Gung Ho!': The Story of Carlson's Makin Island Raiders
Sgt. Leo Andreof - 'Transport'
 1943 I Dood It
Ed Jackson
 1943 Action in the North Atlantic
Abel 'Chips' Abrams
 1942 Destination Unknown
Victor, Elena's Aide
 1942 The Big Street
 1942 Grand Central Murder
Inspector Gunther
 1942 Sunday Punch
 1942 Sing Your Worries Away
Smiley Clark
 1941 Shadow of the Thin Man
Police Lt. Abrams
 1941 Married Bachelor
Cookie Farrar
 1939 Golden Boy
 1938 The Mad Miss Manton
Lieutenant Brent
 1938 The Shopworn Angel
 1938 Yellow Jack
 1936 After the Thin Man
Police Lt. Abrams
 1936 Three Men on a Horse
 1929 The Talk of Hollywood
Film Buyer (uncredited)
Show Show Self (21 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (5 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage: Appeared (as "Lou Winkler") in "Fair Game" on Broadway. Comedy. Written by Sam Locke. Directed by Paul Robert. Longacre Theatre: 2 Nov 1957-10 May 1958 (217 performances). Cast: Shirley Ballard, Mary Alice Bayh, Edward Bryce, Sarah Cunningham, Jason Evers (billed as "Herbert Evers"), Earl George, Sally Gracie, Joseph Leon, Paul... See more »

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5' 2½" (1.59 m)

Did You Know?


Although Levene created the role of Nathan Detroit in the original Broadway production of "Guys and Dolls" in 1950, he did so with a decided handicap for a musical comedy leading man: He couldn't sing. His one solo number, "Sue Me," was deliberately written in only one octave, and when he had to sing in an ensemble number, such as "The Oldest Established," he mimed the words. See more »

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