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Edward G. Robinson ACTOR


Born on December 12, 1893 in Bucharest, Romania, Robinson was given the name Emmanuel Goldberg.  With his pudgy face and nasally voice, he played a wide variety of characters but is best known for his roles in gangster movies. 

When Robinson was ten his family moved from Romania to New York’s Lower East Side.  While he was studying at City College to become a rabbi or lawyer, he decided he wanted to be neither, and pursued a career in acting.  He received a scholarship to The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and it was while there that he changed his name to Edward Goldberg Robinson.  His studies began in 1913, but not until 1915 did he actually get to perform when he debuted on Broadway.  In 1916 he made a very small and uncredited film debut in the movie Arms and the Woman.  Over the next fifteen years he became a well-known stage actor, only acting in two films - the silent The Bright Shawl (1923) and, with a speaking role, The Hole in the Wall (1929). 

Robinson appeared in a few more films such as The Widow from Chicago (1930) and Night Ride (1930) before he really caught the attention of American audiences in Little Caesar (1930).  In this movie he played gangster boss Rico Bandello, which set him up to play numerous other thug roles in his early career.  Ironically, Robinson was actually a very sophisticated guy, but it didn’t show in many of his characters as he played in tough-guy movies like Five Star Final (1931), Smart Money (1931), and Tiger Shark (1932).  In contrast, he also acted in a comedy, The Whole Town’s Talking (1935), but again went back to portraying dangerous characters in pictures like Kid Galahad (1937) with Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart and A Slight Case of Murder (1938).  Moving into the 1940s he began to take on good guy roles, increasing his acting scope.  He exposed his true talent when he acted in Dr. Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet (1940), which was his one of his most notable dramatic performances.  He played a scientist who figured out how to cure syphilis.  Another one of his starring roles was in A Dispatch from Reuter’s (1940), where he plays a respected entrepreneur.  Some more of his outstanding early 1940s roles include the cruel captain of The Sea Wolf (1941) and a petty criminal in Larceny, Inc. (1942). 

His acting abilities expanded as he moved into some psychological dramas.  He was seen in the edgy Double Indemnity (1944) starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray, The Woman in the Window (1945), and Scarlet Street (1945).  He was still appearing in gangster roles, though, as he appeared in the notable Key Largo (1948) starring Humphrey Bogart.  His last film before the start of the new decade was House of Strangers, in which he received the award for best actor at the Cannes Film Festival.

Unfortunately, during the 1950s Robinson experienced personal problems, ranging from falsely being tied to communist organizations to a divorce from his wife, which forced him to sell his large art collection.  He carried on though and kept busy in television.  The actor revisited the screen when he was cast in Cecil B. DeMille’s memorable The Ten Commandments (1956) with an all-star cast including Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, John Derek, John Carradine and many others.  After DeMille got Robinson back into movies he appeared in his more distinguished roles in A Hole in the Head (1959) alongside Frank Sinatra and in The Cincinnati Kid (1965) with Steve McQueen, Karl Malden and Joan Blondell.  The latter earned the actor second place as the best male supporting actor at the Laurel Awards.  His motion picture acting career was starting to die out as he started to act in more roles on television and in lesser known films such as The Blond from Peking (1967), Never a Dull Moment (1968), and Neither by Day nor Night (1972).  Robinson’s final scene was in the science fiction cult film Soylent Green (1973), in which he dies in a euthanasia clinic. 

Robinson was slated to receive an Honorary Academy Award in 1973 but sadly died from cancer on January 26 in Hollywood, California, two months before the ceremony took place.

Prior to his death he received a Life Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild, which he won in 1970.  In addition, Robinson has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame honoring his involvement in the motion picture industry.


1973 Soylent Green
1972 Neither by Day nor by Night
1970 The Old Man Who Cried Wolf
1970 Song of Norway
1969 U.M.C.
1969 Mackenna's Gold
1968 The Biggest Bundle of Them All
1968 Never a Dull Moment
1968 It's Your Move
1968 Grand Slam
1967 The Blonde from Peking
1967 Operation St. Peter's
1965 Who Has Seen the Wind?
1965 The Cincinnati Kid
1964 The Outrage
1964 Robin and the Seven Hoods
1964 Good Neighbor Sam
1964 Cheyenne Autumn
1963 The Prize
1963 A Boy Ten Feet Tall
1962 Two Weeks in Another Town
1962 My Geisha
1960 Seven Thieves
1960 Pepe
1959 A Hole in the Head
1956 The Ten Commandments
1955 Tight Spot
1955 The Violent Men
1955 Illegal
1955 Hell on Frisco Bay
1955 A Bullet for Joey
1954 Black Tuesday
1953 Vice Squad
1953 The Glass Web
1953 Big Leaguer
1952 Actors and Sin
1950 Operation X
1949 It's a Great Feeling
1949 House of Strangers
1948 Night Has a Thousand Eyes
1948 Key Largo
1948 All My Sons
1947 The Red House
1946 The Stranger
1946 Journey Together
1945 Scarlet Street
1945 Our Vines Have Tender Grapes
1944 The Woman in the Window
1944 Tampico
1944 Mr. Winkle Goes to War
1944 Double Indemnity
1943 Flesh and Fantasy
1943 Destroyer
1942 Tales of Manhattan
1942 Manpower
1942 Larceny, Inc.
1941 Unholy Partners
1941 The Sea Wolf
1940 Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet
1940 Brother Orchid
1940 A Dispatch from Reuters
1939 Confessions of a Nazi Spy
1939 Blackmail
1938 The Amazing Doctor Clitterhouse
1938 I Am the Law
1938 A Slight Case of Murder
1937 Thunder in the City
1937 The Last Gangster
1937 Kid Galahad
1936 Bullets or Ballots
1935 The Whole Town's Talking
1935 Barbary Coast
1934 The Man with Two Faces
1934 Dark Hazard
1933 The Little Giant
1933 I Loved a Woman
1932 Two Seconds
1932 Tiger Shark
1932 The Hatchet Man
1932 Silver Dollar
1931 The Slippery Pearls
1931 Smart Money
1931 Five Star Final
1930 The Widow from Chicago
1930 Outside of the Law
1930 Night Ride
1930 Little Caesar
1930 East Is West
1930 A Lady to Love
1929 The Hole in the Wall
1923 The Bright Shawl
1916 Arms and the Woman

Matinee Classics -  2 Weeks in Another Town starring Kirk Douglas, Edward G. Robinson, Cyd Charisse, George Hamilton, Claire Trevor, James Gregory, George Macready, Erich von Storheim and Leslie Uggams
Matinee Classics - A Boy Ten Feet Tall starring Edward G. Robinson, Fergus McClelland and Constance Cummings
Matinee Classics - A Slight Case of Murder starring Edward G. Robinson, Jane Bryan and Allen Jenkins
Matinee Classics - A Boy Ten Feet Tall starring Edward G. Robinson
Matinee Classics - Edward G. Robinson aka Emanuel Goldenberg
Matinee Classics - Edward G. Robinson
Matinee Classics - Edward G. Robinson
Matinee Classics - A Hole in the Head starring Frank Sinatra, Edward G. Robinson, Eleanor Parker, Carolyn Jones, Thelma Ritter, Keenan Wynn, Joi Lansing, Joyce Nizzari, Dub Taylor, James Komack and Eddie Hodges
Matinee Classics - Two Weeks in Another Town starring Kirk Douglas, Edward G. Robinson, George Hamilton, Claire Trevor and Cyd Charisse
Matinee Classics - Key Largo starring Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore, Claire Trevor, Thomas Gomez, Harry Lewis, John Rodney, Marc Lawrence, Dan Seymour, Monte Blue, William Haade, Jay Silverheels and Rodd Redwing

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