Paul Stewart (actor)

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Paul Stewart
Citizen Kane-Paul Stewart.JPG
Stewart on the set of Citizen Kane (1941)
Born Paul Sternberg
(1908-03-13)March 13, 1908
Manhattan, New York. U.S.
Died February 17, 1986(1986-02-17) (aged 77)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Heart failure
Alma mater Columbia University
Occupation Actor, director, producer
Years active 1930–1985
Spouse(s) Peg LaCentra (1939–1986)

Paul Stewart (born Paul Sternberg; March 13, 1908 – February 17, 1986) was an American character actor, director and producer who worked in theatre, radio, films and television. He frequently portrayed cynical and sinister characters throughout his lengthy career. A friend and associate of Orson Welles for many years, he helped Welles get his first job in radio and was associate producer of the celebrated radio program "The War of the Worlds", in which he also performed. One of the Mercury Theatre players who made their film debut in Welles's landmark film Citizen Kane, Stewart portrayed Kane's butler and valet, Raymond. He appeared in 50 films, and performed in or directed some 5,000 radio and television shows.

The cast of Gertrude Berg's The House of Glass (1935)
As Raymond in the trailer for Citizen Kane (1941)
With Henry Fonda in the Broadway production of Mister Roberts (1950)

Biography[edit]

Paul Stewart was born in Manhattan March 13, 1908, as Paul Sternberg.[1] His parents were Maurice D. Sternberg, a salesman and credit agent for a textile manufacturer, and Nathalie C. (Nathanson) Sternberg; both were born in Minneapolis.[2] Stewart attended public school and completed two years at Columbia University,[3][4] studying law. He had received first place in the Belasco Theatre Tournament in 1925 and decided on an acting career.[5]

Stewart began his stage career in New York as teenager.[6] He made his Broadway debut in 1930, in Subway Express.[7]:16 He next appeared in the 1931 play, Two Seconds, adapted as a film the next year.[8]

In 1932, after two additional Broadway credits,[9][10] Stewart moved to Cincinnati and went to work at radio station WLW.[11] It was there in 1928 that radio pioneer Fred Smith had created the program Newscasting, which in 1931 evolved into the popular national news series, The March of Time.[12] For 13 months Stewart worked in all aspects of radio production at WLW — acting, announcing, directing, producing, writing and creating sound effects. When he returned to New York he was on The March of Time[11] and a member of radio's elite corps of actors.

In 1934 Stewart introduced Orson Welles to director Knowles Entrikin, who gave Welles his first job on radio, on The American School of the Air.[13]:331 "I'd been turning up for auditions and never landing a job until I met Paul Stewart," Welles recalled. "He's a lovely man; for years he was one of the main pillars of our Mercury broadcasts. He can't be given too much credit."[13]:10

In March 1935 Stewart saw Welles's stage performance in Archibald MacLeish's verse play Panic, and recommended him to director Homer Fickett. Welles was auditioned and hired to join the repertory company that presented The March of Time.[14]:86

"It was like a stock company, whose members were the aristocrats of this relatively new profession of radio acting," wrote fellow actor Joseph Julian. At that time Julian had to content himself with being an indistinguishable voice in crowd scenes, envying this "hallowed circle" that included Stewart, Welles, Kenny Delmar, Arlene Francis, Gary Merrill, Agnes Moorehead, Jeanette Nolan, Everett Sloane, Richard Widmark,[15]:9 Art Carney, Ray Collins, Pedro de Cordoba, Ted de Corsia, Juano Hernandez, Nancy Kelly, John McIntire, Jack Smart and Dwight Weist. The March of Time was one of radio's most popular shows.[16]:12–13

Stewart was a founder of the American Federation of Radio Artists in August 1937, and one of its inaugural officers.[6][17]:21,24 He carried card number 39 in the union and was a frequent delegate at the national convention.[11] He was also a board member of the Screen Actors Guild, and a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[6]

Stewart played various roles throughout Welles's memorable tenure as Lamont Cranston in The Shadow (September 1937–September 1938).[18]:69[19]

In 1938 Welles expanded the range of the Mercury Theatre from Broadway to network radio with his CBS series, The Mercury Theatre on the Air, and Stewart became his associate producer.[20]:390 In addition to playing a number of roles in the drama series and its sponsored continuation, The Campbell Playhouse, Stewart made significant contributions to the celebrated broadcast, "The War of the Worlds", as rehearsal director, actor and co-writer.[21][13]:343 Welles later said that Stewart deserved the largest share of the credit for the quality of "The War of the Worlds".[22]:195[23]

In 1939 Stewart was married to actress and singer Peg LaCentra (1910–1996), a vocalist with Artie Shaw's first orchestra who worked in radio, films and television.[24][25] That September Welles called Stewart in New York.[18]:411[26][27]:254

"The telephone rang and I heard the unmistakable voice of Orson Welles, speaking from California," Stewart recalled:

Well, when Orson said he had a part for you, you went. So I left New York to play my first role in a picture at 500 dollars a week, three weeks' guarantee. I was on Citizen Kane for 11 weeks. … My first shot was a close-up in which Orson wanted a special smoke effect from my cigarette. I was rigged with tube that went under my clothes and down my finger to the cigarette, but somehow the contraption wouldn't exude smoke. "I want long cigarettes — the Russian kind!" Orson ordered. Everyone waited while the prop man fetched some Russian cigarettes. Just before the scene Orson Welles warned me: "Your head is going to fill the screen at the Radio City Music Hall" — at that time Citizen Kane was booked for the Music Hall. Then he said in his gruff manner, "Turn 'em." But just before I started, he added quietly in his warm voice, "Good luck." I blew the first take. It was 30, 40 takes before I completed a shot that Orson liked — and I had only one line. That was almost 30 years ago, but even today I have people repeat it to me, including young students. The line was: "Rosebud … I'll tell you about Rosebud …"[28]:8–9

Stewart's most famous role is his screen debut as Raymond, the cynical butler in Citizen Kane (1941).[22]:195 Actress Ruth Warrick, who portrayed Kane's first wife, remembered Stewart saying to her at the film's New York premiere, "From this night on, wherever we go or whatever we do in our lives, we will always be identified with Citizen Kane."[29]

On the stage, Stewart appeared in the Mercury Theatre's acclaimed production of Native Son, directed by Welles and produced by John Houseman at the St. James Theatre March 24–June 28, 1941.[7][30]

During World War II Stewart served with the New York-based Office of War Information (1941–43)[31] and narrated documentaries including The World at War (1942).[32] He worked under John Houseman at the newly created Voice of America (1942–43), broadcasting news, editorials and commentary from the U.S. press, and quotes from notable speeches, to audiences in Europe.[33]:39 When Houseman took his oath of allegiance as a U.S. citizen in March 1943, he chose Stewart to accompany him as his witness.[33]:87

Stewart was given leave to go to Hollywood to act in a few wartime films, including Mr. Lucky (1943),[11] and worked as a barker in The Mercury Wonder Show, a magic-and-variety show produced by Welles and Joseph Cotten as a morale-boosting entertainment for U.S. soldiers.[18]:171 Because of his comprehensive radio experience, Stewart was called upon by U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr. to prepare radio programs used to promote the purchase of War Bonds during World War II.[5] He produced and directed Welles's Fifth War Loan broadcast from the Hollywood Bowl June 14, 1944,[13]:384 and produced, directed and acted in a number of patriotic episodes of the Cavalcade of America radio series.[34]

After the war Stewart went to work for David O. Selznick and Dore Schary as a writer, director and producer, and directed screen tests for Paramount Pictures.[31] Stewart's many feature film credits as an actor include The Window, Champion, Twelve O'Clock High, The Bad and the Beautiful, The Juggler, Kiss Me Deadly, King Creole, In Cold Blood, The Day of the Locust and W.C. Fields and Me, in which he portrayed Florenz Ziegfeld.

In 1950 Stewart took over the role of Doc in Joshua Logan's Broadway production of Mister Roberts, starring Henry Fonda.[5]

On television, Stewart's director credits include the syndicated series, Top Secret (1954–55), in which he costarred with the young Gena Rowlands, and a notable episode of the TV series The Twilight Zone, "Little Girl Lost" (1962). He was host and narrator of the syndicated series Deadline (1959–61) and appeared in episodes of The Ford Theatre Hour, Suspense, Playhouse 90, Alcoa Theatre, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Asphalt Jungle, Perry Mason, Dr. Kildare, Mannix, Mission Impossible, The Name of the Game ("L.A. 2017"), McMillan & Wife, Columbo, The Rockford Files, Lou Grant and Remington Steele, among many other TV series.

Orson Welles called upon Stewart to play a role in his film, The Other Side of the Wind, shot in the 1970s and left unfinished. When Welles died at his home in Hollywood October 10, 1985, Stewart was the first of his friends to arrive.[22]:195, 297

Stewart died of heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on February 17, 1986, after a long illness.[6] He had suffered a heart attack in 1974 during the first two weeks' filming of Richard Brooks's Western, Bite the Bullet, in which he was replaced.[35]

In the 1999 film RKO 281, Paul Stewart was portrayed by Adrian Schiller.

Select theatre credits[edit]

Date Title Role Notes
1930–May 1930 Subway Express Passenger Liberty Theatre, New York[7][36][5]
October 9–November 1931 Two Seconds First Reporter, First Detective Ritz Theatre, New York
Directed by Alexander Leftwich[8]
January 26–February 1932 East of Broadway Willie Posner Belmont Theatre, New York
Directed by Lew Levenson[9]
May 6–May 1932 Bulls, Bears and Asses Merwin Playhouse Theatre, New York
Directed by Melville Burke[10]
February 21–March 1938 Wine of Choice Leo Traub Guild Theatre, New York
Directed by Herman Shumlin[37]
March 24–June 28, 1941 Native Son A Newspaper Man St. James Theatre, New York
Directed by Orson Welles[38]
September 24–29, 1941 Twilight Walk Fulton Theatre, New York
Directed by Paul Stewart[39]
August–September 1943 The Mercury Wonder Show Barker Hollywood, California
Directed by Orson Welles[18]:171[13]:377
May–December 1950 Mister Roberts Doc Alvin Theatre, New York
Directed by Joshua Logan[40][41][42]
November 30, 1971–January 8, 1972 The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles
Directed by Henry Fonda[31][43]

Select radio credits[edit]

Paul Stewart played in or directed 5,000 radio and TV shows, usually without credit.[44]

Actor[edit]

Date Title Role Notes
1934–38 The March of Time Repertory cast [31][16]:13[11]
April 17–December 25, 1935 The House of Glass [45]:333[46]
November 9, 1936–June 25, 1937 The Jack Pearl Show Announcer [47][45]:365
1936–37 Easy Aces Johnny Sherwood [48][49][50]
September 26, 1937–September 11, 1938 The Shadow Repertory cast [19]
1938 The Raleigh and Kool Cigarette Program Announcer [51]
1938– Life Can Be Beautiful Gyp Mendoza [45]:394
August 29, 1938 The Mercury Theatre on the Air Paul Dantès "The Count of Monte Cristo"[13]:345[52]:51
September 5, 1938 The Mercury Theatre on the Air Gogol "The Man Who Was Thursday"[13]:345[52]:51
October 30, 1938 The Mercury Theatre on the Air Studio announcer
Third studio announcer
"The War of the Worlds"[13]:346[21][53]
1939– Mr. District Attorney [45]:464
March 10, 1939 The Campbell Playhouse Repertory cast "The Glass Key"[13]:351
May 5, 1939 The Campbell Playhouse "Wickford Point"[13]:352
May 20, 1939 Arch Oboler's Plays "Crazytown"[54]
May 25, 1939 The Campbell Playhouse "Ah, Wilderness!"[13]:352
September 17, 1939 The Campbell Playhouse "American Cavalcade: The Things We Have"[13]:352
January 9, 1940 The Cavalcade of America Repertory cast "The Raven Wins Texas"[34]
February 11, 1940 The Campbell Playhouse "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town"[13]:358
April 6, 1941 The Free Company "His Honor, the Mayor"[13]:362–363
May 11, 1941 Twenty-Six by Corwin "The Log of the R-77"[55]
May 30, 1941 Great Moments from Great Plays "The Butter and Egg Man"[56]:201
June 22, 1941 Twenty-Six by Corwin "Daybreak"[55]
July 20, 1941 Twenty-Six by Corwin "Double Concerto"[55]
October 6, 1941 Orson Welles Show [13]:367
November 3, 1941 Orson Welles Show "Wild Oranges"[13]:367[57]
1942–43 Voice of America Medium wave English-language news broadcasts to Europe[31][33]:39–40
March 28, 1942 This Is War "It's in the Works"[56]:501
April 6, 1942 The Cavalcade of America "Yellow Jack"[34]
May 4, 1942 The Cavalcade of America "The Printer Was a Lady"[34]
May 11, 1942 The Cavalcade of America "A Tooth for Paul Revere"[34]
July 27, 1942 The Cavalcade of America "Man of Design"[34]
August 3, 1942 The Cavalcade of America "This Our Exile"[34]
September 23, 1942 Suspense "A Passage to Benares"[58]
September 28, 1942 The Cavalcade of America "Juarez: Thunder from the Mountains"[34]
February 2, 1943 Lights Out "Until Dead"[59]
March 22, 1943 The Cavalcade of America "Lifetide"[34]
June 7, 1943 The Cavalcade of America "The Enemy is Listening"[34]
June 14, 1943 The Cavalcade of America "Make Way for the Lady"[34]
June 21, 1943 The Cavalcade of America "The Unsinkable Marblehead"[34]
August 17–October 5, 1943 Passport for Adams Eight 30-minute episodes[60][61]
December 6, 1943 The Cavalcade of America "Navy Doctor"[34]
December 13, 1943 The Cavalcade of America "Check Your Heart at Home"[34]
1946– The Fat Man [45]:241
September 4, 1948 Gang Busters "The Case of the Collector"[62]
June 18, 1949 NBC University Theater of the Air "What Makes Sammy Run?"[56]:347
June 30, 1950 The MGM Theatre of the Air "Public Hero Number One"[63]
1950–51 Rogue's Gallery Richard Rogue 55 episodes[64]
January 10, 1954 NBC Star Playhouse "For Whom the Bell Tolls"[65]
November 7, 1954 You Were There "Eight By Three By Two"[66]
August 21, 1955 You Were There "The Way We Want It"[66]
August 28, 1955 You Were There "Once Upon a Time"[66]

Director, producer[edit]

Year Title Notes
July 11–December 4, 1938 The Mercury Theatre on the Air Associate producer, rehearsal director[13]:343
22 episodes
December 9, 1938–March 31, 1940 The Campbell Playhouse Associate producer, rehearsal director[13]:343
56 episodes
1943–44 The Cavalcade of America Producer and director of episodes including the following:[34]
"Navy Doctor", December 6, 1943
"Check Your Heart at Home", December 13, 1943
"U-Boat Prisoner", December 27, 1943
"Bullseye for Sammy", January 3, 1944
"Prelude to Glory", February 7, 1944
"The Purple Heart Comes to Free Meadows", February 21, 1944
"Junior Angel", February 28, 1944
"The Doctor Gets the Answer", September 11, 1944
"Spy on the Kilocycles", October 8, 1944 (director only)
June 14, 1944 The Fifth War Loan Drive Producer, director[13]:384
Because of his comprehensive radio experience, Stewart was called upon by U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr. to prepare radio programs used to promote the purchase of War Bonds during World War II[5]

Select film and television credits[edit]

Actor[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1941 Citizen Kane Raymond Film debut[67]
1942 Johnny Eager Julio [67]
1942 The World at War Narrator U.S. Office of War Information documentary[32]
1943 Mr. Lucky Zepp [67]
1949 The Window Joe Kellerson [67]
1949 The Ford Theatre Hour (TV series) Paul Lawton "She Loves Me Not"[68]
1944 Government Girl Branch Owens [67]
1948 Berlin Express Narrator (uncredited) [68]
1949 Champion Tommy Haley [67]
1949 Easy Living Dan Argus [67]
1949 Illegal Entry Zack Richards [67]
1950 Twelve O'Clock High Capt. [Major] "Doc" Kaiser [67]
1950 Edge of Doom Craig [67]
1950 Walk Softly, Stranger Whitey Lake [67]
1950 Suspense (TV series) Sam Cragg "1000 to One"[68]
1950 The Prudential Family Playhouse (TV series) Max Wharton "Over 21"[68]
1951 Appointment with Danger Earl Boettinger [67]
1951 Lights Out (TV) "The Man with the Astrakhan Hat"[68]
1951 Faith Baldwin Romance Theatre (TV series) "Success Story"[68]
1952 Deadline – U.S.A. Harry Thompson [67]
1952 Carbine Williams "Dutch" Kruger [67]
1952 Loan Shark Lou Donelli [67]
1952 We're Not Married Stone, Eve's lawyer [67]
1952 The Bad and the Beautiful Syd Murphy [67]
1953 The Juggler Detective Karni [67]
1953 The Joe Louis Story Tad McGeehan [67]
1954 Deep in My Heart Bert Townsend [67]
1954 Prisoner of War Capt. Jack Hodges [67]
1954 Inner Sanctum (TV series) Three episodes[68]
1954–55 Top Secret (TV series) Professor Brand 26-episode syndicated series costarring Gena Rowlands[68][69][70]
1955 Kiss Me Deadly Carl Evello [67]
1955 Chicago Syndicate Arnold Valenti [67]
1955 The Cobweb Dr. Otto Wolff [67]
1955 TV Reader's Digest (TV series) Larry Sears "The Manufactured Clue"[71]
1955 1955 Motion Picture Theatre Celebration Himself [72]
1956 Hell on Frisco Bay Joe Lye [67]
1956 The Wild Party Ben Davis [67]
1956 Playhouse 90 (TV series) Martin Hoeffer "Confession"[73]
1957 Top Secret Affair Phil Bentley [67]
1957 The Joseph Cotten Show (TV series) Mr. Bari "The Secret of Polanta"[68]
1958 King Creole Charlie Le Grand [67]
1958 Alcoa Theatre (TV series) Don Peters "The First Star"[74]
1958 No Warning (TV series) Stephen Chase "Fingerprints"[75]
1959 Beyond All Limits Pendergast [67]
1959–61 Deadline (TV series) Narrator, host Syndicated newspaper anthology series[76][68]
1960 Alfred Hitchcock Presents (TV series) Vincent Noonan "Craig's Will"[77]
1961 The Asphalt Jungle (TV series) Alex Meridan "The Kidnapping"[78]
1963 A Child is Waiting Goodman [67]
1964 Perry Mason (TV series) Cameron Burgess "The Case of the Tragic Trophy"[68]
1964 Dr. Kildare (TV series) Dr. Guiseppe Muretelli "Rome Will Never Leave You"[79]
1965 The Greatest Story Ever Told Questor [67]
1966 Perry Mason (TV series) Cameron Burgess "The Case of the Avenging Angel"[80]
1966–67 The Man Who Never Was (TV series) Paul Grant Series[81]:462
1967 In Cold Blood Reporter [67]
1968 Jigsaw Simon Joshua [4]
1968 Mannix (TV series) Morgan Farrell "Pressure Point"[82]
1969 How to Commit Marriage Attorney [67]
1969 Ironside (TV series) Paul Cambridge "The Prophesy"[83]
1969 Mission: Impossible (TV series) Jonas Stone "Mastermind"[84]
1970 Carter's Army (TV series) General Clark Also known as Black Brigade[85]
1970 The Governor & J.J. (TV series) Dr. Ed Graham "And the World Begat the Bleep"[86]
1970 Gunsmoke (TV series) Sanders "The Cage"[87]
1971 The Silent Force (TV series) "The Banker"[88]
1971 The Name of the Game (TV series) Dr. Rubias "L.A. 2017"[89]
1971 City Beneath the Sea (TV) Barton [90]
1971 McMillan & Wife (TV series) Chief Andy Yeakel "Husbands, Wives and Killers"[91]
1973 Ironside (TV series) Ben Hopkins "Ring of Prayer"[92]
1973 The F.B.I. (TV series) Reese "Rules of the Game"[93]
1973 Columbo (TV series) Clifford Paris "Double Shock"[68][31]
1974 F for Fake Special participant [13]:442
1974 Murph the Surf Avery Also known as Live a Little, Steal a Lot[94]
1974 Cannon (TV series) Lester Cain "The Hit Man"[95]
1975 The Day of the Locust Helverston [67]
1975 The Streets of San Francisco (TV series) Nick Lugo "Letters from the Grave"[96]
1976 W.C. Fields and Me Flo Ziegfeld [67]
1977 Opening Night David Samuels [67]
1977 The Rockford Files (TV series) Julius "Buddy" Richards "Irving the Explainer"[97]
1978 Revenge of the Pink Panther Scallini [67]
1978 The Nativity Zacharias [98]
1979 Lou Grant (TV series) Kenneth Homes "Hollywood"[68]
1981 S.O.B. Harry Sandler [99]
1981 The Dain Curse (TV) Old man Miniseries[100]
1981 Nobody's Perfekt Dr. Segal [67]
1982 Tempest Phillip's father [101]
1983 Remington Steele (TV series) Joseph Barber "Steele Knuckles and Glass Jaws"[68][31]
1985 MacGyver (TV series) Dr. Carl Steubens Series pilot[102]
2015[103][104] The Other Side of the Wind Matt Costello Scenes filmed between 1970 and 1976[105]

Director, producer[edit]

Year Title Notes
1954–55 Top Secret (TV series) 15-minute syndicated series, also known as Top Secret U.S.A.
"I also directed my own TV series in the East … We did 26 films in 25 days, so you can see I'm used to making deadlines" (Paul Stewart)[69][70][106]
1955 Kings Row (TV series) Three episodes[68]
1955–56 Warner Bros. Presents (TV series) Three episodes[68]
1957 Meet McGraw (TV series) "The White Rose"[68][107]
1958 Peter Gunn (TV series) "The Leaper"[68]
1959–60 Hawaiian Eye (TV series) "Secret of the Second Door"
"Shipment from Kihei"
"The Koa Man"
"Stamped for Danger"[68]
1960 M Squad (TV series) Five episodes[68]
1960 Philip Marlowe (TV series) "Murder is a Grave Affair"[108]
1960–61 Michael Shayne (TV series) Eight episodes; associate producer of the series[68][109]
1961–62 Checkmate (TV series) Six episodes[68]
1962 The Twilight Zone (TV series) "Little Girl Lost"[110]

References[edit]

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  3. ^ Ancestry.com, 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2012. Retrieved 2014-10-24.
  4. ^ a b Katz, Ephraim, Fred Klein; Ronald Dean Nolan, The Film Encyclopedia (Third Edition). New York: HarperPerennial, 1998. ISBN 9780062734921 page 1311.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Who's Who in the Cast". Playbill for Mister Roberts, October 9, 1950.
  6. ^ a b c d "Paul Stewart is Dead at 77; Stage, Screen and TV Actor". Associated Press, The New York Times, February 19, 1986. Retrieved 2014-10-22. 
  7. ^ a b c "Who's Who in the Cast". Playbill for Native Son, April 13, 1941. Retrieved 2014-10-29. 
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  10. ^ a b "Bulls, Bears and Asses". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 2014-11-01. 
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  12. ^ "Fred Smith, Radio Pioneer, Dies; Helped Create 'March of Time'". The New York Times, August 15, 1976
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External links[edit]