Eugene Oliver Edgar Stutenroth
January 8, 1903
|Died||July 19, 1976 (aged 73)|
|Other names||Gene Stutenroth|
Gene Roth (born Eugene Oliver Edgar Stutenroth, January 8, 1903 – July 19, 1976) was an American film actor and film manager.
Roth was born in Redfield, South Dakota. He was the son of a German father and a Swedish mother, who raised their three sons after the father left the family. The actor, whose billing names included Gene Stutenroth, Eugene Stutenroth, and Eugene Roth finished high school in 1920 and was a manager of a movie theater before he became an actor.
As Gene Stutenroth, he became a successful manager of movie theaters in the 1930s, and was working in this capacity when he visited Hollywood in 1944. Stutenroth was watching a film scene being photographed when a member of the film crew noticed that Stutenroth looked like Ernst Hanfstaengl, then a crony of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany. Stutenroth was promptly fitted with makeup and costume, and became a popular character actor. His burly frame and craggy features made him ideal as an all-purpose menace, gangster, tough guy, or sheriff. Most of his acting jobs in the mid-1940s were in "B" features for Columbia Pictures and Monogram Pictures. In 1949 he abandoned his real name and shortened his screen name to "Roth." He also starred as the master villain in the Columbia serials Captain Video, Mysterious Island (1951), and The Lost Planet (1953).
Roth is remembered for his portrayals of formidable authority figures in Three Stooges comedies such as Slaphappy Sleuths, Hot Stuff, Quiz Whizz, Outer Space Jitters and (as a professor) Pies and Guys. His most memorable role was as Russian spy Bortsch hiding microfilm in Dunked in the Deep (1949), as well as its remake, Commotion on the Ocean (1956). His most famous line was his threat to Shemp Howard: "Give me dat fill-um!" ('fill-um' being 'film' with a Russian accent).
He later made frequent television appearances including seven episodes of The Lone Ranger from 1949 to 1954. Roth portrayed a con man in a Highway Patrol episode, Dead Patrolman in 1956. His final film appearance with the Stooges was in The Three Stooges Meet Hercules.
In the 1960s Roth retired from acting and sold wines and liquors in Hollywood.
- The Sultan's Daughter (1943)
- San Diego, I Love You (1944)
- Shake Hands with Murder (1944)
- Strange Journey (1946)
- Gas House Kids in Hollywood (1947)
- Reaching from Heaven (1948)
- The Sickle or the Cross (1949)
- Dunked in the Deep (1949) - Borscht
- Trail of the Rustlers (1950)
- The Hoodlum (1951) - Prison Warden Stevens (uncredited)
- Red Snow (1952)
- Fargo (1952)
- Earth vs. the Spider (1958)
- She Demons 1958
- The Prize (1963)
- Torn Curtain (1966) - Guard in Post Office (uncredited)
- Mayer, Geoff (2017). Encyclopedia of American Film Serials. McFarland. p. 248. ISBN 9780786477623. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
- "ThreeStooges.net : Welcome to ThreeStooges.net". www.threestooges.net.
- "Gene Roth". IMDb.
- Okuda, Ted; Watz, Edward; (1986). The Columbia Comedy Shorts, p. 231 McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. ISBN 0-89950-181-8