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Tobias in 1942
|Born||July 14, 1901|
New York City, U.S.
|Died||February 27, 1980 (aged 78)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Mount Carmel Cemetery in Glendale, Queens, New York City|
|Occupation||Film and television actor|
George Tobias (July 14, 1901 – February 27, 1980) was an American theater, film and television actor. He had character parts and supporting roles in several major films of Hollywood's Golden Age. He is also known for his role as Abner Kravitz on the TV sitcom Bewitched from 1964 to 1971.
Tobias began his acting career at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, California. He then spent several years in theater groups before moving on to Broadway and, eventually, Hollywood. His Broadway credits include Silk Stockings (1955), Good Hunting (1938), You Can't Take It With You (1936), Star Spangled (1936), Hell Freezes Over (1935), Paths of Glory (1935), Black Pit (1935), Sailors of Cattaro (1934), Red Rust (1929), Fiesta (1929), S. S. Glencairn (1929), The Grey Fox (1928), The Road to Rome (1928), The International (1928), and What Price Glory (1924).
In 1939, he signed with Warner Bros. and was cast in supporting roles, many times along with James Cagney, in such movies as Cagney's Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), as well as with Gary Cooper in Sergeant York (1941) and Irving Berlin, Ronald Reagan, and George Murphy in This Is the Army (1943). In 1950, he was cast against type as a ruthless killer and felon in the film noir Southside 1-1000.
Tobias portrayed Penrose in eight episodes of the ABC program Adventures in Paradise (1959-1961). From 1964 to 1971, he played Abner Kravitz, the long-suffering neighbor on the ABC sitcom Bewitched. Tobias often appeared in an uncredited role as a courtroom spectator on the CBS program Perry Mason, and he played Sidney Falconer in the episode titled "The Case of the Antic Angel" (1964).
Tobias never married and retired from acting in 1977 after reprising his role as Abner Kravitz in a guest appearance on the Bewitched sequel Tabitha.
In 1954, actress Lynn Baggett was involved in a collision in Los Angeles while driving a car borrowed from Tobias, and a 9-year-old boy was killed. (Baggett and Tobias were old friends, and she reportedly had been his girlfriend in the 1940s, but at the time of the accident she was the estranged wife of producer Sam Spiegel.) She eventually was acquitted of manslaughter but convicted of felony hit-and-run, and she spent 55 days in jail. The boy's mother sued Baggett and Tobias in separate court proceedings. They shared responsibility for damages, which amounted to $2,599 ($24,800 today).
- The Lunatic (1927)
- Yes, My Darling Daughter (1939) as Dock Worker (uncredited)
- Maisie (1939) as Rico
- They All Come Out (1939) as "Sloppy Joe"
- The Roaring Twenties (1939) as Soldier in American Army Barracks (uncredited)
- Ninotchka (1939) as Soviet Visa Official (uncredited)
- Balalaika (1939) as Slaski
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) as Beggar
- Music in My Heart (1940) as Sascha
- Saturday's Children (1940) as Herbert Smith
- Torrid Zone (1940) as Rosie La Mata
- The Man Who Talked Too Much (1940) as Slug "Canvasback" McNutt
- They Drive by Night (1940) as George Rondolos
- River's End (1940) as Andrew "Andy" Dijon
- The Baron and the Rose (1940, Short) as Henry Stiegel
- Calling All Husbands (1940) as Oscar Armstrong
- City for Conquest (1940) as Pinky
- East of the River (1940) as Tony Scaduto
- South of Suez (1940) as Eli Snedeker
- The Strawberry Blonde (1941) as Nicholas Pappalas
- Affectionately Yours (1941) as Pasha
- Out of the Fog (1941) as Igor Propotkin
- Sergeant York (1941) as Private Michael T. "Pusher" Ross
- The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941) as Peewee Defoe
- The Tanks Are Coming (1941, Short) as Malowski
- Captains of the Clouds (1942) as Blimp Lebec (bush pilot)
- Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) as Dietz
- Juke Girl (1942) as Nick Garcos
- Wings for the Eagle (1942) as Jake Hanso
- My Sister Eileen (1942) as Appopolous
- Air Force (1943) as Asst. Crew Chief Weinberg
- Mission to Moscow (1943) as Freddie
- This Is the Army (1943) as Maxie Twardofsky
- Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943) as Himself
- Passage to Marseille (1944) as Petit
- Between Two Worlds (1944) as Pete Musick
- Make Your Own Bed (1944) as Boris Fenilise
- Objective, Burma! (1945) as Cpl. Gabby Gordon
- Mildred Pierce (1945) as Mr. Chris (uncredited)
- Her Kind of Man (1946) as Joe Marino
- Nobody Lives Forever (1946) as Al Doyle
- Gallant Bess (1946) as Lug Johnson
- Sinbad the Sailor (1947) as Abbu
- My Wild Irish Rose (1947) as Nick Popoli
- The Judge Steps Out (1947) as Mike
- Adventures of Casanova (1948) as Jacopo
- The Set-Up (1949) as Tiny
- Everybody Does It (1949) as Rossi
- Southside 1-1000 (1950) as Reggie
- Rawhide (1951) as Gratz
- The Mark of the Renegade (1951) as Captain Bardoso
- The Magic Carpet (1951) as Razi
- Ten Tall Men (1951) as Londos
- Desert Pursuit (1952) as Ghazili
- The Glenn Miller Story (1953) as Si Schribman
- The Seven Little Foys (1954) as Barney Green
- The Tattered Dress (1957) as Billy Giles
- Silk Stockings (1957) as Vassili Markovitch
- Marjorie Morningstar (1958) as Maxwell Greech
- A New Kind of Love (1963) as Joe Bergner
- Bullet for a Badman (1964) as Diggs
- Nightmare in the Sun (1965) as Gideon
- The Glass Bottom Boat (1966) as Mr. Fenimore
- The Phynx (1970) as Markevitch
- Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) as Captain on Flight Line at Hickam Field (uncredited)
- Gordon, Dr Roger L. (2018). Supporting Actors in Motion Pictures. Dorrance Publishing. p. 78. ISBN 9781480944992. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
- "George Tobias". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 11 August 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
- Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. pp. 96–97. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
- Four Boys Given $2,599 in Lynn Baggett Suits. November 5, 1955. The Los Angeles Times
- Motion Picture and Television Magazine, November 1952, page 33, Ideal Publishers
- "Actor George Tobias Dies". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Missouri, St. Louis. Associated Press. February 28, 1980. p. 45. Retrieved August 10, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
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