Otto Kruger

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Otto Kruger
Otto Kruger 1955.JPG
Kruger in 1955
Born (1885-09-06)September 6, 1885
Toledo, Ohio, U.S.
Died September 6, 1974(1974-09-06) (aged 89)
Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Hollywood Hills, California
Years active 1915–1964
Spouse(s) Susan "Sue" MacManamy Kruger (1892 –1976); 1 child

Otto Kruger (September 6, 1885 – September 6, 1974)[1] was an American actor, originally a Broadway matinee idol, who established a niche as a charming villain in films, such as Hitchcock's Saboteur. He also appeared in CBS's Perry Mason and other TV series. He was the grandnephew of South African president Paul Kruger.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Toledo, Ohio,[2] Kruger was of German descent. He was the son of Bernard Alben Kruger and Elizabeth Winers Kruger[3] and the grandnephew of South African pioneer and president Paul Kruger.[4]

Otto was musically trained, but switched careers and became an actor after studying engineering at the University of Michigan.[3]

Career[edit]

Making his Broadway debut in 1915,[5][6] Kruger quickly became a matinee idol.[4] Though he started to get noticed in the early 1920s, it was the 1930s when his career was at its height. His sound film debut came in Turn Back the Clock (1933)[3] and he made an appearance in the film Chained (1934).[7]

Though he played the hero on occasion, for most of his career, he played the main villain or a charming or corrupt businessman.[8] One of his best known roles was in the Douglas Sirk film Magnificent Obsession (1954).[9] Kruger played the supporting role of Judge Percy Mettrick, who unsuccessfully urges Will Kane to leave town in High Noon (1952).[10] Kruger is also remembered for playing the villain Tobin in Alfred Hitchcock's spy film Saboteur (1942) and mob boss Stevens in the film noir 711 Ocean Drive (1950).[7]

Kruger in Dracula's Daughter (1936)

His television roles included those of Dr. Mumford in the 1959 episode "Experiments in Terror" of the NBC science fiction/adventure series The Man and the Challenge,[11] as Ben Tully in "Gun City" of the ABC western series, The Rebel,[12] and as Franklyn Malleson Ghentin in the 1961 episode "A Fool for a Client" of James Whitmore ABC's legal drama, The Law and Mr. Jones.[13]

Kruger made four guest appearances on CBS's Perry Mason.[14] In his first two appearances, "The Case of the Grumbling Grandfather" (1961) and "The Case of the Counterfeit Crank" (1962), he was cast as Mason's client, and in both episodes was the title character.[15][16] In his final appearance, he played Judge Norris in "The Case of the Missing Button" (1964).[17]

Personal life, later years and honours[edit]

On March 20, 1920, Kruger married Broadway actress[18] [19][20] Susan "Sue" MacManamy. Their daughter, Ottilie Kruger (1926–2005),[21] was also an actress and was the first wife of pioneering cinematographer Gayne Rescher.[22]

Kruger died at the Motion Picture and Television Country House[23] in Woodland Hills, California, on his 89th birthday.

Kruger was granted two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; one for TV and one for film.[23]

Partial list of appearances on radio[edit]

Kruger appeared as Mr. Hardecker in "After Dinner Story" (airdate October 26, 1943; story by Cornell Woolrich) from the Suspense radio program series.[24]

Partial filmography[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 90. ISBN 9780786450190. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  2. ^ Liebman, Roy. Broadway Actors in Films, 1894-2015. McFarland. pp. 148–149. ISBN 9781476626154. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Marsh, Molly (December 9, 1934). "Capricious Otto Kruger Outwits the Copy Books". Oakland Tribune. California, Oakland. p. 20. Retrieved April 3, 2017 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ a b Times, Special To the New York (7 September 1974). "Otto Kruger, Suave Star Of Stage and Screen, Dead" – via NYTimes.com.
  5. ^ League, The Broadway. "Otto Kruger – Broadway Cast & Staff - IBDB". www.ibdb.com.
  6. ^ Whitty, Stephen (2016-06-09). The Alfred Hitchcock Encyclopedia. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781442251601.
  7. ^ a b "AFI-Catalog". catalog.afi.com.
  8. ^ "Otto Kruger | Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos | AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
  9. ^ "Magnificent Obsession (1954) - Articles - TCM.com". Turner Classic Movies.
  10. ^ "High Noon (1952) - Fred Zinnemann - Cast and Crew - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  11. ^ "CTVA US Adventure - "The Man & The Challenge" (ZIV/Ivan Tors) (1959-60) starring George Nader". ctva.biz.
  12. ^ "The Rebel". TVGuide.com.
  13. ^ "The Law and Mr. Jones". TVGuide.com.
  14. ^ "Otto Kruger - Movies and Filmography - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  15. ^ "Perry Mason: The Case of the Grumbling Grandfather (1961) - Bernard Kowalski - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  16. ^ "Perry Mason: The Case of the Counterfeit Crank (1962) - Jerry Hopper - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  17. ^ "Perry Mason: The Case of the Missing Button (1964) - Richard Donner - Cast and Crew - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  18. ^ "Kruger, Otto". The New York Times Index. New York Times Company; republished online by Google Books. January–March 1920. p. 200. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  19. ^ "Sue MacManamy". PlaybillVault.com. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  20. ^ "Sue MacManamy". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  21. ^ "Ottilie Kruger Laybourne". Variety. 19 July 2005. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  22. ^ "Cinematographer Gayne Rescher dies". Variety. 14 March 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  23. ^ a b "Hollywood Star Walk: Otto Kruger". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  24. ^ "Escape and Suspense!". Escape and Suspense!.

External links[edit]