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June 18, 1923|
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
October 28, 2010 (aged 87)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Other names||Bob Ellenstein|
Lois Sylvia Stang (m. 1952–2010)(his death)
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Robert Ellenstein (June 18, 1923 – October 28, 2010) was an American actor.
The son of Meyer C. Ellenstein, a Newark dentist, Robert Ellenstein grew up in that New Jersey city and saw his father go on to become its two-term mayor. He served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II: earning a Purple Heart during his service.
A veteran of the "Golden Age" of live television (he played Quasimodo in a live Robert Montgomery Presents (1950) version of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"), for the same show played the lead in "A Case of Identity", later turned into the film The Wrong Man, he was the first actor to play Albert Einstein on television. Ellenstein made his first film in 1954 (MGM's Rogue Cop), he was featured in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest. In 1961, he played the mobster Legs Diamond in an episode of NBC's 1920s crime drama The Lawless Years with James Gregory.
Among his television appearances, Ellenstein guest starred in three episodes of Perry Mason. In 1957 he played defendant John Addison in "The Case of the Vagabond Vixen." In 1959 he played murder victim Arthur Cartright in "The Case of the Howling Dog," and in 1960 he played Medical Examiner Dr. McBride in "The Case of the Madcap Modiste." He also made three guest appearances on The Untouchables, five appearances on The Wild Wild West, four on Ironside, and five on Mission: Impossible. He also directed television with an episode of the 1960s sitcom, Love on a Rooftop, and many live television episodes.
Ellenstein had over 200 television appearances. He performed hundreds of stage roles as an actor. He directed many theatre productions in New York, Los Angeles and in regional theater. He was artistic director of The Company of Angels and Founding Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Repertory Company.
Ellenstein received a lifetime achievement in theatre award from the LA Weekly in 1988. He is best known for having played the villain in the pilot episode of Moonlighting (1985), and then the Federation President in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986). He taught theatre professionally and academically for over 50 years, founding the Academy of Stage and Cinema Arts in Los Angeles.
Ellenstein died in Los Angeles of natural causes on October 28, 2010 at age 87. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Lois, daughter Jan and his two sons, David and Peter, both of whom are artistic directors of theatres.
|1954||Rogue Cop||Det. Sidney Y. Myers|
|1957||The Garment Jungle||Fred Kenner|
|1957||3:10 to Yuma||Ernie Collins|
|1957||The Walter Winchell File||Melk||1 episode|
|1958||The Young Lions||Rabbi Joseph Silverstein||Uncredited|
|1958||Too Much, Too Soon||Gerald Frank|
|1959||North by Northwest||Licht|
|1960||Pay or Die||Luigi Di Sarno|
|1961||The Big Bankroll||Lenny|
|1968||The Legend of Lylah Clare||Mike|
|1979||Love at First Bite||VW Man|
|1985||Brewster's Millions||Mr. Carter|
|1986||Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home||Federation Council President|
- Lentz, Harris M. III. Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2010. McFarland. pp. 119–120. ISBN 9780786486496. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
- Hawes, William (2001). Live Television Drama, 1946-1951. McFarland. p. 119. ISBN 9781476608495. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
- Obituary Los Angeles Times, November 4, 2010, page AA14.Robert Ellenstein, actor and director, dies at 87