Lee J. Cobb

Lee J. Cobb, actually Leo Jacoby ( born December 8, 1911 in New York City; † February 11, 1976 in Woodland Hills, California ) was an American actor. Cobb was one of the leading character actors and often played grumpy or dominant men. His best-known roles included the corrupt union boss Johnny Friendly in On the Waterfront and the effervescent " juror No. 3" in Twelve Angry Men.


Born the son of a Jewish composer, Cobb showed at a young age a talent as a violinist, but defeated a severe hand injury a career as a musician. At the age of 17 he left home and went to Hollywood, but where he initially failed. After his return to his hometown of Cobb studied at the New York College; by the way, he worked as a speaker in broadcast radio plays.

1931 under an employment at the Pasadena Playhouse and in 1935 an engagement with the Group Theatre in New York. The Group Theatre made ​​a name for himself by socially engaged theater productions. Other later prominent members were the director Elia Kazan and the Actors John Garfield. Under Kazan's direction, he played in 1936, together with Garfield in Kurt Weill first purely American production Johnny Johnson. He successfully had worked as a performer of Willy Loman in the world premiere of Arthur Miller's play Death of a Salesman, the Kazan 1949 staged. 1966 Cobb played the role again in a television recording of Miller's drama. From 1939 Cobb also played first major roles in the film and was in demand as a character actor. He embodied mainly dominant and authoritarian personalities, including in a number of film noirs such as Johnny O'Clock, password 777 and danger in Frisco.

How many of his companions of the Group Theatre was also accused Cobb of being a communist or a communist sympathizer. For two years he refused to testify before the Committee on Un-American Activities. When his career by shooting in the "Black List" came on, he said, and gave the names of 20 members of the Communist Party. After his " rehabilitation " he again found work in Hollywood and delivered outstanding interpretive performance in On the Waterfront (1954 ) and Twelve Angry Men (1958). In 1960 he participated in the elaborate literary adaptation Exodus, where he played the father of Paul Newman.

From 1962 presented Cobb in the television series The Men from Shiloh Ranch for five years the Judge Henry Garth dar. After leaving the series, he turned again reinforced movies, including several Mafia films in Italy. In the series The Young Lawyers, he was again seen in 1970 in a television star. In the movie The Exorcist, he played his last major role as a police Lieutenant William Kinderman.

Throughout his career, Cobb was twice nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor in On the Waterfront and The Brothers Karamazov, and could speak my bedroom for a Golden Globe for his performance in Twelve Angry Men and When. For his performance in Exodus, he was nominated for a Laurel Award. His daughter Julie Cobb was also an actress.

Lee J. Cobb died at the age of 64 of a heart attack.

Filmography (selection)