- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 10, 2002

The professional life of Rod Steiger, 77, who died yesterday, brings back admiring memories for the editor of this page. Working as a child actor in Hollywood in 1956, he had occasion to play the son to Rod Steiger's mobster/father in the Humphrey Bogart movie "The Harder They Fall." Mr. Steiger, who the world already recognized back then as one of the finest American actors, also turned out to be an unexpectedly considerate colleague to an inconsequential 8-year-old actor. Unlike most stars or star-hopefuls he thoughtfully spent hours on the set delivering out of frame "reverse" lines to the unfamous actors in his scenes. Usually, assistant directors do that sort of grunt work to the detriment of the fellow actor. Mr. Steiger didn't hide in his dressing room, but stayed around the set, giving helpful acting tips to the lesser lights of the cast.

Other obituaries will surely explain the brilliance of Mr. Steiger's portrayals. This page is content to pay witness to the passing of this modest and most un-Hollywood of the Hollywood greats, almost all of whom have now passed into memory.


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