About this actor
Rodney Stephen "Rod" Steiger (April 14, 1925 – July 9, 2002) was an American actor known for his performances in such films as In the Heat of the Night, Waterloo, The Pawnbroker, On the Waterfront, The Harder They Fall and Doctor Zhivago. Steiger was born in Westhampton, New York, the son of Lorraine (née Driver) and Frederick Steiger, of French, Scottish, and German descent. Steiger was raised as a Lutheran. He never knew his father, a vaudevillian who had been part of a traveling song-and-dance team with Steiger's mother (who subsequently left show business). Steiger grew up with his alcoholic mother before running away from home at age sixteen to join the United States Navy during World War II, where he saw action on destroyers in the Pacific. After the war, he returned to New Jersey and joined a drama group, before studying drama full-time under Stella Adler at the Dramatic Workshop of The New School in New York, maintained by the influential German director Erwin Piscator....