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Monday, 15 July, 2002, 09:18 GMT 10:18 UK
Your tributes to Rod Steiger
Oscar-winning actor Rod Steiger, known for acclaimed film roles throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s, has died.
The star, who won an Academy Award for his role as a small-town sheriff in 1967's In the Heat of the Night, was 77.
He suffered pneumonia and kidney failure, his publicist said.
He was also remembered for playing Marlon Brando's racketeer brother in 1954's On the Waterfront and the lovelorn Jud in Oklahoma! the following year.
Thank you for your tributes to Rod Steiger. Read a selection of your comments below.
I remember a scene in "Waterloo" when Napoleon is having to leave and go into exile on Elba. Leaving a palace, Napoleon (Mr. Steiger) reaches for the French tricolour and kisses it. That moment seemed to capture the soul of Napoleon better than anything ever put on film. Only supremely gifted actor could accomplish so much in such a simple act.
Robert Jones, USA
I saw Rod speak at Glenbrook North H.S. several years ago when I was going through a debilitating depression. He was an inspiration for recovery and such a successful actor that he gives hope to others suffering, I know he did for me!
Rod Steiger was a class act. He did his job with dignity and professionalism. What more can one say other than acting was his profession and he never confused that with the glamour of Hollywood.
He was right.
Juan Carlos Fauvety, Argentina
Last weekend, my partner and I saw Fransesco Rosi's 1963 "Hands Over The City", an award-winning film about corruption in Naple's building industry, without knowing beforehand Rod Steiger played the lead role of a developer and city councillor. Despite a lipsynch problem - the black and white film was in Italian - Rod's performance was completely convincing leaving you wondering whether it was a documentary or not.
Am I the only one that thinks Rod was at his finest in the short role as Mussolini in 'Omar Mukhtar - Lion of the Desert'. What a pro!
Rod had the unique capacity to deliver a stage actor's riveting presence in a compelling manner on the screen - a skill that was often harshly reflected in the subtle, visually-driven medium of the cinema.
Any actor of Rod Steiger's monumental ability resists characterization and prefers not being singled out.
And yet, he was amongst the handful of 20th century American actors whose work will live long after the names of thousands of his contemporaries have been washed from the sands of time.
Thank you for your courage, insight and compassion - for being the glass which dared us all to look, compelling us not to avert our gaze.
We'll miss you, Rod!
I, and many others my age, have avoided watching most movies made before 1966 or 1967. Much of the reason for this is the stilted, unnatural acting of the casts. But there were two notable exceptions - Brando and Steiger - who portrayed their characters with the intensity and realism a decade before the rest of the acting world caught on.
Chris Jackson, Bermuda
It was as a small child that my attention was first drawn to the power of Rod Steiger's acting ability in " The Run of the Arrow", and my respect for the man grew with the years. His off-screen interviews revealed an unashamedly sensitive and caring individual who was unspoilt by his achievements. An icon for all.
Charisma, presence, bravery. So many great and unusual roles. Another great actor of that generation which we'll not see again.
As one of the younger generations I have not seen most of Rod Steigers' earlier films. I will always remember him as the over the top kill them all general in Mars Attacks
Professor Dr J Michael Nathan, Singapore, Republic of Singapore
Rod Steiger was a rare trinity of huge talent, humble nature and dry humour. I think that his stunning performance in "In The Heat of The Night" was the jewel in the crown of this delightful person's outstanding achievements. This is one of the very few occasions when I have felt personally affected by the passing of a person whom I never met.
I was in the Air Force in 1960's when I saw the Pawnbroker. It made me cry. I saw it three times within a week. I tried to tell my friends what I had felt. They didn't get it. That is the only film I have seen more than once in a short time. I have seen it three more times over the years. I was gripped by Rod's interpretation. I have seen his other work. I liked his Pawnbroker best.
Although Mr. Steiger has acted in several excellent films, I as a child, remember being swept away in the breath-taking film Waterloo, where he plays Napoleon. Try as I may, have not been able to find the movie on video, and since then have always admired this underrated actor. He will be missed.
The world is diminished by his passing.
One of my favourite movies of his was one of the least liked movies by the critics: "Happy Birthday Wanda June"; He played his role to perfection.
I thought that Mr. Steiger should have won an Academy Award for his supporting role in "On the Waterfront." The scene with his younger brother, played by Marlon Brando, in the back seat of the car was one of the most dramatic performances that I have ever seen.
I was very saddened when I heard that Rod had passed away. Rod was one of the greatest actors ever. Although I was not lucky enough to have met Rod in person, his personality and humaneness projected beyond the screen. I feel like I lost a good friend. I attribute that to Rod's warmth and kindness which shined through every role he played. The world has lost a great person and a great actor. Rest in peace Rod and thanks. Jimmy, New Jersey
The man was a giant in the acting profession. He was also a man who suffered in spite of his huge talent. Rod created many memorable roles but I can't think of him without thinking of the Pawnbroker, to this day I can recall moments of his dramatic performance in that film.
Rod Steiger was a superb actor who always had an intense and compelling vibe to his performances. I have great respect for his hard work and personal struggles and wish his family well. Salute.
Simply the best actor in any role for decades, and example to all in his private life. He was an exemplary and caring human being. We will miss him dearly.
Paul Papadopoulos, Greece
Rod Steiger was an incredible screen actor. I've heard film acting described as the need to convey the 'integrity of the moment' and his acting certainly had that. It would be nice if the BBC made way in its summer schedules for a memorial season of his greatest work.
His performance in The Pawnbroker is one of the great film performances of all time. Although the film features many fine actors his performance is so dominant that in memory it seems a one man show. One has only to compare this dramatic tour de force with his superb silliness in Mars Attacks to realise this was an actor with the kind of range and lack of pretension that only a genuine love of the art can produce.
My heart dropped like a stone when I heard the news of Rod Steiger's death! A light has gone out on earth, but hundreds have switched on in heaven!
Simon Ladd, UK
I met Rod at a charity event the end of November 1999 in Laguna Niguel, California. He and I had a great conversation about mental illness as my son was suffering from panic attacks and had suffered from agoraphobia the previous year. Rod was very compassionate and listened to all my frustrations as my son refused to take medication. He was a perfect gentleman and his wife is a very gracious lady. We will miss such an outstanding actor as well as a wonderful human being. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Only great actors can pull off roles of different levels of complexity and this man belongs in that elite club. Personally, my favourite was his portrayal as Napoleon in the movie Waterloo. It was so easy to overplay that part and yet he perfectly captured a fading genius.
No one appears to have mentioned what for me was an unforgettable performance in No Way to Treat a Lady. His accents and his cunning as he attempted to outwit George Segal as the detective was masterful and very entertaining. He was a shining star in a bland world. God Bless.
He exemplified what Michael Caine describes as the difference between a movie star and an actor: talent.
Rod Steiger was the supreme professional. When he starred in 'Oklahoma!' one critic said he played the role of Judd Fry like it was written by Dostoevsky not Oscar Hammerstein. How true!
Rod Steiger was one of the most underrated and under-worked acting geniuses of our time. See his magnificent performance in "The Loved One" - it puts all the current so-called actors and Oscar winners of today to absolute shame. Thank you Rod for your amazing talents. We will miss you.
I'm surprised to hear of Rod's death, as he was one of my favourite actors and people.
The craft of acting has had a main component removed, and those of us he projected his internal strength to are at a loss.
What a fine actor...one of the best performances in Doctor Zhivago was Rod Steiger's. He dominated his scenes!
Whilst Rod did numerous fantastic and inspirational roles (illustrated man etc...), I will never forget him as the reluctant and growing redneck sheriff in "In the heat of the night" with Sidney Poitier. He brought a hateful and embittered, but ultimately redeemed, character to life. You might argue that he was the joint lead in one of the finest and highest films of all time. Not a bad legacy.
Rod Steiger was a consistently awesome actor. His screen presence was mesmerising.. totally compelling in every role he ever played. A true Master of his craft whose talent will be sorely missed.
Even though I have always been a great fan of Rod's most familiar films, my personal favourite will always be "A Fistful of Dynamite"; a great film for a fine actor.
Thank you, Rod, for entertaining us over the decades. You will be sadly missed.
Very few actors could match his powerful presence on screen. That vacant stare with which he could convey such deep menace! Now there's an actor that will be missed. God bless you Rodney.
What a terrific actor has gone. There were many things that I deeply admired about Rod, but most of all, how he used his gifts to further social justice in our society. He is the last of a wonderful breed of conscientious actors. God bless his memory.
One of my favourite Rod Steiger depictions was his portrayal of Pilate in Jesus of Nazareth in this as well as in In the Heat of the Night he showed how well he could play complex characters. Sad news of a truly great actor
Rod's performances touched me in such a way that I can't quantify, but I feel a little smaller at his death.
Rod was one of the greats and will be so greatly missed by film fans everywhere. His role as Napoleon was brilliant in a career of so many brilliant performances. Rest in Peace.
If you want to see a superb unrecognised performance, watch him as Napoleon in Waterloo. All mad rages and silent reflection, it is one of the best acting performances I have ever seen
I shall always remember his role at the racist bigoted cop in "In the Heat of the Night." What a legendary performance it was from him and I never tire of seeing the film when it is repeated on the tv. Indeed a great actor who will be sorely missed.
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