Screen Directors Playhouse

490227 e008 The Night Has A Thousand Eyes

Edward G. Robinson began his acting career in 1913 and made his Broadway debut in 1915.

He made his film debut in a minor and uncredited role in 1916; in 1923 he made his named debut as E. G. Robinson in The Bright Shawl.

One of many actors who saw his career flourish in the new sound film era rather than falter, he made only three films prior to 1930 but left his stage career that year and made fourteen films in 1930-32.

He married his first wife, the stage actress Gladys Lloyd, in 1927; born Gladys Lloyd Cassell, she was the former wife of Ralph L. Vestervelt and the daughter of Clement C. Cassell, an architect, sculptor, and artist.

The couple had one son, Edward Goldenberg Robinson, Jr. (a.k.a Manny Robinson, 1933-1974), as well as a daughter from Gladys Robinson’s first marriage.

An acclaimed performance as the gangster Rico Bandello in Little Caesar (1931) led to him being typecast as a ‘tough guy’ for much of his early career in works such as Five Star Final (1931), Smart Money (1931; his only movie with James Cagney), Tiger Shark (1932), Kid Galahad (1937) with Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart, and A Slight Case of Murder and The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938).

In the 1940s, after a good performance in Dr. Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet (1940), he expanded into edgy psychological dramas including Double Indemnity (1944), The Woman in the Window (1945) and Scarlet Street (1945); but he continued to portray gangsters such as Johnny Rocco in John Huston’s classic Key Largo (1948), the last of five films he made with Humphrey Bogart.

On three occasions in 1950 and 1952 he was called to testify in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee and was threatened with blacklisting.[4] Robinson became frightened and took steps to clear his name, such as having a representative go through his check stubs to ensure that none had been issued to subversive organizations.

He reluctantly gave names of communist sympathizers and his own name was cleared, but thereafter he received smaller and less frequent roles.
Still, anti-communist director Cecil B. DeMille cast him in The Ten Commandments in 1956.

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