Gene Roth

Gene Roth (born Eugene Oliver Edgar Stutenroth, January 8, 1903 July 19, 1976) was an American film actor and film manager.

Gene Roth
Gene Roth (far left) looks on as Shemp Howard gets crowned by his cohorts in the Three Stooges film Dunked in the Deep.
Eugene Oliver Edgar Stutenroth

(1903-01-08)January 8, 1903
DiedJuly 19, 1976(1976-07-19) (aged 73)
Other namesGene Stutenroth
Eugene Stutenroth
Eugene Roth
Years active19221967

Early years

Roth was born in Redfield, South Dakota. He was the son of a German father and a Swedish mother, who raised their three sons after the father left the family. The actor, whose billing names included Gene Stutenroth, Eugene Stutenroth, and Eugene Roth finished high school in 1920 and was a manager of a movie theater before he became an actor.[1]


Roth appeared in over 250 films between 1922 and 1967.[2] His first film was Daughter of the Tong (1939).[1]

As Gene Stutenroth, he became a successful manager of movie theaters in the 1930s, and was working in this capacity when he visited Hollywood in 1944. Stutenroth was watching a film scene being photographed when a member of the film crew noticed that Stutenroth looked like Ernst Hanfstaengl, then a crony of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany. Stutenroth was promptly fitted with makeup and costume, and became a popular character actor. His burly frame and craggy features made him ideal as an all-purpose menace, gangster, tough guy, or sheriff. Most of his acting jobs in the mid-1940s were in "B" features for Columbia Pictures and Monogram Pictures. In 1949 he abandoned his real name and shortened his screen name to "Roth." He also starred as the master villain in the Columbia serials Captain Video, Mysterious Island (1951), and The Lost Planet (1953).

Roth is remembered for his portrayals of formidable authority figures in Three Stooges comedies such as Slaphappy Sleuths, Hot Stuff, Quiz Whizz, Outer Space Jitters and (as a professor) Pies and Guys. His most memorable role was as Russian spy Bortsch hiding microfilm in Dunked in the Deep (1949), as well as its remake, Commotion on the Ocean (1956). His most famous line was his threat to Shemp Howard: "Give me dat fill-um!" ('fill-um' being 'film' with a Russian accent).[3]

He later made frequent television appearances including seven episodes of The Lone Ranger from 1949 to 1954. Roth portrayed a con man in a Highway Patrol episode, Dead Patrolman in 1956. His final film appearance with the Stooges was in The Three Stooges Meet Hercules.

In 1960 Roth appeared as Davis on the TV western Cheyenne in the episode "Counterfiet Gun." In the 1960s Roth retired from acting and sold wines and liquors in Hollywood.


Roth was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in Los Angeles, California on July 19, 1976.[4]

Selected filmography


  1. Mayer, Geoff (2017). Encyclopedia of American Film Serials. McFarland. p. 248. ISBN 9780786477623. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  2. " : Welcome to".
  3. "Gene Roth". IMDb.
  4. Okuda, Ted; Watz, Edward; (1986). The Columbia Comedy Shorts, p. 231 McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. ISBN 0-89950-181-8
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