Otto Kruger (September 6, 1885 – September 6, 1974) was an American actor, originally a Broadway matinee idol, who established a niche as a charming villain in films, such as Hitchcock's Saboteur. He also appeared in CBS's Perry Mason and other TV series. He was the grandnephew of South African president Paul Kruger.
Kruger in 1955
|Born||September 6, 1885|
Toledo, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||September 6, 1974 89) (aged|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Hollywood Hills, California|
Susan "Sue" MacManamy Kruger
Early life and education
Otto was musically trained, but switched careers and became an actor after studying engineering at the University of Michigan.
Making his Broadway debut in 1915, Kruger quickly became a matinee idol. Though he started to get noticed in the early 1920s, it was the 1930s when his career was at its height. His sound film debut came in Turn Back the Clock (1933) and he made an appearance in the film Chained (1934).
Though he played the hero on occasion, for most of his career, he played the main villain or a charming or corrupt businessman. One of his best known roles was in the Douglas Sirk film Magnificent Obsession (1954). Kruger played the supporting role of Judge Percy Mettrick, who unsuccessfully urges Will Kane to leave town in High Noon (1952). Kruger is also remembered for playing the villain Tobin in Alfred Hitchcock's spy film Saboteur (1942) and mob boss Stevens in the film noir 711 Ocean Drive (1950).
His television roles included those of Dr. Mumford in the 1959 episode "Experiments in Terror" of the NBC science fiction/adventure series The Man and the Challenge, as Ben Tully in "Gun City" of the ABC western series, The Rebel, and as Franklyn Malleson Ghentin in the 1961 episode "A Fool for a Client" of James Whitmore ABC's legal drama, The Law and Mr. Jones.
Kruger made four guest appearances on CBS's Perry Mason. In his first two appearances, "The Case of the Grumbling Grandfather" (1961) and "The Case of the Counterfeit Crank" (1962), he was cast as Mason's client, and in both episodes was the title character. In his final appearance, he played Judge Norris in "The Case of the Missing Button" (1964).
Personal life, later years and honours
On March 20, 1920, Kruger married Broadway actress Susan "Sue" MacManamy. Their daughter, Ottilie Kruger (1926–2005), was also an actress and was the first wife of pioneering cinematographer Gayne Rescher.
Kruger was honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; one for TV and one for film.
Partial list of appearances on radio
Kruger appeared as Mr. Hardecker in "After Dinner Story" (airdate October 26, 1943; story by Cornell Woolrich) from the Suspense radio program series.
- A Mother's Confession (1915) as Harold Patterson (film debut)
- Under the Red Robe (1923) as Henri de Cocheforet
- Turn Back the Clock (1933) as Ted Wright
- Beauty for Sale (1933) as Mr. Sherwood
- Ever in My Heart (1933) as Hugo Wilbrandt
- The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933) as Willie Ryan
- Gallant Lady (1933) as Phillip Lawrence
- The Women in His Life (1933) as Kent 'Barry' Barringer
- The Crime Doctor (1934) as Dan Gifford
- Men in White (1934) as Dr. Levine
- Paris Interlude (1934) as Sam
- Treasure Island (1934) as Doctor Livesey
- Springtime for Henry (1934) as Henry Dewlip
- Chained (1934) as Richard I. Field
- Vanessa: Her Love Story (1935) as Ellis Herries
- Two Sinners (1935) as Henry Vane
- Living Dangerously (1936) as Dr. Stanley Norton
- Dracula's Daughter (1936) as Jeffrey Garth
- The Barrier (1937) as Stark
- Glamorous Night (1937) as King Stefan
- They Won't Forget (1937) as Gleason
- Counsel for Crime (1937) as William Mellon
- Housemaster (1938) as Charles Donkin
- Star of the Circus (1938) as Garvin
- I Am the Law (1938) as Eugene Ferguson
- Exposed (1938) as William Reardon
- Thanks for the Memory (1938) as Gil Morrell
- Disbarred (1939) as Tyler Craden
- The Gang's All Here (1939) as Mike Chadwick
- Black Eyes (1939) as Ivan Ivanovich Petroff
- The Zero Hour (1939) as Julian Forbes
- Scandal Street (1939) as Jim Stevenson
- Another Thin Man (1939) as Van Slack
- Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940) as Dr. Emil von Behring
- Seventeen (1940) as Sylvanus Baxter
- The Man I Married (1940) as Heinrich Hoffman
- A Dispatch from Reuter's (1940) as Dr. Magnus
- Mercy Island (1941) as Dr. Sanderson
- The Men in Her Life (1941) as Victor
- Saboteur (1942) as Charles Tobin
- Friendly Enemies (1942) as Anton Miller
- Hitler's Children (1943) as Albert Pasavy
- Power of the Press (1943) as Howard Rankin
- Corregidor (1943) as Dr. Jan Stockman
- Night Plane from Chungking (1943) as Colonel Henkel
- Stage Door Canteen (1943) as Himself
- Tarzan's Desert Mystery (1943) as Paul Hendrix
- Knickerbocker Holiday (1944) as Roosevelt
- Cover Girl (1944) as John Coudair
- Storm Over Lisbon (1944) as Alexis Vanderlyn
- They Live in Fear (1944) as Matthew Van Camp
- Murder, My Sweet (1944) as Jules Amthor
- Escape in the Fog (1945) as Paul Devon
- The Great John L. (1945) as Richard Martin
- Wonder Man (1945) as District Attorney
- The Chicago Kid (1945) as John Mitchell
- Jungle Captive (1945) as Mr. Stendahl
- On Stage Everybody (1945) as James Carlton
- Allotment Wives (1945) as Whitey Colton
- The Woman Who Came Back (1945) as Rev. Jim Stevens
- The Fabulous Suzanne (1946) as Hendrick Courtney Sr.
- Duel in the Sun (1946) as Mr. Langford
- Love and Learn (1947) as Andrew Wyngate
- Smart Woman (1948) as D.A. Bradley Wayne
- Lulu Belle (1948) as Harry Randolph
- Romance on the High Seas (1948) as Wedding Guest (uncredited)
- 711 Ocean Drive (1950) as Carl Stephans
- Payment on Demand (1951) as Ted Prescott
- Valentino (1951) as Mark Towers
- High Noon (1952) as Judge Percy Mettrick
- Schlagerparade (1953) as Remer
- Magnificent Obsession (1954) as Edward Randolph
- Black Widow (1954) as Gordon Ling
- The Last Command (1955) as Stephen F. Austin
- The Colossus of New York (1958) as Dr. William Spensser
- The Young Philadelphians (1959) as John Marshall Wharton
- Cash McCall (1960) as Will Atherson
- The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962) as The King
- Sex and the Single Girl (1964) as Dr. Anderson
- Della (1964) as Walter Garrick (final film)
- Lights Out (1951) as Carlton Dane
- Lux Video Theatre (1955-1956) as Host
- The Rebel (1959) as Ben Tully
- Perry Mason (1961-1964) as Judge Norris/Timothy Balfour Sr./August Dalgran/J. J. Gideon
- The Law and Mr. Jones (1961) as Franklyn Malleson Ghent
- Frontier Circus (1961) as General Frederic Jellich
- Thriller (1962) as Bert Farrington
- Checkmate (1962) as George Emory
- Dr. Kildare (1962) as Louis Conrad
- Bonanza (1963) as Judge Whitaker
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