Sig Ruman

Sig Ruman (October 11, 1884 – February 14, 1967) was a German-American actor known for his comic portrayals of pompous villains. Born as Siegfried Albon Rumann in Hamburg, he studied electrical engineering before serving with the Imperial German army during the First World War. After his migration to the United States in 1924, his acting career blossomed. Befriending playwright George S. Kaufman and theater critic Alexander Woollcott, he enjoyed success in many Broadway productions. Ruman became a favorite of the Marx Brothers, appearing in A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, and A Night in Casablanca. His German accent and large stature kept him busy during World War II, playing sinister Nazi characters in a series of wartime thrillers. During this period, he also appeared in several films by Ernst Lubitsch, a fellow German émigré. In 1941, he played the role of Professor Herman Von Reiter in Shining Victory, an adaptation of an A. J. Cronin play. Ruman would continue his trend of playing over-the-top German characters later in his career for Lubitsch's protege Billy Wilder, appearing in Wilder's films The Emperor Waltz, Stalag 17 and The Fortune Cookie.


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