Rod SteigerRodney Stephen Steiger
- July 9
) was an American actor
who was most famous for his Academy Award
-winning role (playing against Sidney Poitier
) as Sheriff Bill Gillespie in the 1967
film In the Heat of the Night
He appeared in over 100 films, including Academy Award-nominated roles in On the Waterfront
), The Pawnbroker
) and The Hurricane
). He turned down lead roles in Patton
and The Godfather
He was born in Westhampton, New York and saw service during World War II, running away from home aged sixteen to join the US Navy.
After the war, he returned to New Jersey and joined a drama group before studying drama full-time under Lee Strasberg and Elia Kazan at the Actors School.
Rod Steiger is the most linkable actor in the Internet Movie Database. The average Steiger number of a film actor is 2.660 (compared to Bacon's 2.943).