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George Tobias (July 14, 1901 – February 27, 1980) was an American theater, film and television actor. He had character parts and supporting roles in several major films of Hollywood's Golden Age. He is also known for his role as Abner Kravitz on the TV sitcom Bewitched from 1964 to 1971.
|Born||July 14, 1901|
New York City, U.S.
|Died||February 27, 1980 (aged 78)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Mount Carmel Cemetery, Glendale, Queens, New York City|
Born in New York on July 14, 1901, Tobias was the younger of two sons born to Russian-Jewish immigrants Samuel and Esther—aka Nettie—Tobias, both of whom were active in the Yiddish theatre, as was his older brother Benjamin. Far removed fom the stereotypical stage parent, both Mr. and Mrs. Tobias did their utmost to discourage the acting bug in their youngest:
[T]hey made up their minds very definitely that I was not going to spend my life nearly starving as they did. They wanted me to be a doctor or lawyer, but I knew from a very early age that I would follow the same career as my mother, father and brother[...] So whenever I got an acting job in between my other jobs, I had to keep it secret from my family.
Tobias began acting at age 15, at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse. He appeared in Eugene O'Neill's The Hairy Ape in 1922, and in Charles Méré's La Flamme and Channing Pollock's The Fool the following year, before making his Broadway debut in Maxwell Anderson's What Price Glory? in 1924.
In 1939, he signed with Warner Bros. and was cast in supporting roles, many times along with James Cagney, in such movies as Cagney's Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), as well as with Gary Cooper in Sergeant York (1941) and Irving Berlin, Ronald Reagan, and George Murphy in This Is the Army (1943). In 1950, he was cast against type as a ruthless killer and felon in the film noir Southside 1-1000.
During the 1959 television season Tobias was a regular on the Hudson's Bay series, playing Pierre Falcon.
Tobias portrayed Penrose in eight episodes of the ABC program Adventures in Paradise (1959–1961). From 1964 to 1971, he played Abner Kravitz, the long-suffering neighbor on the ABC sitcom Bewitched. Tobias often appeared in an uncredited role as a courtroom spectator on the CBS program Perry Mason, and he played Sidney Falconer in the episode titled "The Case of the Antic Angel" (1964).
In 1972-1973, Tobias appeared in three episodes of The Waltons as junkman Vernon Rutley.
Tobias never married and retired from acting in 1977 after reprising his role as Abner Kravitz in a guest appearance on the Bewitched sequel Tabitha.
A Democrat, he supported Adlai Stevenson during the 1952 presidential election.
On February 27, 1980, Tobias died of Bladder cancer at the age of 78 at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He is buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery, Glendale, Queens, New York City.
- What Price Glory? (1924)
- The International (1928)
- The Road to Rome (1928)
- The Grey Fox (1928)
- Red Dust (1928)
- S. S. Glencairn (1929)
- Fiesta (1929)
- Sailors of Cattaro (1934)
- Black Pit (1935)
- Paths of Glory (1935)
- Hell Freezes Over (1935)
- Star Spangled (1936)
- You Can't Take It with You (1936)
- Good Hunting (1938)
- Silk Stockings (1955)
- The Lunatic (1927)
- Yes, My Darling Daughter (1939) as Dock Worker (uncredited)
- Maisie (1939) as Rico
- They All Come Out (1939) as "Sloppy Joe"
- The Roaring Twenties (1939) as Soldier in American Army Barracks (uncredited)
- Ninotchka (1939) as Soviet Visa Official (uncredited)
- Balalaika (1939) as Slaski
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) as Beggar
- Music in My Heart (1940) as Sascha
- Saturday's Children (1940) as Herbert Smith
- Torrid Zone (1940) as Rosie La Mata
- The Man Who Talked Too Much (1940) as Slug "Canvasback" McNutt
- They Drive by Night (1940) as George Rondolos
- River's End (1940) as Andrew "Andy" Dijon
- The Baron and the Rose (1940, Short) as Henry Stiegel
- Calling All Husbands (1940) as Oscar Armstrong
- City for Conquest (1940) as Pinky
- East of the River (1940) as Tony Scaduto
- South of Suez (1940) as Eli Snedeker
- The Strawberry Blonde (1941) as Nicholas Pappalas
- Affectionately Yours (1941) as Pasha
- Out of the Fog (1941) as Igor Propotkin
- Sergeant York (1941) as Private Michael T. "Pusher" Ross
- The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941) as Peewee Defoe
- The Tanks Are Coming (1941, Short) as Malowski
- Captains of the Clouds (1942) as Blimp Lebec (bush pilot)
- Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) as Dietz
- Juke Girl (1942) as Nick Garcos
- Wings for the Eagle (1942) as Jake Hanso
- My Sister Eileen (1942) as Appopolous
- Air Force (1943) as Asst. Crew Chief Weinberg
- Mission to Moscow (1943) as Freddie
- This Is the Army (1943) as Maxie Twardofsky
- Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943) as himself
- Passage to Marseille (1944) as Petit
- Between Two Worlds (1944) as Pete Musick
- Make Your Own Bed (1944) as Boris Fenilise
- Objective, Burma! (1945) as Cpl. Gabby Gordon
- Mildred Pierce (1945) as Mr. Chris (uncredited)
- Her Kind of Man (1946) as Joe Marino
- Nobody Lives Forever (1946) as Al Doyle
- Gallant Bess (1946) as Lug Johnson
- Sinbad the Sailor (1947) as Abbu
- My Wild Irish Rose (1947) as Nick Popoli
- The Judge Steps Out (1948) as Mike
- Adventures of Casanova (1948) as Jacopo
- The Set-Up (1949) as Tiny
- Everybody Does It (1949) as Rossi
- Southside 1-1000 (1950) as Reggie
- Rawhide (1951) as Gratz
- The Mark of the Renegade (1951) as Captain Bardoso
- The Magic Carpet (1951) as Razi
- Ten Tall Men (1951) as Londos
- Desert Pursuit (1952) as Ghazili
- The Glenn Miller Story (1953) as Si Schribman
- The Seven Little Foys (1954) as Barney Green
- The Tattered Dress (1957) as Billy Giles
- Silk Stockings (1957) as Vassili Markovitch
- Marjorie Morningstar (1958) as Maxwell Greech
- Hudson's Bay (1959-1960) as series regular Pierre Falcon
- A New Kind of Love (1963) as Joe Bergner
- Bullet for a Badman (1964) as Diggs
- Nightmare in the Sun (1965) as Gideon
- The Glass Bottom Boat (1966) as Mr. Fenimore
- The Phynx (1970) as Markevitch
- Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) as Captain on Flight Line at Hickam Field (uncredited)
- ^ "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9RKC-FYX?cc=1727033&wc=QZZH-SNK%3A133641301%2C133751301%2C143470301%2C1589219394 : 24 June 2017), New York > New York > Manhattan Ward 17 > ED 901 > image 41 of 48; citing NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
- ^ "United States Census, 1920", database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MJYY-94D : 2 February 2021), George Tobias in entry for Samuel Tobias, 1920.
- ^ a b c Irwin, Virginia (September 20, 1940). "The One-Man International Movie Settlement". St. Louis Post Dispatch. p. 37. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
- ^ a b c Gordon, Dr Roger L. (2018). Supporting Actors in Motion Pictures. Dorrance Publishing. p. 78. ISBN 9781480944992. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
- ^ Patterson, James (April 16, 1922). "New Plays: The Hairy Ape". The Billboard. p. 19. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
- ^ Whyte, Gordon (February 17, 1923). "La Flamme". The Billboard. p. 111. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
- ^ "Four 'Fool' Companies". The Billboard. August 18, 1923. p. 6. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
- ^ Wisconsin Center for Film
- ^ Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. pp. 96–97. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
- ^ "Perry Mason: The Case of the Antic Angel". BBC Programme Index. BBC One. Retrieved March 31, 2023.
- ^ Motion Picture and Television Magazine, November 1952, page 33, Ideal Publishers
- ^ "Actor George Tobias Dies". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Missouri, St. Louis. Associated Press. February 28, 1980. p. 45. Retrieved August 10, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
- ^ "George Tobias". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on August 11, 2018. Retrieved August 11, 2018.