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Subject: ARCHIVE: September 6, 1974 ~American-born Hollywood actor Otto Kruger, whose career spanned over five decades playing from suave leads to villain heavys, dies on his 89th birthday. ...

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Date Posted: Wednesday, September 06, 01:45:40am

Otto Kruger
(September 6, 1885 September 6, 1974)

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.

Early life and education ...
Born in Toledo, Ohio, Kruger was of German descent. He was the son of Bernard Alben Kruger and
Elizabeth Winers Kruger and the grandnephew of South African pioneer and president Paul Kruger.

Otto was musically trained, but switched careers and became an actor. After studying engineering at the University of Michigan.

Career ...
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 screen 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),
opposite Bob Cummings, and mob boss Stevens in the 1950 film noir "711 Ocean Drive". ...

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" in 1961, and "The Case of the Counterfeit Crank" in 1962, he was cast as Mason's client, and in both episodes was the title character. In his final appearance in 1964, he played Judge Norris in "The Case of the Missing Button." Kruger's final screen appearance came in "Delta", a 1964 American made-for-television film pilot starring Joan Crawford, Paul Burke and Diane Baker. The pilot was originally intended for a proposed NBC television series named Royal Bay which was to star Paul Burke as a lawyer and Charles Bickford as his cantankerous, righteous father. The pilot aired in first-run syndication on August 8, 1964.

Personal life and later years ...
On March 20, 1920, Kruger secretly married Broadway actress Susan "Sue" MacManamy (1892 - 1976).
Their daughter, Ottilie Kruger (19262005), was also an actress and was the first wife of pioneering cinematographer Gayne Rescher.

...Otto Kruger died September 6, 1974, at the Motion Picture and Television Country House in Woodland Hills,
California, on his 89th birthday, and was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, CA. ...

Honors and awards ...
Kruger was granted two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; one for TV and one for film. ...

Partial list of appearances on radio ...
=Mr. Kruger appeared as Mr. Hardecker in "After Dinner Story" (airdate October 26, 1943; story by Cornell Woolrich) from the Suspense radio program series.

Links ...

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Subject Author Date
I really loved Kruger as the slimy king pin saboteur in Hitchcock's classic of the same name. And of course, the lone cast survivor of the 1942 film (Jeez, 75 years ago!) is Norman Lloyd, now 102! (NT) theChroniclerThursday, September 07, 10:13:57am

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