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Steiger, Rodlocked

(14 April 1925–09 July 2002)
  • David Marc

Extract

Steiger, Rod (14 April 1925–09 July 2002), actor for stage, screen, and television, was born Rodney Stephen Steiger in Westhampton, New York, the son of Frederick Steiger and Lorrane Driver Steiger, a song-and-dance couple who worked at resorts and on the vaudeville circuit. Frederick Steiger abandoned the family months after Rod's birth and had no further contact with him. Lorrane Steiger found a job as a shop clerk in Newark, New Jersey, and attempted to make a home for the child. An alcoholic, she had become indigent by the time Steiger reached his teens, leaving him in the care of sympathetic neighbors. In 1942, after just one year of high school, Rod tracked down his mother in a Newark flophouse and offered her a bottle of gin in return for her signature on papers granting him permission to enlist in the U.S. Navy. Steiger served as a torpedo specialist aboard the USS ...

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