The Info List - Lionel Stander

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Lionel Jay Stander (January 11, 1908 – November 30, 1994) was an American actor in films, radio, theater and television.


1 Early life 2 Career

2.1 Early film roles 2.2 Radio roles 2.3 Activism 2.4 Stander and HUAC 2.5 Blacklisting 2.6 Career in independent films in Europe 2.7 Hart to Hart
Hart to Hart
and other roles

3 Personal life 4 Filmography 5 Radio appearances 6 References 7 External links

Early life[edit] Lionel Stander
Lionel Stander
was born in The Bronx, New York
The Bronx, New York
City, New York, to Russian-Jewish immigrants, the first of three children. According to newspaper interviews with Stander, as a teenager he appeared in the silent film Men of Steel (1926), perhaps as an extra, since he is not listed in the credits. During his one year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he appeared in the student productions The Muse of the Unpublished Writer,[1] and The Muse and the Movies: A Comedy of Greenwich Village. Career[edit] Stander's acting career began in 1928, as Cop and First Fairy in Him by E. E. Cummings, at the Provincetown Playhouse. He claimed that he got the roles because one of them required shooting craps, which he did well, and a friend in the company volunteered him. He appeared in a series of short-lived plays through the early 1930s, including The House Beautiful, which Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
famously derided as "the play lousy".[citation needed] Early film roles[edit] In 1932, Stander landed his first credited film role in the Warner- Vitaphone
short feature In the Dough (1932), with Fatty Arbuckle and Shemp Howard. He made several other shorts, the last being The Old Grey Mayor (1935) with Bob Hope
Bob Hope
in 1935. That same year, he was cast in a feature, Ben Hecht's The Scoundrel (1935), with Noël Coward. He moved to Hollywood
and signed a contract with Columbia Pictures. Stander was in a string of films over the next three years, appearing most notably in Frank Capra's Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
(1936) with Gary Cooper, Meet Nero Wolfe
Meet Nero Wolfe
(1936) playing Archie Goodwin, The League of Frightened Men (1937), and A Star Is Born (1937) with Janet Gaynor and Fredric March.[citation needed] Radio roles[edit] Stander's distinctive rumbling voice, tough-guy demeanor, and talent with accents made him a popular radio actor. In the 1930s and 1940s, he was on The Eddie Cantor Show, Bing Crosby's KMH show, the Lux Radio Theater production of A Star Is Born, The Fred Allen
Fred Allen
Show,[2] the Mayor of the Town series with Lionel Barrymore
Lionel Barrymore
and Agnes Moorehead, Kraft Music Hall
Kraft Music Hall
on NBC, Stage Door Canteen
Stage Door Canteen
on CBS, the Lincoln Highway Radio Show on NBC, and The Jack Paar Show, among others. In 1941, he starred in a short-lived radio show called The Life of Riley on CBS, no relation to the radio, film, and television character later made famous by William Bendix. Stander played the role of Spider Schultz in both Harold Lloyd's film The Milky Way (1936) and its remake ten years later, The Kid from Brooklyn
The Kid from Brooklyn
(1946), starring Danny Kaye. He was a regular on Danny Kaye's zany comedy-variety radio show on CBS
(1946–1947), playing himself as "just the elevator operator" amidst the antics of Kaye, future Our Miss Brooks
Our Miss Brooks
star Eve Arden, and bandleader Harry James.[citation needed] Also during the 1940s, he played several characters on The Woody Woodpecker and Andy Panda
Andy Panda
animated theatrical shorts, produced by Walter Lantz. For Woody Woodpecker, he provided the voice of Buzz Buzzard, but was backlisted from the Lantz studio in 1951 and was replaced by Dal McKennon. Activism[edit] Strongly liberal and pro-labor, Stander espoused a variety of social and political causes, and was a founding member of the Screen Actors Guild. At a SAG meeting held during a 1937 studio technicians' strike, he told the assemblage of 2000 members: "With the eyes of the whole world on this meeting, will it not give the Guild a black eye if its members continue to cross picket lines?" (The NYT reported: "Cheers mingled with boos greeted the question.") Stander also supported the Conference of Studio Unions in its fight against the Mob-influenced International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). Also in 1937, Ivan F. Cox, a deposed officer of the San Francisco longshoremen's union, sued Stander and a host of others, including union leader Harry Bridges, actors Fredric March, Franchot Tone, Mary Astor, James Cagney, Jean Muir, and director William Dieterle. The charge, according to Time magazine, was "conspiring to propagate Communism on the Pacific Coast, causing Mr. Cox to lose his job".[citation needed] In 1938, Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures
head Harry Cohn
Harry Cohn
allegedly called Stander "a Red son of a bitch" and threatened a US$100,000 fine against any studio that renewed his contract. Despite critical acclaim for his performances, Stander's film work dropped off drastically. After appearing in 15 films in 1935 and 1936, he was in only six in 1937 and 1938. This was followed by just six films from 1939 through 1943, none made by major studios, the most notable being Guadalcanal Diary (1943).[citation needed] Stander and HUAC[edit]

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Stander was among the first group of Hollywood
actors to be subpoenaed before the House Un-American Activities Committee
House Un-American Activities Committee
(HUAC) in 1940 for supposed Communist activities. At a grand jury hearing in Los Angeles in August 1940—the transcript of which was shortly released to the press—John R. Leech, the self-described former "chief functionary" of the Communist Party in Los Angeles, named Stander as a CP member, along with more than 15 other Hollywood
notables, including Franchot Tone, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Clifford Odets
Clifford Odets
and Budd Schulberg. Stander subsequently forced himself into the grand jury hearing, and the district attorney cleared him of the allegations. Stander appeared in no films between 1944 and 1945. Then, with HUAC's attentions focused elsewhere due to World War II, he played in a number of mostly second-rate pictures from independent studios through the late 1940s. These include Ben Hecht's Specter of the Rose (1946); the Preston Sturges
Preston Sturges
comedy The Sin of Harold Diddlebock
The Sin of Harold Diddlebock
(1947) with Harold Lloyd; and Trouble Makers (1948) with The Bowery Boys. One classic emerged from this period of his career, the Preston Sturges comedy Unfaithfully Yours (1948) with Rex Harrison. In 1947, HUAC turned its attention once again to Hollywood. That October, Howard Rushmore, who had belonged to the CPUSA in the 1930s and written film reviews for the Daily Worker, testified that writer John Howard Lawson, whom he named as a Communist, had "referred to Lionel Stander
Lionel Stander
as a perfect example of how a Communist should not act in Hollywood." Stander was again blacklisted from films, though he played on TV, radio, and in the theater. In March 1951, actor Larry Parks, after pleading with HUAC investigators not to force him to "crawl through the mud" as an informer, named several people as Communists in a "closed-door session", which made the newspapers two days later. He testified that he knew Stander, but didn't recall attending any CP meetings with him. At a HUAC hearing in April 1951, actor Marc Lawrence named Stander as a member of his Hollywood
Communist "cell", along with screenwriter Lester Cole
Lester Cole
and screenwriter Gordon Kahn. Lawrence testified that Stander "was the guy who introduced me to the party line", and that Stander said that by joining the CP, he'd "get to know the dames more"—which Lawrence, who didn't enjoy film-star looks, thought a good idea. Upon hearing of this, Stander shot off a telegram to HUAC chair John S. Wood, calling Lawrence's testimony that he was a Communist "ridiculous" and asking to appear before the Committee, so he could swear to that under oath. The telegram concluded: "I respectfully request an opportunity to appear before you at your earliest possible convenience. Be assured of my cooperation." Two days later, Stander sued Lawrence for $500,000 for slander. Lawrence left the country ("fled", according to Stander) for Europe. After that, Stander was blacklisted from TV and radio. He continued to act in the theater roles, and played Ludlow Lowell in the 1952-53 revival of Pal Joey on Broadway and on tour. Blacklisting[edit] Two years passed before Stander was issued the requested subpoena. Finally, in May 1953, he testified at a HUAC hearing in New York, where he made front-page headlines nationwide by being uproariously uncooperative, memorialized in the Eric Bentley play, Are You Now or Have You Ever Been. The New York Times headline was "Stander Lectures House Red Inquiry." In a dig at bandleader Artie Shaw, who had tearfully claimed in a Committee hearing that he had been "duped" by the Communist Party, Stander testified,

"I am not a dupe, or a dope, or a moe, or a schmoe...I was absolutely conscious of what I was doing, and I am not ashamed of anything I said in public or private."

An excerpt from that statement was engraved in stone for "The First Amendment Blacklist Memorial" by Jenny Holzer at the University of Southern California. Other notable statements during Stander's 1953 HUAC testimony:

"[Testifying before HUAC] is like the Spanish Inquisition. You may not be burned, but you can't help coming away a little singed." "I don't know about the overthrow of the government. This committee has been investigating 15 years so far, and hasn't found one act of violence." "I know of a group of fanatics who are desperately trying to undermine the Constitution of the United States by depriving artists and others of life, liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness without due process of law ... I can tell names and cite instances and I am one of the first victims of it. And if you are interested in that and also a group of ex-fascists and America-Firsters and anti-Semites, people who hate everybody including Negroes, minority groups and most likely themselves ... and these people are engaged in a conspiracy outside all the legal processes to undermine the very fundamental American concepts upon which our entire system of democracy exists."[3] "...I don't want to be responsible for a whole stable of informers, stool pigeons, and psychopaths and ex-political heretics, who come in here beating their breast and say, 'I am awfully sorry; I didn't know what I was doing. Please--I want absolution; get me back into pictures.'" "My estimation of this committee is that this committee arrogates judicial and punitive powers which it does not possess."

Stander was blacklisted from the late 1940s until 1965; perhaps the longest period.[3] Career in independent films in Europe[edit] After that, Stander's acting career went into a free fall. He worked as a stockbroker on Wall Street, a journeyman stage actor, a corporate spokesman—even a New Orleans
New Orleans
Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
king. He didn't return to Broadway until 1961 (and then only briefly in a flop) and to film in 1963, in the low-budget The Moving Finger (although he did provide, uncredited, the voice-over narration for the 1961 noir thriller Blast of Silence.) Life improved for Stander when he moved to London in 1964 to act in Bertolt Brecht's Saint Joan of the Stockyards, directed by Tony Richardson, for whom he'd acted on Broadway, along with Christopher Plummer, in a stillborn 1963 production of Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. In 1965, he was featured in the film Promise Her Anything. That same year Richardson cast him in the black comedy about the funeral industry, The Loved One, based on the novel by Evelyn Waugh, with an all-star cast including Jonathan Winters, Robert Morse, Liberace, Rod Steiger, Paul Williams and many others. In 1966, Roman Polanski cast Stander in his only starring role, as the thug Dickie in Cul-de-sac, opposite Françoise Dorléac
Françoise Dorléac
and Donald Pleasence. Stander stayed in Europe and eventually settled in Rome, where he appeared in many spaghetti Westerns, most notably playing a bartender named Max in Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West. In Rome he connected with Robert Wagner, who cast him in an episode of It Takes a Thief that was shot there. Stander's few English-language films in the 1970s include The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight with Robert De Niro and Jerry Orbach, Steven Spielberg's 1941, and Martin Scorsese's New York, New York, which also starred De Niro and Liza Minnelli. Stander played a supporting role in the TV film Revenge Is My Destiny with Chris Robinson. He played a lounge comic modeled after the real-life Las Vegas comic Joe E. Lewis, who used to begin his act by announcing "Post Time" as he sipped his ever-present drink. Hart to Hart
Hart to Hart
and other roles[edit] After 15 years abroad, Stander moved back to the U.S. for the role he is now most famous for: Max, the loyal butler, cook, and chauffeur to the wealthy, amateur detectives played by Robert Wagner
Robert Wagner
and Stefanie Powers on the 1979–1984 television series Hart to Hart
Hart to Hart
(and a subsequent series of Hart to Hart
Hart to Hart
made-for-television films). In 1983, Stander won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film. In 1986, he became the voice of Kup in The Transformers: The Movie. In 1991 he was a guest star in the television series Dream On, playing Uncle Pat in the episode "Toby or Not Toby". His final theatrical film role was as a dying hospital patient in The Last Good Time
The Last Good Time
(1994), with Armin Mueller-Stahl
Armin Mueller-Stahl
and Olivia d'Abo, directed by Bob Balaban. Personal life[edit] Stander's personal life was as tumultuous as his professional one. He was married six times, the first time in 1932 and the last in 1972. All but the last marriage ended in divorce. He fathered six daughters (one wife had no children, one had twins). Stander died of lung cancer in Los Angeles, California, in 1994 at age 86. He was buried in Glendale's Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery.[4] Filmography[edit]

In the Dough (1933, Short) as Toots (uncredited) The Scoundrel (1935) as Rothenstien Hooray for Love (1935) as Chowsky We're in the Money (1935) as Leonidus Giovanni 'Butch' Gonzola Page Miss Glory (1935) as Nick Papadopolis The Gay Deception
The Gay Deception
(1935) as Gettel I Live My Life (1935) as Yaffitz, Bridge Player If You Could Only Cook
If You Could Only Cook
(1935) as Flash Soak the Rich (1936) as Muglia (kidnapper) The Milky Way (1936) as Spider Schultz The Music Goes 'Round
The Music Goes 'Round
(1936) as O'Casey Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
(1936) as Cornelius Cobb Meet Nero Wolfe
Meet Nero Wolfe
(1936) as Archie Goodwin They Met in a Taxi (1936) as Fingers Garrison More Than a Secretary (1936) as Ernest I Loved a Soldier (1936, unfinished) A Star Is Born (1937) as Matt Libby The League of Frightened Men (1937) as Archie Goodwin The Last Gangster
The Last Gangster
(1937) as 'Curly' No Time to Marry (1938) as Al Vogel Professor Beware (1938) as Jerry The Crowd Roars (1938) as 'Happy' Lane The Ice Follies of 1939
The Ice Follies of 1939
(1939) as Mort Hodges What a Life (1939) as Ferguson The Bride Wore Crutches (1940) as 'Flannel-Mouth' Moroni Hit Parade of 1941 (1940) (uncredited) Hangmen Also Die!
Hangmen Also Die!
(1943) as Banya Tahiti Honey (1943) as Pinkie Guadalcanal Diary (1943) as Sgt. Butch Fish Fry (1944, Short) as Cat (voice, uncredited) The Big Show-Off (1945) as Joe Bagley The Loose Nut
The Loose Nut
(1945, Short) as Construction Worker (voice, uncredited) The Kid from Brooklyn
The Kid from Brooklyn
(1946) as Spider Schultz In Old Sacramento
In Old Sacramento
(1946) as Eddie Dodge Who's Cookin' Who?
Who's Cookin' Who?
(1946, Short) as Wolfie Wolf (voice, uncredited) A Boy, a Girl and a Dog (1946) as Jim Specter of the Rose (1946) as Lionel Gans Gentleman Joe Palooka (1946) as Harry Mitchell The Sin of Harold Diddlebock
The Sin of Harold Diddlebock
(1947) as Max Call Northside 777
Call Northside 777
(1948) as Corrigan - Wiecek's Cellmate (uncredited) Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven
Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven
(1948) as Bellhop Wet Blanket Policy
Wet Blanket Policy
(1948, Short) as Buzz Buzzard
Buzz Buzzard
(voice, uncredited) Unfaithfully Yours (1948) as Hugo Standoff Trouble Makers (1948) as 'Hatchet' Moran Wild and Woody!
Wild and Woody!
(1948, Short) as Buzz Buzzard
Buzz Buzzard
(voice, uncredited) Drooler's Delight
Drooler's Delight
(1949, Short) as Buzz Buzzard
Buzz Buzzard
(voice, uncredited) Puny Express
Puny Express
(1951) as Buzz Buzzard's vocal effects (archive sound) (uncredited) Two Gals and a Guy (1951) as Mr. Seymour St. Benny the Dip
St. Benny the Dip
(1951) as Monk Williams Blast of Silence (1961) as Narrator (voice, uncredited) The Moving Finger (1963) as Anatole The Loved One
The Loved One
(1965) as The Guru Brahmin Promise Her Anything
Promise Her Anything
(1966) as Sam Cul-de-sac (1966) as Richard Seven Times Seven
Seven Times Seven
(1968) as Sam A Dandy in Aspic (1968) as Sobakevich Beyond the Law (Al di là della legge) (1968) as Preacher Gates to Paradise (1968) as The Monk Once Upon a Time in the West
Once Upon a Time in the West
(1968) as Barman H2S (1969) as Luigi Pavese Giacomo Casanova: Childhood and Adolescence (1969) as Don Tosello Zenabel (1969) as Pancrazio Boot Hill (1969) as Mamy The Naughty Cheerleader (1970) as The Admiral Crepa padrone, crepa tranquillo (1970) Between Miracles
Between Miracles
(1971) as Oreste Micheli The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight (1971) as Baccala We Are All in Temporary Liberty (1971) as Lawyer Bartoli Stanza 17-17 palazzo delle tasse, ufficio imposte
Stanza 17-17 palazzo delle tasse, ufficio imposte
(1971) as Katanga Caliber 9
Caliber 9
(1972) as Americano The Eroticist
The Eroticist
(1972) as Cardinal Maravidi Pulp (1972) as Ben Dinuccio Tutti fratelli nel West… per parte di padre (1972) Don Camillo e i giovani d'oggi (1972) as Peppone Treasure Island (1972) as Billy Bones Sting of the West
Sting of the West
(1972) as Stinky Manure The Adventures of Pinocchio (1972) as Mangiafoco Halleluja to Vera Cruz (1973) as Sam 'Tonaca"' Thompson Pete, Pearl & the Pole (1973) as Sparks Dirty Weekend (1973) as General The Black Hand (The Birth of the Mafia)
The Black Hand (The Birth of the Mafia)
(1973) as Lieutenant Giuseppe Petrosino My Pleasure Is Your Pleasure
My Pleasure Is Your Pleasure
(1973) as Il marchese Cavalcanti / Il cardinale di Ragusa Crescete e moltiplicatevi (1973) Viaggia, ragazza, viaggia, hai la musica nelle vene (1973) The Sensual Man
The Sensual Man
(1973) as Baron Castorini Innocence and Desire
Innocence and Desire
(1974) as Salvatore Niscemi Di mamma non ce n'è una sola (1974) as Elia La via dei babbuini (1974) Cormack of the Mounties (1975) as Doctor Higgins Mark of Zorro (1975) as Padre Donato La novizia
La novizia
(1975) as Don Nini The Black Bird
The Black Bird
(1975) as Gordon Immerman San Pasquale Baylonne protettore delle donne (1976) as Don Gervasio The Cassandra Crossing
The Cassandra Crossing
(1976) as Max, the Train Conductor New York, New York (1977) as Tony Harwell Matilda (1978) as Pinky Schwab Cyclone (1978) as Taylor The Rip-Off
The Rip-Off
(1978) as Sam 1941 (1979) as Angelo Scioli The Transformers: The Movie (1986) as Kup (voice) Bellifreschi (1987) as Frank Santamaria Wicked Stepmother
Wicked Stepmother
(1989) as Sam Cookie (1989) as Enzo Della Testa Joey Takes a Cab (1991) as Joey The Last Good Time
The Last Good Time
(1994) as Howard Singer Hart to Hart: Secrets (1995, TV Movie) as Max (final film role)

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. Radio appearances[edit]

Year Program Episode/source

1937 Lux Radio Theatre Mr. Deeds Goes to Town[5]


^ McPherson, Garland (February 10, 1927). "Playmakers to Present Three Original Plays". North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The Daily Tar Heel. p. 2. Retrieved February 9, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  ^ Fred Allen's Radio Comedy ^ a b Belton, John. A Theory of Justice. 4th Edition. McGraw-Hill, 2013, p. 309f. ^ " Lionel Stander
Lionel Stander
(1908 - 1994) - Find A Grave Memorial". www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 2016-06-20.  ^ "Those Were The Days". Nostalgia Digest. 40 (1): 32–39. Winter 2014. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lionel Stander.

Lionel Stander
Lionel Stander
on IMDb 68804 Lionel Stander
Lionel Stander
at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Lionel Stander
Lionel Stander
at Find a Grave Lionel Stander: A Hollywood
Story LIONEL STANDER: He Wasn't Afraid of John Wayne…Or Anyone Else Lionel Stander
Lionel Stander
portrait as a young man NY Public Library Billy Rose collection

v t e

Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film

James Brolin
James Brolin
(1970) Edward Asner (1971) James Brolin
James Brolin
(1972) McLean Stevenson
McLean Stevenson
(1973) Harvey Korman
Harvey Korman
(1974) Edward Asner/ Tim Conway
Tim Conway
(1975) Edward Asner (1976) Norman Fell
Norman Fell
(1978) Danny DeVito/ Vic Tayback
Vic Tayback
(1979) Pat Harrington Jr./ Vic Tayback
Vic Tayback
(1980) John Hillerman
John Hillerman
(1981) Lionel Stander
Lionel Stander
(1982) Richard Kiley
Richard Kiley
(1983) Paul Le Mat (1984) Edward James Olmos
Edward James Olmos
(1985) Jan Niklas (1986) Rutger Hauer
Rutger Hauer
(1987) Barry Bostwick/ John Gielgud
John Gielgud
(1988) Dean Stockwell
Dean Stockwell
(1989) Charles Durning
Charles Durning
(1990) Louis Gossett, Jr.
Louis Gossett, Jr.
(1991) Maximilian Schell
Maximilian Schell
(1992) Beau Bridges
Beau Bridges
(1993) Edward James Olmos
Edward James Olmos
(1994) Donald Sutherland
Donald Sutherland
(1995) Ian McKellen
Ian McKellen
(1996) George C. Scott
George C. Scott
(1997) Don Cheadle/ Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
(1998) Peter Fonda
Peter Fonda
(1999) Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr.
(2000) Stanley Tucci
Stanley Tucci
(2001) Donald Sutherland
Donald Sutherland
(2002) Jeffrey Wright
Jeffrey Wright
(2003) William Shatner
William Shatner
(2004) Paul Newman
Paul Newman
(2005) Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons
(2006) Jeremy Piven
Jeremy Piven
(2007) Tom Wilkinson
Tom Wilkinson
(2008) John Lithgow
John Lithgow
(2009) Chris Colfer
Chris Colfer
(2010) Peter Dinklage
Peter Dinklage
(2011) Ed Harris
Ed Harris
(2012) Jon Voight
Jon Voight
(2013) Matt Bomer
Matt Bomer
(2014) Christian Slater
Christian Slater
(2015) Hugh Laurie
Hugh Laurie
(2016) Alexander Skarsgård
Alexander Skarsgård

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 37117926 LCCN: n80014637 ISNI: 0000 0001 1055 2907 GND: 172678323 SUDOC: 05865917X BNF: cb140441583 (data) BIBSYS: 4084465 BNE: XX1492