- Robinson, Edward Goldenberg
- (1893-1973)Born Emanuel Goldenberg to a Jewish family in Bucharest, Romania, Edward G. Robinson, as he was later known, came to the United States with his family in 1903. After attending high school in New York City, he enrolled in City College of New York but won an acting scholarship and began his stage career under his new name in 1913. He served in the navy during World War I. Robinson appeared in more than 30 New York stage plays between 1913 and 1929 and in his first named film role in 1923. His career took off after his role as the gangster Rico in Little Caesar in 1931. He was cast in similar roles in several B movies, including Five Star Final (1931), Smart Money (1931), Tiger Shark (1932), and Kid Galahad (1937) with Humphrey Bogart. In the 1940s, he starred in The Sea Wolf (1941) and two biographical studies, Dr. Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet (1940) and A Dispatch from Reuters (1940) and played successful roles in such thrillers as Double Indemnity (1944), The Woman in the Window (1945), and Scarlet Street (1945), before returning to a gangster role to critical acclaim in Key Largo (1948), again with Bogart.Robinson was called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee on more than one occasion between 1950 and 1952, and under pressure he named several communist sympathizers in the film community. His film career declined afterward, but he had some success in A Hole in the Head (1959) with Frank Sinatra, The Prize (1963), and The Cincinnati Kid (1965) with Steve McQueen. Among his last films were Mackenna’s Gold (1969) and Song of Norway (1970). Robinson was given an honorary Oscar in 1973 shortly after his death.See also Cinema.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.