Biography

Lee J. Cobb was an American actor best known for his performance in 12 Angry Men (1957), his Academy Award-nominated performance in On the Waterfront, and one of his last films, The Exorcist (1973). He also played the role of Willy Loman in the original Broadway production of Arthur Miller's 1949 play Death of a Salesman under the direction of Elia Kazan. On television, Cobb costarred in the first four seasons of the popular, long-running western series The Virginian. He typically played arrogant, intimidating, and abrasive characters, but often had roles as respectable figures such as judges. Born Leo Jacob in New York City, he grew up in The Bronx,  before studying at New York University and making his film debut in The Vanishing Shadow (1934).  Cobb performed in numerous theater productions and companies, including Group Theatre (New York) before serving in the First Motion Picture Unit of the Army Air Force during World War II.  

Following the war, Cobb returned to film, television and theater before being accused of being a Communist in 1951 testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee by Larry Parks, himself a former Communist Party member. Cobb was called to testify before HUAC but refused to do so for two years until, with his career threatened by the blacklist, he relented in 1953 and gave testimony in which he named 20 people as former members of the Communist Party USA. Following the hearing he resumed his career and worked with Elia Kazan and Budd Schulberg, two other HUAC "friendly witnesses", on the 1954 film On the Waterfront, which is widely seen as an allegory and apologia for testifying.  His 1968 performance as King Lear achieved the longest run (72 performances) for the play in Broadway history.  One of his final film roles was that of police detective Lt. Kinderman in the 1973 horror film The Exorcist.

Cobb died of a heart attack in February 1976 in Woodland Hills, California, and was buried in Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. He was survived by his second wife, Mary Hirsch, and daughter, also an accomplished actress, Julie Cobb.

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Lee J. Cobb was an American actor best known for his performance in 12 Angry Men (1957), his Academy Award-nominated performance in On the Waterfront, and one of his last films, The Exorcist (1973). He also played the role of Willy Loman in the original Broadway production of Arthur Miller's 1949 play Death of a Salesman under the direction of Elia Kazan. On television, Cobb costarred in the first four seasons of the popular, long-running western series The Virginian. He typically played arrogant, intimidating, and abrasive characters, but often had roles as respectable figures such as judges. Born Leo Jacob in New York City, he grew up in The Bronx,  before studying at New York University and making his film debut in The Vanishing Shadow (1934).  Cobb performed in numerous theater productions and companies, including Group Theatre (New York) before serving in the First Motion Picture Unit of the Army Air Force during World War II.  

Following the war, Cobb returned to film, television and theater before being accused of being a Communist in 1951 testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee by Larry Parks, himself a former Communist Party member. Cobb was called to testify before HUAC but refused to do so for two years until, with his career threatened by the blacklist, he relented in 1953 and gave testimony in which he named 20 people as former members of the Communist Party USA. Following the hearing he resumed his career and worked with Elia Kazan and Budd Schulberg, two other HUAC "friendly witnesses", on the 1954 film On the Waterfront, which is widely seen as an allegory and apologia for testifying.  His 1968 performance as King Lear achieved the longest run (72 performances) for the play in Broadway history.  One of his final film roles was that of police detective Lt. Kinderman in the 1973 horror film The Exorcist.

Cobb died of a heart attack in February 1976 in Woodland Hills, California, and was buried in Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. He was survived by his second wife, Mary Hirsch, and daughter, also an accomplished actress, Julie Cobb.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 95

Birthday 1911-12-08

Day of Death 1976-02-11

Place of Birth New York City, New York, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Lee Colt
  • Leo Jacoby
  • Cpl. Lee Cobb
  • Lee Cobb
  • Ли Дж. Кобб

Acting TV ShowsMovies

1978 The Meanest Men in the West as Judge Henry Garth
1976 La Legge Violenta Della Squadra Anticrimine as Dante Ragusa
1976 Nick the Sting as Robert Clarke
1976 Nick the Sting as Robert Clark
1976 Origins of the Mafia as Bartolomeo Gramignano
1976 That Lucky Touch as Lt. Gen. Henry Steedman
1975 Mark Shoots First as Il commedator Benzi
1975 Blood, Sweat and Fear as Benzi
1974 The Balloon Vendor as Twenty Years
1974 The Great Ice Rip-Off as Willy Calso
1974 Trapped Beneath the Sea as Victor Bateman
1973 The Exorcist as Lt. Kinderman
1973 The Great Kidnapping
1973 Double Indemnity as Barton Keyes
1973 The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing as Lapchance
1972 The Bull Of The West as Judge Garth
1971 Lawman as Vincent Bronson
1970 The Young Lawyers(24 episodes)
1970 McCloud(1 episode)
1970 Macho Callahan as Duffy
1970 The Liberation of L.B. Jones as Oman Hedgepath
1969 Mackenna's Gold as The Editor
1968 They Came to Rob Las Vegas as Steve Skorsky
1968 Coogan's Bluff as Lt. McElroy
1968 The Day of the Owl as Don Mariano Arena
1967 In Like Flint as Lloyd C. Cramden
1966 Death of a Salesman as Willy Loman
1966 Our Man Flint as Cramden
1965 The Final Hour as Judge Henry Garth
1964 The Brazen Bell as Judge Henry Garth
1963 The Devil's Children as Judge Henry Garth
1963 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre(1 episode)
1963 Come Blow Your Horn as Harry R. Baker
1962 How the West Was Won as Marshal Lou Ramsey
1962 The Virginian(249 episodes) as Richter Henry Garth
1962 The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as Julio Madariaga
1960 Exodus as Barak Ben Canaan
1959 I, Don Quixote as Miguel de Cervantes / Don Quixote de la Mancha / Alonso Quijana
1959 The DuPont Show with June Allyson(1 episode)
1959 But Not for Me as Jeremiah MacDonald
1959 The Trap as Victor Massonetti
1958 Party Girl as Rico Angelo
1958 Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse(1 episode)
1958 Naked City(1 episode)
1958 Man of the West as Dock Tobin
1958 The Brothers Karamazov as Father Karamazov
1957 The Three Faces of Eve as Doctor Curtis Luther
1957 Panic Button as Al Bengsten
1957 The Garment Jungle as Walter Mitchell
1957 12 Angry Men as Juror 3
1956 Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater(2 episodes)
1956 Miami Exposé as Lt. Barton 'Bart' Scott
1956 The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit as Judge Bernstein
1955 Gunsmoke(1 episode)
1955 The Left Hand of God as Mieh Yang
1955 The Road to Denver as Jim Donovan
1955 The Racers as Maglio
1954 Day of Triumph as Zadok
1954 Medic(1 episode)
1954 On the Waterfront as Johnny Friendly
1954 Gorilla at Large as Detective Sgt. Garrison
1954 Yankee Pasha as Sultan
1953 The Academy Awards(1 episode)
1953 General Electric Theater(2 episodes)
1953 The Tall Texan as Capt. Theodore Bess
1952 The Fighter as Durango
1951 The Family Secret as Howard Clark
1951 Tales of Tomorrow(1 episode)
1951 Sirocco as Col. Feroud
1950 The Man Who Cheated Himself as Lt. Ed Cullen
1950 Lux Video Theatre(1 episode)
1949 Thieves' Highway as Mike Figlia
1949 Lights Out(1 episode)
1948 The Dark Past as Dr. Andrew Collins
1948 Westinghouse Studio One(2 episodes)
1948 The Luck of the Irish as David C. Augur
1948 The Miracle of the Bells as Marcus Harris
1948 Call Northside 777 as Brian Kelly
1947 Captain from Castile as Juan Garcia
1947 Boomerang! as Chief Harold F. 'Robbie' Robinson
1947 Johnny O'Clock as Inspector Koch
1946 Anna and the King of Siam as Kralahome
1944 Winged Victory as Doctor (as Cpl. Lee Cobb)
1943 The Song of Bernadette as Dr. Dozous
1943 Buckskin Frontier as Jeptha Marr
1943 Tonight We Raid Calais as Bonnard
1943 The Moon Is Down as Dr. Albert Winter
1941 Paris Calling as Captain Schwabe
1941 Men of Boys Town as Dave Morris
1940 This Thing Called Love as Julio Diestro
1939 Golden Boy as Mr. Bonaparte
1939 The Phantom Creeps as Road Crew Foreman (archive footage)
1938 Danger on the Air as Tony Lisotti
1937 Rustlers' Valley as Cal Howard (as Lee Colt)
1937 North of the Rio Grande as RR President Wooden (as Lee Cobb)
1934 The Vanishing Shadow as Roadwork Foreman

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