Saturday, November 6, 2010

Actor Robert Ellenstein Passes On

Actor Robert Ellenstein passed on October 28 at the age of 87.

Robert Ellenstein was born in Newark on June 18, 1923. During World War II he served in the Army Air Corps. Following the war he attended New York University and graduated from the University of Iowa. It was in 1947 that his career began at the Cleveland Playhouse in Cleveland, Ohio. He made his debut on television in a pilot for an unrealised TV series based on the comic strip Mandrake the Magician. That same year he made his movie debut in Rogue Cop. Throughout the Fifties he appeared regularly on television, on such shows as The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse, Soldiers of Fortune, The Whistler, The Philco-Goodyear Playhouse, Omnibus, Robert Montgomery Presents, GunsmokeThe United States Steel Hour, Climax, The Adventures of Jim Bowie, Zane Grey Theatre, Man With a Camera, Wanted: Dead or Alive, The Rifleman, Steve Canyon, Mike Hammer, Rawhide, One Step Beyond, Peter Gunn, Perry Mason, and Michael Shayne. He appeared in such films as Illegal (1955), The Garment Jungle (1957), 3:10 to Yuma (1957), The Young Lions (1958), North by Northwest (1959), The Gazebo (1959), and Pay or Die (1960).

In the Sixties Mr. Ellenstein appeared in such TV shows as Thriller, The Lawless Years, Hawaiian Eye, Ben Casey, Checkmate, 77 Sunset Strip, The Untouchables, The Defenders, The Rogues, Combat, Get Smart, Bonanza, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Virginian, Hallmark Hall of Fame, The Wild Wild West, The Big Valley, Ironside, and Mission: Impossible. He appeared in the films King of the Roaring 20's: The Story of Arnold Rothstein (1961), Deathwatch (1966), and The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968).

In the Seventies Mr. Ellenstein appeared on Marcus Welby M.D., Columbo, The Rockford Files, McCloud, Quincy M.E., Hawaii Five-O, and A Man Called Sloane. He appeared in such films as Love at First Bite (1979). In the Eighties into the Nineties Robert Ellesntein appeared in the films as Brewster's Millions (1985) and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986). He appeared in the shows Magnum P.I., Murder She Wrote, Moonlighting, Hooperman, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and ER.

Robert Ellenstein had a long career on stage as well as television and film. He appeared in many productions in Los Angeles, including King Lear, Hamlet, Rocket to the Moon, and others.

Robert Ellenstein was a very talented actor who appeared in a wide variety of roles. He played everything from one of the heavies, Licht, in North by Northwest, to authority figures, such as the President of the Federation Council in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. He was one of those many actors, who although  he never achieved stardom and never played the lead in a movie or a television show, added a good deal to any movie or show he appeared in with his excellent performances.

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